Today on my blog I have a guest post from the wonderful Sophie Jonas-Hill. She is the author of the book that has the spotlight today and that is Broken Ponies.
THE THRILLING SEQUEL TO THE BESTSELLING NEMESISTER
Following the gripping – and deadly – events of their night under siege in Nemesister, the sequel, Broken Ponies, provides more details of Red’s mysterious past as well as Rita’s childhood, and brings light to the events that will eventually bring them together.
But meanwhile Red’s hunters have not given up the chase and Rita becomes bait in a trap set for Red in a terrifying storm damaged fairground….
The second in the Crooked Little Sisters series, Broken Ponies will thrill fans of dark gothic thrillers and readers of John Connolly and Joe Hill.
- “Dark and twisty – a must read!” – It’s all about the books Blog
- Book 2 in the Crooked Little Sisters series
- “Sophie Jonas-Hill’s novel is an incredibly atmospheric thriller that swings from eerie to brooding to intense.” -M J Hill, reviewer
Amazon UK – Here
Goodreads – Here
About the Author
Sophie Jonas–Hill lives next to the sea in Kent with her family. An antenatal teacher, Sophie is currently working on the third book in the Crooked Little Sisters series.
And here is Sophie’s post
I have never been very good at making life easy for myself. I have pretty much done most things backwards, or at the wrong time, the wrong place or even (once) in the wrong country – which is a long story for another day, and possibly another book. However, the point of this introduction is to underline what a stinkingly bad, difficult and ill conceived idea it was to set my first published Thriller, Nemesister, in America, when I am not American. Not in the least.
I do have an American connection, in that my mother’s sister ran away with a GI after the war and lived the remainder of her life in New Mexico, a life which was almost constantly beset with tragedy and mystery that would appear far fetched in most books and which did lend a few background ideas to my novel – writers are a cold hearted bunch – but that is about as far as my qualifications stretch.
Trouble was though, no matter how hard I tried, the main character’s adversary, Red, refused to be anything but American. I tried, really I did, but there was something about his voice which remained stubbornly Deep South and would not change. Think of it like this – he’s an ex-army officer with a dubious military past, officer material no less, but also grew up with all that weird Southern charm, which is both seductive and disturbing in equal measure. Try transplanting that into the UK, and where does that take you? Upperclass with a hint of huntin’ and shootin’? Too Hooray Henry, too posh boy, never did it for me. Or what about the country twang? Look for that and where do you go – Somerset, like the Wurzels? Sorry, but that just didn’t cut it for me.
Added to that – the location. The UK is a bit light on swamps/wilderness;yes, I could have gone for an isolated Scottish cottage, a Black House; but not sure that would have the required sultry heat, though it would have plenty of midges. Weighing up the need for the land to be flat as well, the nearest the UK seemed to offer to a blank sweep of uniform nothing-ness, was Lincolnshire, which does have that sense of, if not being the middle of nowhere, at least being the next stop on the bus – but again, it just did’t quite gel. Too many cabbages.
In the end, there was nothing for it but to go for it; to stick to my guns and be damned; and luckily in this case I was published too, so it was all worth it. Of course, it took a lot of editing and reading through first, and forcing various American friends of mine to read it with a view to spotting anything that jumped out at them, and watching two of them argue about which term was the correct one (Because, you know, American ain’t just one place either!) This was flagged up by my Head Master ( I work in a school, and trust me, I still felt weird knowing he was reading it and there were swears in it!) who asked why I used the word ‘teeter-totter’ on the same page as ‘Taxi’ – all I can say is that my Main Character is for the East Coast, and so would have used those two terms, according to the East Coaster I asked – anyone else remember the 1970’s comedy set in New York called ‘Taxi?’
Anyway, these questions are easier to answer for the sequel, Broken Ponies, but writing a sequel throws up a load of other ones I hadn’t thought about, having not written a sequel before. I had to find a new setting, which would be as atmospheric as the one I invented for Nemesister, and I had to start my research all over again, to create the new characters who shuffled into view. Unless I could justify arranging for the Main Character to need to travel to the UK for some cooked up reason, and yes, anything can happen in books, but they do have to be true to the world of the book. Any book, no matter where it’s set and who writes it, is a construct – it’s ain’t real, it’s a story, and stories that work, are the ones written in such away as to allow the reader to suspend disbelief. Like my book says, the best lies are the ones so seductive, we want to believe them, because then we do the work ourselves.
So for Broken Ponies, it was back to reading local news stories, swooping through google maps and waiting for the right place to reveal itself to me. Which it did, in spectacular style, better than anything I could have asked for, and once I’d found that, the new story wound itself out onto the page and became ‘Broken Ponies,’ which I hope you enjoy reading. Though make sure you’ve read Nemesister first.
Oh yes, and the other reason i set the book in America, when everyone told me it was a bad idea? because that’s the other thing I’ve always done in my life, doing what I need to do, even when other people tell me it’s a bad idea!
Please do go and check out the other blogs, listed below, for their contributions to the tour!