Friday, 2 May 2014

Now You See Me Blog Tour: Emma Haughton on Inspiration, Truth and Fiction.


Now You See Me by Emma Haughton || Release date: May 1st 2014.

 Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without trace.

His family and friends are still hanging on to every last shred of hope. Not knowing if he's alive or dead, their world is shrouded in shadows, secrets and suspicions.

This is the story of what happens when hope comes back to haunt you. When your desperation is used against you. When you search for the truth – but are too scared to accept the reality staring you in the face...

A mesmerizing psychological thriller with the most incredible twist you'll read all year.


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Guest Post. Emma Haughton on Inspiration, Truth and Fiction.

From Life to the Page

Now You See Me started life as a feature in a newspaper supplement. I was absolutely fascinated by what I read, a story so extraordinary it was hard to believe it was true.

Of course, at this point, you’re dying for me to tell you what it was all about. And much as I’m tempted, I don’t want to ruin the book for you. Because I want you to experience the situation much as those people did in real life– moving from surprise, to acceptance, then bewilderment as the truth finally emerged. 

That said, most of the characters in Now You See Me aren’t actually based on anyone, living or dead. I made them up, using the actual event as a jumping-off point. What if something similar were to happen to an ordinary family? What might it be like? What would those characters do, say, feel? That’s the fun of being a writer. You take a bunch of people and you throw them into an unusual situation and wait around to see what happens. 

True, I did take some of the details from the news story and adapt them. But I also left some out. Because in some ways what really happened was too bizarre. Certain details really did beggar belief, and I knew that if I were to include them, agents, editors and readers would quickly dismiss them as not credible. Sometimes the truth really is too strange for fiction.

Because that’s the difference between fiction and real life. In stories, things have to add up. Characters must develop. Plot lines need to be brought to a satisfying conclusion. Real life, on the other hand, is a lot messier. Things are inconclusive. Questions are left unanswered. Loose ends abound. 

As a beginning writer, it’s often tempting to think you need to mirror the real world exactly, but fiction has different rules. In fiction things have to make sense, to be believable. And you get to leave out all the boring bits, the everyday stuff we all do, but no one wants to read about. In fiction, everything is honed down to the drama, the high points, the edited highlights. 

So Now You See Me, though inspired by something that actually happened, is not about what actually happened. It’s more of a thought experiment, a long playing out of a big ‘what if’. All books, for the hours that you are reading, let you play a part in that ‘what if’, to walk in someone else shoe’s, experience their thoughts, their joy and their pain as they try to make sense of what’s going on around them. Our job, as writers, is to try and make that journey feel as credible and convincing as we possibly can. And we’re not about to let a little thing like the truth stand in our way.

Emma Haughton is a one-time family and travel journalist turned YA writer. Now You See Me is published by Usborne on 1st May. You can order copies from Usborne and check out the dedicated Now You See Me page here. Her second novel, Better Left Buried, comes out next year.
 
Visit Emma’s website at www.emmahaughton.com for more details, or connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/emmahaughtonwriter or chat with her on Twitter: @Emma_Haughton.


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