Thursday, 19 September 2013

Blog Tour: Little White Lies - Katie Dale

I'd like to welcome Katie Dale to A Dream of Books today.  Katie's second novel 'Little White Lies' is published by Simon and Schuster and is out now!   

Gorgeous Christian is a mystery. Why does he dye his hair, clam up whenever Lou asks about his past, and have no family photos?  But when Christian’s secret is publicly revealed, Lou finds herself in terrible danger – and keeping secrets of her own…

As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn, her emotions in tatters as she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with?
Katie has written a fantastic guest post all about the process of writing that 'tricky' second book.  So without further ado, it's over to Katie!
Without a doubt, having a book published has completely changed my life. It’s an incredible thrill – and still slightly surreal! – to see my books in bookshops, to sign copies, to do author events at festivals and schools – even as far afield as Moscow! 

And it’s also been a huge learning curve. A two-book deal was a dream come true for me – Hurray! Someone wants to publish not only SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE, but my next, as-yet-unwritten book too – I’m a real author! But trying to promote my first novel whilst writing my second to a deadline has been, I confess, a challenge. 

Whilst with SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE I was able to take as much time as I needed – to write and change and edit it to my heart’s content, never knowing if it would go anywhere, just writing it as a labour of love, thrilling over every success on the route to publication – being chosen as a winner of the UNDISCOVERED VOICES competition, being signed by a wonderful agent, and finally achieving that glorious yet elusive two-book deal – I have to admit that with the wonderful security and reassurance that my second novel would be published, came the pressure and stress of writing a novel in a year. Would I get it finished in time? Would it be too rushed? Would it be as good as SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE? As it’s more of a thriller, will that alienate readers who enjoyed SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE?

Having spent over seven years writing my first book, writing a book to a deadline proved quite a shock to the system, and I consequently became a hermit for most of 2012, desperately trying to meet my deadlines, and trying my hardest to write the best book possible in a (comparatively) short time, whilst trying not to neglect my family and friends too much at the same time - a juggling act that I am yet to master [ – sorry, everyone!]

And the book itself wasn’t straight-forward. In fact, the first synopsis I wrote for LITTLE WHITE LIES (then entitled SECOND CHANCE) for my publishers is pretty much unrecognizable compared to the final book! It underwent many editorial changes before I even started writing as, unlike SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE which went through 40 pages of edits(!) there wouldn’t be a lot of time for major changes at the edit stage.

Having said that, due to my quirky writing method (I don’t start writing the book from the beginning, but from the point that’s most exciting/clearest in my head), although everything went well to begin with, and I got to the end of the book fairly quickly for me – when I went back to the beginning to write the first half I found it really tricky, as I like to write books with secrets and lots of twists – which doesn’t make it easy!

Consequently, I ended up rewriting the first eight chapters several times over, ultimately changing the setting from a summer writing course in a small Yorkshire village to Sheffield university, adding the character of Kenny, changing my main character’s name from Sasha to Lucy then finally to Lou!

The sense of relief when I finally emailed off the last copyedit was immense. I felt physically and mentally exhausted, but there was a real sense of achievement, too. I’ve heard other writers compare writing a book with having a baby, and I think it’s probably very true – Paula Rawsthorne wrote a blog about this on The Edge: “Like the experience of being pregnant, the journey when writing a novel can be scary, exciting, frustrating, stimulating, exhausting and all-consuming. The gestation period can feel like an eternity and you become so emotional that you look at your ever changing body (of work) and one day love it, the next day, burst into tears at the sight of it” but once it’s finished, once you hold it in your hands as a physical object with its stunning cover, once you see it in bookshops and read the first lovely reviews it’s exciting all over again. You almost forget all the struggle and stress and emotional turmoil and can’t wait to start all over again.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but one I feel very privileged and excited to be riding.

An actress as well as an author, Katie loves nothing more than creating characters - both on page and onstage. She kept her parents happy by getting a “proper degree” in English Literature at Sheffield University, before finally going to drama school, then whilst she was on a belated gap year travelling through South-East Asia she found out she’d been chosen as a winner of the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices competition with the her first novel, the emotional rollercoaster SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE, which launched her writing career, and is now published all over the world. LITTLE WHITE LIES, her second novel, has just as many twists and turns, but is more of a thriller...

Website: Twitter: @katiedaleuk


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