Saturday, 29 October 2016

Guest Post - Heleyne Hammersley's Writing Journey - Blog Tour

I never intended to write psychological fiction.  I’ve always loved reading thrillers and chillers but I never really felt that I had it in me to write one – let alone two.  I’ve written comedy, romance and even tried a bit of young adult dystopian adventure but I’d always steered clear of anything approaching suspense and crime.  When I started to write ‘Forgotten’ it wasn’t really about what had happened to my central character as much as what was going to happen to her.  It was about her identity and her ability to rebuild herself.  The crime elements seemed to fit perfectly with that quest for self-knowledge.  

My second novel ‘Fracture’ – published by Bloodhound Books on October 28th – is perhaps a more traditional thriller.  It has a murder, a detective, a suspect and a few twists and turns.  But, again, it is much more than that.  At the heart of the story is the central character’s need to establish her sense of self and not become lost in somebody else.  Again the traditional crime elements seemed to fit perfectly around the character’s emotional and physical journey.

I’m writing something a bit different at the moment.  It’s more of a police procedural and is based, in part, on my own experience of growing up in the late seventies and early eighties.  There’s a couple of murders, a couple of cops and a villain who may or may not be hiding in plain sight.  Yet, unintentionally, that theme of self-discovery and identity is lurking again.  The main character has returned to her childhood home after many years away and is forced to confront how her early experiences shaped her and added to her identity.  

I taught English for many years and one question that students asked again and again was ‘Did the author really put all this stuff in this book/poem/play deliberately or are we just looking for patterns and themes and seeing what might be there?’  The honest answer?  I don’t know.  I don’t think I’m obsessed with identity and self-discovery yet up it pops up in a lot of my writing.  I know who I am, I know where I’ve been and what has shaped me so where does this recurring theme come from?  I’m sure a psychotherapist would charge me a lot of money to give me the answer but I’m equally sure that I probably wouldn’t agree with his/her assessment.

And that’s what I love about writing.  Sometimes my characters do things that I wasn’t expecting, sometimes the plot takes a turn that I didn’t plan for and often, it seems, I stick to a theme even though I’m not consciously aware that I’m doing so.

About Heleyne

Heleyne Hammersley was born in South Yorkshire but has lived in Cumbria for the last twenty years where she sometimes teaches English and often walks on the fells.

She has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called Give Them the Works when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. Since then she’s gone on to complete a number of creative writing courses with the Open University and she is a regular NaNoWriMo participant.

The idea for Forgotten came about while on an extended holiday in China and South-East Asia in 2001. Heleyne was on a bus in the mountains of Thailand and found herself wondering what would happen if she was suddenly thrown out of the emergency exit on a tight bend with no belongings or money. This rather disturbing thought eventually became a novel.

Heleyne's second novel - Fracture - is due to be published by Bloodhound Books later this year.

Follow on Heleyne -

Purchase Fracture on Amazon UK 

After leaving university and a violent relationship behind, Rosie flies to Australia to spend some time with her uncle, Charlie, and his wife, Rita.

Trying to regain some of her lost confidence she hikes along the coast for a day.  She’s horrified to see a body on the beach. However the ‘body’ is the very much alive and enigmatic Alfie. The two women become friends and spend time together in Sydney where Alfie’s wild nature becomes apparent. When Alfie is attacked the situation takes a turn for the worse and they decide to leave the city.

It’s a road trip that ends in murder...

Who is Alfie? What is Rosie hiding?

Detective Sergeant Pete Norton wants answers to these questions.

What he will discover is that this case is a killer.

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