What a pleasure to introduce the first of three books being released in 2016 by members of the Writers Ask Writers group that I belong to (along with Dawn Barker, Emma Chapman, Sara Foster, Natasha Lester, Annabel Smith and Yvette Walker).
A big welcome to my friend Sara Foster.
All That is Lost Between Us is Sara’s fourth psychological suspense novel. Come Back to Me was published in Australia in 2010 and reached the Sydney Morning Herald top ten Australian bestsellers list. Beneath the Shadows reached no. 4 on the Australian Sunday Telegraph bestseller list, and rights were sold in the USA and Germany. Shallow Breath, Sara’s third release, featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly, was chosen as Book of the Week in the Sydney Morning Herald, and was longlisted for a Davitt Award.
I’m looking forward to settling down on the couch with this new one.
Here is the blurb for All That is Lost Between Us:
Seventeen-year-old Georgia has a secret—one that is isolating her from everyone she loves. She is desperate to tell her best friend, but Sophia is ignoring her, and she doesn’t know why. And before she can find out, Sophia is left fighting for her life after a hit and run, with Georgia a traumatised witness.
As a school psychologist, Georgia’s mother Anya should be used to dealing with scared adolescents. However, it’s very different when the girl who needs help is your own child. Meanwhile, Georgia’s father is wracked with a guilt he can’t share; and when Zac, Georgia’s younger brother, stumbles on an unlikely truth, the family relationships really begin to unravel.
Georgia’s secret is about to go viral. And yet, it will be the stranger heading for the family home who will leave her running through the countryside into terrible danger. Can the Turner family rise above the lies they have told to betray or protect one another, in order to fight for what matters most of all?
Set against the stark, rugged beauty of England’s Lake District, All That is Lost Between Us is a timeless thriller with a modern twist.
Over to Sara…
2 things that inspired the book
1 Teenagers using social media. I’ve read so many stories about teenagers getting into a terrible mess online, and I’ve witnessed it myself on the odd occasion. These crises can take less than a minute to begin, but the consequences may be felt for years. During my research I was deeply affected by some of the things I came across: a fifteen-year-old girl posting her suicide note on social media; another young girl who had been stalked for years online. Social media can be a beautiful thing when it connects people, but it has such a dangerous side, too, and because it’s only come about within the last ten years, we’re all still figuring out how to deal with it. When so many adults are addicted to web-based games and interactions, it’s very hard to encourage young adults to use these platforms sparingly and in ways that keep them mentally healthy.
2 The 2011 film of Jane Eyre. When I first began working on this story, I couldn’t get away from the image of Jane running across the wild landscape in the film, when she’s escaping Thornfield and Rochester’s revelation about his mad wife Bertha. I couldn’t understand why I kept going back to it! However, as soon as I learned about fell-running—an extreme form of cross-country running that is popular in the Lake District—I knew that it was perfect for my heroine. My vision of Jane was superseded, and it became seventeen-year-old Georgia who has to flee danger by running across the precarious landscape of the fells.
2 places connected with the book
1 The Lake District—a gift for any writer. I loved bringing it to life within the novel. Most of my main characters have tarn waters running through their blood, and one way or another they are all connected to the landscape around them—metaphysically as well as physically. With a place such as this, I was always going to be left feeling disappointed that I had to leave so much out! As well as providing some stunning scenery for me to work with, I also got to know the darker side of the fells through the work of the mountain rescue teams. These amazing groups of volunteers conduct hundreds of rescues every year.
2 The Spirit Road—also known as the Corpse Road. This was an ancient track along which those in outlying villages would bring their dead for burial in consecrated ground—carrying the coffins for days over rough and rocky terrain. In my present-day story the kids now use this track, as it connects the tiny hamlet of Fellmere to the town of Ambleside. Along the way they tend to scare one another with tales of ghosts, and often sit on the corpse stone to chat—a stone where, centuries earlier, coffins were laid while their bearers rested. The track’s purpose has changed remarkably, but the notion of loved ones bearing incredible burdens to protect one another’s souls still connects the two stories across the centuries.
2 favourite sentences in the book
1 Here’s one from Anya, the mother in All That is Lost Between Us, who is trying to come to terms with her firstborn child getting ready to leave the nest:
Back then we were only looking forward, towards an endless plateau of possibilities. Then life took over, constricting us into one narrow pathway that was slowly overlaid with a movie reel of memories, the film eroding in places, our choices blurred with our forgotten dreams, our triumphs and our regrets.
2 And to counterbalance, here’s one from Callum—mountain rescue volunteer, Anya’s husband and Georgia’s father:
When there was only clear, fresh air above him and so much of life was hidden in the valleys, it was easy to watch his troubles slide away down the hunched, broad backs of those giant slopes like the smallest of pebbles.