This week I welcome fellow author, Morton S. Gray, who is talking about her debut novel.
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog, AnneMarie. My debut novel, a romantic suspense story, The Girl on the Beach was published by Choc Lit in January 2017.
I have been overjoyed by the response of readers to my debut. It feels quite odd reading someone else’s opinions of your book, as the story has previously only existed in your head. As a writer you love your characters, after all you spend a long time with them while you are writing the novel, but everyone has different likes and dislikes, otherwise we’d all fancy the same man! I check my ratings and reviews most mornings and have been known to squeal if I have a nice new review. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my book and post a review.
It is a strange new world being a new author. I appeared on my local radio station last week (didn’t like hearing my own voice on the airwaves) and have been guesting on lots of blogs. I’m not used to talking about myself so much, as I’m really quite shy. It was also a surprise to open my local newspaper this week and find a photograph and article about me on page 12 (at least it wasn’t page 3).
This was compounded by my first real fan moment – I went into a favourite café and the assistant said right away that she’d seen me in the local paper. Her two colleagues rushed over and said they had both downloaded my book too. Cue blushing as the café went very quiet while the other tables listened to what they were saying. Goodness knows how celebrities cope with all the attention!
What is my novel about? Well it all hinges around a question - Who is Harry Dixon?
When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.
For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …
But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.
Excerpt from the beginning of The Girl on the Beach
How did she know him?
The headmaster, John Williams, began to introduce the man. ‘Harry Dixon meet Ellie Golden, the inspiration behind our art competition. Harry will be taking over from me as headmaster in September and has agreed to help you decide who wins today.’
Rapidly searching her memory, Ellie shook Harry Dixon’s hand. He had the physique of a rugby player, his dark hair cut short and straight. She didn’t recognise the name, but the huge brown eyes and the cleft in his chin, almost hidden in short stubble, were somehow so familiar. She felt strangely uneasy.
He smiled, displaying even, white teeth. Did she imagine he was holding back, not smiling wholeheartedly? Did he recognise her too?
‘Have we met before?’ she asked, aware that her throat was suddenly dry.
‘I don’t think so. I would have remembered.’
The words brought heat to her face. His voice was warm and deep, clear in tone, but with a slight burr of an accent. She turned to examine the display to hide her blush. The exhibits were arranged on tall baize-covered panels at the back of the cavernous school hall. Each picture had a number with the Art Exposium competition logo, a stylised “A” and “E” with a swirl of paint joining the letters.
‘We’d better get on with the judging, there’s a lot to look at,’ commented Ellie, trying to recover her composure.
The scoring sheet she’d typed up the previous evening seemed overcomplicated this morning, with its profusion of tick boxes. In her confused state, the columns merged and blurred. She knew she must sound prim and school-marmish, and look it too.
What had possessed her to wear this suit? It was the one she’d once used for job interviews, grey and boring, even teamed with the scarlet silk shirt and pearl necklace. A clear case of dressing as she thought she should, rather than how she really wanted to. Focus, Ellie. She fought to bring her mind back to the competition, away from Harry Dixon and his identity. He was so good-looking and she still didn’t know why she recognised him. Those eyes! Stop it, Ellie.
Purchasing links for “The Girl on the Beach”
Contact Links for Morton S. Gray
Website - www.mortonsgray.com
Twitter - @MortonSGray
Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author - https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/
Thank you for asking me to visit your blog, AnneMarie.