Wednesday 24 June 2015

The Other Child Blog Tour: Lucy Atkins on Injecting Tension into Your Writing & Win a Copy of The Other Child - UK Only!

The Other Child by Lucy Atkins || Release date: June 4th 2015

Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth . . . but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love? 

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.

Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house, Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg's work is all-consuming and, as the baby's birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery . . .


Guest Post: Lucy Atkins on Ways to Inject Tension Into Your Writing.

 My literary agent, Judith Murray, says that she knows she’s found a new writer when their work makes her miss her tube stop. All writers, regardless of genre or style, need to have tension in their work. It might be emotional – the scene in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where Wentworth simply passes Anne a note (that still brings me out in goosebumps)… or it could be a full on, white-knuckle FBI chase.  Tension is what keeps the reader reading. It is what makes the book coherent, engrossing, vivid, ‘readable’.

One good way to work out where your own central tension lies is to force yourself to summarize your book in just a few sentences – the ‘elevator pitch’. You’re in the elevator with a Hollywood producer and you have thirty seconds to sell your work. My elevator pitch for The Other Child might be:

‘woman falls in love with a handsome American doctor, moves with him and her child to a wealthy Boston suburb; unsettling things begin to happen, and she realizes he might not be who she thinks he is….

There are also writerly ‘tricks’ such as weaving in a character’s backstory gradually, rather than dumping it in one go; or being aware that the pace of your book needs to be varied, with some fast-moving elements, some slower, more thoughtful ones; or avoiding layering on too many adjectives or adverbs, which can clog up your style; or making sure that each chapter ends with the reader craving more…

I have ended up writing psychological suspense novels, where a growing emotional tension lies at the heart of the book, powering it on. But whatever you want to write, even if it’s non-fiction, it’s vital to bear in mind what’s keeping people turning the pages.  No writer, after all, wants a bored or disengaged reader.



With thanks to Quercus Publishing I have a copy of The Other Child up for grabs.
+Giveaway Open to Entrants in the UK.
+Winners details will be supplied to the publicity department at Quercus Publishing.
+Prize will be sent directly from Quercus Publishing.
+I bear no responsibility for prizes lost or undelivered - alternative prizes will not be offered.
+This is a sponsored giveaway: please refer to T&C's for further information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Really like the look of this one and can't wait to read it! :) Thank you for the chance to win!!!

  2. Hey, I nominated your blog for the Liebstar Award! My post on it is here: - Laura :)

  3. I haven't read it. Arianne reviewed for the blog and she loved it too - so maybe I should pick up a copy at some point! :)


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