Today in the UK marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, 2019 hosted every year by the Mental Health Foundation. Mental illness is more prevalent than ever, and due to a number of factors, members of the LGBT community are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems. As someone who suffers from depression myself, I know how vital it is that we, as a society, become better educated and so develop a greater understanding of the enormous impact mental illness can have on a person’s life.
With the holidays well and truly upon us, I thought I’d take a moment to share the 5 things I love most about Christmas. It’s always wonderful to receive your comments, so if you’d like to share your favourite part of the festive season, whichever holiday you celebrate, I’d love to hear from you!
As anyone who has read Caught Inside will know, guilt and pleasure go hand-in-hand . My heroes, seventeen-year-old Luke, and Theo who is two years older, know what they’re doing is wrong, seeing each other in secret. Luke has a girlfriend, Zara, who also happens to be Theo’s cousin. Their relationship, when discovered, has the power to hurt people and destroy friendships. But they’re young and in love, and the attraction they feel for one another is too strong. They simply can’t help themselves.
One of the things that made Luke, the hero of Caught Inside, such a fun character to write was his refusal to conform to any stereotype. First and foremost, he’s a surfing fanatic, and is every bit as cool and laidback as you might expect the stereotypical surfer to be. Yet, beyond the shaggy hair, he doesn’t exactly look the part. As well as being a wave junkie, he’s massively into heavy metal music, so instead of the typical board shorts and tank tops you might imagine him to wear, can usually be seen sporting ripped jeans and band T-shirts.
Whilst working on my debut novel Caught Inside, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with my muse. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever spent so much one-to-one time with anyone before without them driving me completely insane. Then again, perhaps I’m already insane by now and so can’t tell the difference. Ah well. Here are five things I’ve learned about my muse: the good, the bad, and the downright irritating . . .
While editing the first chapter of Caught Inside and playing around with various options for the opening line, I got to thinking about some of my favorite novel beginnings. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the lines that have left a lasting impression on me, regardless of whether or not the book itself lived up to its promise. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 favorite opening lines: