Self Published by Sarah Marie Graye
Available in ebook and paperback (20 August 2018)
My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invitation. It’s a pleasure to welcome Sarah Marie Graye, author of The Victoria Lie, to the blog as part of the Book Launch Blog Tour.
There is also a giveaway for 3 signed copies at the end of the post – please see the Rafflecopter box for how to enter. Open to UK only.
| About the Book |
When is a lie a lifeline? To Tori lies are everything.
ZOE wants to end her life. But she can’t just leave a note. She needs to say goodbye to boyfriend JAMES and best friend ALISON.
TORI is waiting in the wings to fill the space ZOE will leave behind, wanting to claim both James and Alison for herself.
But with ZOE still alive and Alison’s childhood friend RUBY now on the scene vying to fill the gap, TORI realises she has her work cut out.
Just what lengths is TORI willing to go to in order to claim Alison and James for herself?
(Trigger warnings: Suicide, depression, IRA bombings, ADHD, Autism, manipulative characters.)
According to the last census, the UK is 87% white. So it’s perfectly feasible to have a number of different characters in your book and for them all to be white.
But I write realism and The Victoria Lie is predominantly set in London, which is only 59% white (and only 44% British white). So I felt I couldn’t justify having four main female characters – as my main story needed – and not having at least one of them from a different ethic background.
I didn’t just want to plonk a black or Asian character on the page and have no reason for her being there. But at the same time, I didn’t want her race and skin colour to be the only reason for her to be in the story either. I needed a sub plot that would make her race relevant.
The main story in The Victoria Lie is of someone taking a Paracetamol dose and most of the book takes place at this person’s bedside. So I realised I need health-related stories that would tie my character into the book.
At the time I was scoping out my novel, there was a medical story in the news every day: how Albert Thompson had been refused cancer treatment because he couldn’t prove he had the right to live in the UK.
Albert Thompson was part of the Windrush generation – named after one of the boats that brought people across from Caribbean countries to help with post-war labour shortages. They were given indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but many didn’t have any paperwork to prove it.
At this point I knew my non-white character would have Caribbean parentage – and I decided to make her black so that the link between her and Albert Thompson was clearer.
I gave my character a parent who came across on one of the boats. I chose it to be her mother as mothers and daughters often have close bonds. And I also killed off her father prior to the start of the book so it would just be mother and daughter, making their relationship more important to both of them.
I knew I also needed to make this mother ill, but not in a way that would mean her illness would overshadow the main plot. So I researched chronic illnesses – genetic ones that could be passed onto the daughter and which would affect her daughter’s view of the suicide attempt.
I knew I’d found the right condition when I came across Sarcoidosis: a condition that can go into remission for years only to flare up again. The mother would be able to be well now, but still be at risk of needing (and being rejected for) NHS treatment under the Windrush issues.
And there was one other symptom that made Sarcoidosis stand out: it kills black people.
For some reason, Europeans and Asians who develop Sarcoidosis are usually able to fight the condition. Whatever damage has been done by the condition is permanent, but they often go into remission for long periods – and may never suffer another flare-up after the initial one.
Black people are not only more likely to suffer from Sarcoidosis, but they are more likely to have acute attacks. As they are less able to fight these attacks, they are more likely to die from the condition. A significant amount of research has been carried out, but so far no reason for the higher mortality rate has been found. Sarcoidosis would give my character a condition very much tied to her ethnicity.
And so my character Ruby was born.
| About the Author |
British writer Sarah Marie Graye is the author of The Butterfly Effect series, which looks at suicides and those left behind. The Second Cup, the first book in the series, was published in July 2017, and this Blog Tour is to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series, The Victoria Lie.
**** GIVEAWAY ****
Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed copies of The Victoria Lie by Sarah Marie Graye (Open to UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.