Happy Tuesday! I might not be able to blog today as I’m in a hospital and their Wifi is awful, but I am over the moon to be able to share a guest post from the very Sam Carrington!! Excited, much?? YES!
I’d like to thank Avon Books UK’s team for inviting me to be part of this tour!
‘My name is Alice. And my son is a murderer.’
Deborah’s son was killed four years ago. Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.
Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.
Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…
They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?
A twisty and unnerving story about the price of motherhood and the unthinkable things we do to protect our children. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Laura Marshall.
‘Sam Carrington has done it again. One Little Lie is a twisty, gripping read that deserves to fly. I loved it.’ Cass Green, bestselling author of In a Cottage In a Wood
One Little Lie is my third novel, but the first where I’ve used my knowledge of working in a prison more directly to enable me to write scenes set within the prison walls. Up until now I’ve drawn on my experiences to inform my plot, or characters, but hadn’t actually ‘stepped inside’.
In this book, psychologist Connie Summers – who we first met in Bad Sister as she’s setting up her own private counselling practice after leaving her prison role – goes back into the prison environment. It’s a decision we see Connie struggle with due to the reasons she left in the first place, and it’s only her ex-colleague’s assertions that the assessments won’t take long and she’ll be ‘in and out’ without getting too involved, that she agrees to undertake them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a novel if it was going to be that easy… and one of the prisoners, a young man linked to one of Connie’s clients, is challenging for several reasons. Will she regret agreeing to undertake the assessments? And what will be the repercussions of a bad decision she makes when interviewing ‘The Silent One’? Hopefully, readers will want to find out!
I really enjoyed writing the prison scenes and because I’d worked in one it was mostly all things I could remember, so I drew on my knowledge rather than having to conduct research. There were a few things I had forgotten though – and so luckily, I still have some fab ex-colleagues who I could ask.
Before I worked in the prison my only knowledge came from TV and film, so when I stepped inside for the first time, there were a few surprises. Like the fact that sometimes I would be on my own with prisoners – for example when interviewing them and when conducting offending behaviour programme one-to-one sessions – when I had assumed they would be under prison guard! It did take some getting used to, and there were certainly times when I felt uneasy or threatened. Mostly, the training equipped me with the tools to manage situations which might be challenging.
When I was creating the characters in One Little Lie who were going to work in the psychology department and prison, I had to be careful not to draw too heavily on people I’d known and worked with in real life. So, although there are some aspects of my colleagues, (as well as some prisoners who I’d worked with), that undoubtedly inspired some of the characters’ traits, I haven’t taken any one person and put them in the novel!
For the prison scenes, I tried to transport myself back and remember how it felt to walk through the grounds, passing through the gates, locking them as I went – and how anxiety sometimes struck when walking alone among groups of prisoners during movement times. I also wanted to convey what it was like to walk onto the wings and to sit with prisoners when interviewing them – so I hope, when reading One Little Lie, it feels authentic.
It’s been four years since I worked as a facilitator on offending behaviour programmes, but reliving some of my experiences whilst writing this novel took me right back! I did enjoy my time there but am now much happier writing about crime rather than being directly involved with those committing it. I’m sure all the experiences I had will continue to give me inspiration for future books.
I am not going to lie. I WANT THIS BOOK. Badly! I love how Sam explains the prison scenes and the depths she went into to make them feel genuine and get this realistic factor that transports the reader. Using her experience working in prison must definitely add an authenticity to the narration!
Pre-order the paperback version or get the ebook on Amazon!!!
Find out more about One Little Lie on the other stops in the tour!
Thank you for dropping by!
I am a writer from Devon, but in a previous life I was a nurse in the NHS. After working hard to gain my Psychology degree (whilst attempting to bring up three children and work full-time) I left to work as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator in a male prison.
It is my experiences within this field and my interaction with prisoners which inspired my psychological suspense/crime fiction.
Having come to a crossroads in my life, I decided to be brave and take a road which was risky, yet more desirable. With lots of support and back-up, I left work and concentrated on my writing. I began with short stories. Some of those stories, aimed for the womag market, have been published in women’s magazines, some in anthologies and some I self published in two collections.
But, novels were always what I really wanted to write. And so, with the advice ‘write what you know’, firmly in my mind – I began my journey writing psychological suspense novels based around crime. I finished my ‘first’ novel during 2014 and then immediately began the second. It is this novel that will actually be my first!
I titled it Portrayal, and when it was in its early stages I entered it into a competition – the 2015 CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) Debut Dagger Award.
I was shocked and extremely happy when it was longlisted (one of eleven).
It’s this novel, now with the title, SAVING SOPHIE which helped me gain my agent, and a publishing deal.
Follow Sam’s blog: http://samcarrington.blogspot.com