I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this thrilling thriller of a book, What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird.
What I Couldn’t Tell You was released on the 1st May 2016 published in by Usborne Publishing and is a fab thriller.
A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for having me on this wonderful tour and to Anne Finnis for sending me a copy of this wonderful book.
For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Faye Bird!
When love turns to jealousy, when jealousy turns to rage, when rage turns to destruction…
Laura was head over heels in love with Joe. But now Laura lies in a coma and Joe has gone missing. Was he the one who attacked her?
Laura’s sister Tessie is selectively mute. She can’t talk but she can listen. And as people tell her their secrets, she thinks she’s getting close to understanding what happened on that fateful night.
Hi Faye. Thank you for being here today! I’m so thrilled to have you here! What I Couldn’t Tell You sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it!
Can you tell us a little about What I Couldn’t Tell You?
The book opens with a crime; Tessie’s sister, Laura, is attacked, and now she’s lying in a coma and no one knows what happened to her. Tessie, Laura’s sister, picks up the story. Tessie has SM – she is Selectively Mute – she doesn’t speak in certain situations, but she can observe, she can listen and it seems she might be the only one who can piece together what happened to Laura.
Can you tell us a little bit about Laura’s sister Tessie?
Tessie is just like you or I, but she suffers with SM. SM is a social anxiety disorder that prevents children speaking in certain situations, such as in school or in public. Selective Mutism is sometimes called Situational Mutism. As with others with SM, Tessie does not have any speech or language problems, and she can speak freely and at ease at home when she is with the people closest to her. If you are interested in finding out more about SM the charity SMIRA’s website is a good place to start www.smira.org.uk
What kind of research went into the writing What I Couldn’t Tell You?
I knew I wanted to write about SM after hearing a young woman who had suffered with it in the past speaking on the radio talking about her experiences. I loved the idea that giving a character with SM a first person narrative effectively gave that character a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have. But I needed to do a good deal of research. I hadn’t heard of SM before, and as it turned out all my assumptions about what SM was and what caused it were wrong. Research involved reading key texts on SM, mainly written by speech and language therapists, and meeting those who had a direct experience of SM. Once I started writing I didn’t seek out new research because at that point I felt I had all I needed to simply forge ahead with my imagination and write the story.
Do you see yourself in any of the characters in What I Couldn’t Tell You or have you used any of your own experiences in the story?
I guess I can see myself a little in Tessie. I felt an affinity with her, even though I haven’t ever suffered with SM or had any direct experience of it. I think that’s because there have been times in my life when I perhaps haven’t been able to say the things I’ve really wanted to say. I found the emotional tension between what Tessie thinks and feels and what she can or cannot say a rich ground for writing prose; it inspired me. I’m not sure whether that’s because of my own experiences or not, but I suspect it had something to do with it!
We would love to know a little bit more about you! Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Faye Bird?
My first job was in a toyshop called Frog Hollow. I served lots of famous people there. Prince William and Prince Harry used to come in with their pocket money.
I love cats but have always been scared of dogs ever since one chased me and I had to jump on the bonnet of a neighbour’s car to escape.
After I graduated I went to America and worked in a rollercoaster theme park in Ohio. I served pizzas and chilli dogs and Mountain Dew.
When I was little I used to spend hours and hours jumping off the stairs in the belief that one day I would take off and fly.
I aspire to having a writing shed in my garden that I can escape to and write!
Can you tell us a little about your other books?
My first book, My Second Life, is about a girl called Ana who has lived before. She’s always known she’s lived before and it’s been something that she’s always accepted about herself, until one day she sees someone she recognises from her first life and she suddenly becomes plagued by memories of a girl, Catherine, lying dead in the water. And with those memories comes strong feelings of guilt and responsibility, and suddenly Ana isn’t sure of who she is at all any more. Is she Ana, the good person she thought she knew herself to be, or is she someone who killed a person in her first life? And so her quest begins to find out the truth of what it is she has done.
Which of your characters from any of your books would you most like to spend the day with?
I think I’d like to spend the day with Ana in My Second Life. I’d like to ask her all sorts of questions about her two lives!
What are you currently reading?
I’ve got two books on the go at the moment. You Against Me by Jenny Downham and on my iPad I’m reading The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.
Can you tell us a bit about your writing process – do you plot the story out first, or dive right in and see where it takes you (or a bit of both)?
With My Second Life, I didn’t really plot at all. I had key scenes that I always knew I was writing to in my head – like Ana meeting her Mum from her first life, and the final scene right at the end – but that was literally it!
With What I Couldn’t Tell You I knew I had to plot more, not least because of the demands of the crime story. I was also writing to deadline and couldn’t afford to write quite so many drafts as I ended up writing with My Second Life. I’m currently writing my third book now – I’m just at the first draft stage, 10,000 words or so in – and I’ve spent a good deal longer planning out the story than with either of my first two books. I think, just as with anything in life, I am learning with each new book how the process works best for me.
Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2016?
I’m going to continue getting the words down for the new book, which feels exciting, and I’m planning lots more school events. I love going into schools and meeting readers, so if anyone reading this is interested in me coming into their school then do get in touch!
You can buy a copy of this book here
Or why not add the book to your Goodreads here
About Faye Bird
Faye writes fiction for young adults. Before becoming a writer she worked as a literary agent representing screenwriters in film and TV. She studied Philosophy and Literature at Warwick University, but has otherwise always lived in London, and still does now. Her second novel, What I Couldn’t Tell You, will be published on 1 May 2016.
You can find out more about Faye on her website: http://www.fayebirdauthor.com/
Or why not follow Faye on Twitter: @faye_bird
You can follow or catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the below stops!
Monday 22nd August
Tuesday 23rd August
Wednesday 24th August
Thursday 25th August
Friday 26th August
Saturday 27th August
Sunday 28th August
Monday 29th August
Tuesday 30th August
A huge huge thank you to Faye for answering all my questions and to Faye Rogers for organising!
Have you read any of the What I Couldn’t Tell You? What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!