Today I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd. I have a guest post from Amy to share with you all in just a moment on writing her first novel. First up, lets take a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.
A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.
But when the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all …
The First Novel
I can’t remember wanting to be anything other than a writer. Not seriously, anyway. The idea for The Innocent Wife came from my lifelong interest in true crime. It came as a surprise, as I had never thought of writing a thriller before. Most ideas I’d had for novels were vague and I would lose interest in them the more I thought about them. The Innocent Wife was an idea that simply wouldn’t go away. It seemed like a thriller but I had never considered writing a thriller before. I had no idea how to do it and not a lot of faith that I could write something with tension that might frighten and unnerve people. I was used to being funny and a thriller was way outside my comfort zone.
But the idea would not go away and I realised the only way to read this book would be to write it. I wrote around my work hours, before and after and on my days off. I had a plan for the novel but it was just a broad guideline. I wrote more specific plans chapter by chapter as I went along but felt like I was pretty much winging it.
Sometimes it was great fun and it poured out of me and I felt like it was going to be the best book ever! Other days it was hell and I thought I might be completely delusional and writing the most embarrassing book in the world. I learned to write through those bad days and the confidence would come back.
I saw the Daily Mail competition on a day when I was feeling good. If it had been a bad day, would I have entered? I might have told myself I was nowhere near ready yet and forgotten about it. But I did enter and I thought that, even though I probably wouldn’t make the shortlist, the premise was good enough that the agency or publisher might ask me to send it when it was finished.
I was actually on my last day of a holiday in Florida (appropriately) when the literary agent Luigi Bonomi called and said that I was shortlisted. A week or so later I was in work when he called to say I had won. Since then, the successes of The Innocent Wife have consistently exceeded my expectations, right up to making its way into The Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers list.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that these successes are intangible and that nothing quite lives up to feeling you get from writing well. I would still say the greatest accomplishment was finishing that first draft, in spite of all the self-doubt and all the times I’d have rather broken a limb than sit down at the computer and type.
So don’t ignore ideas that won’t go away and finish that first draft. Expect nothing more than writing something you’re proud of and you will feel amazing when you’re done.
Thanks Amy. I think folks can take a lot from that. And the book sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to read it.
You can get your own copy of The Innocent Wife from the following retailers:
About The Author
The Innocent Wife is my first novel and it will be available on e-book from the 10th October 2017 and then in hardback on the 28th December 2017.
When I started writing The Innocent Wife, I was trying to write the book I wanted to read. I love true crime and was fascinated by the new wave of true crime that was gaining popularity, like Making a Murderer and Serial, so I wanted to play on that phenomenon. I love the way that when we consume this kind of true crime, we think we are detectives ourselves and we feel passionate about righting the wrongs in the justice system. I also like the more sinister implications of this new trend. What if a documentary wasn’t telling the whole truth? How can we ever be sure that someone is innocent or not?
I’ve also been curious about the kinds of people who write to inmates and especially women who marry dangerous men on Death Row. Often they seem to believe the men are innocent despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Do they really believe they are innocent, or are they drawn to the danger of these men? What would happen if that man were suddenly released and they were thrust into the reality of being married to them?
Follow the author on Twitter
My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. Do check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part.