Archive for March, 2014
So, what is a Lari Don book then?
I’ve written 21 books, 6 of them novels, so it’s probably fair to claim that I don’t write just one kind of book. But up until now, there have been a few recognisable threads running through most of my books – if it had magic and myth and fabled beasts and Scottish landscapes, then it might be a Lari Don book.
But now I’ve written something totally different to anything I’ve ever written before. Because Mind Blind, my first teen thriller, is published this week.
Mind Blind is for older readers. I’ve written picture books (about bottoms and wolves), I’ve written short chapter books (about tigers and wolves), I’ve written adventure books (about dragons and wolves), I’ve written collections of legends (about heroines and wolves). The nearest I’ve come in age so far is novellas for reluctant readers (no wolves, yet).
But I’ve not written a full length novel for older readers before and it was a very different book to write. I could do a lot of things I’ve never done before. Swear. Injure people. Kill people. Make texts and smart phones an important part of the plot. Use public transport rather than dragons.
And Mind Blind is about a boy. A teenage boy. I’ve written as a boy before – a male phoenix and a blue loon in Maze Running – but only for a couple of chapters. Becoming a teenage boy for months on end was an interesting experience.
Also Mind Blind is written in the first person, so we are inside Ciaran’s head, seeing the world through his eyes, all the time. (Except when we’re inside Lucy’s head. This was meant to be a book about Ciaran, but Lucy became so important to the story, that almost half the novel is from her point of view… )
Ciaran Bain is not a goodie either, unlike Helen or Pearl in my other novels. He’s a criminal, he does a lot of dodgy and illegal and even cruel things. And yet I am asking the reader to care about him and what happens to him – which was a bit of a challenge!
So. Mind Blind has no magic, it has lots of crime, and it has no lovely Scottish landscapes. No mountains or forests or islands or caves or castles. Mind Blind happens on rooftops and at bus stations and in docklands. It’s not even set completely in Scotland! It starts in London, spends a fair amount of time on a bus (not a fun journey…) then finally ends up in Edinburgh and Leith for the last third of the book.
Mind Blind doesn’t tick any of my usual boxes. That is exactly why I wanted to write it. And exactly why I want to hear what you think of it!
(Though, as I write this, I realise there is one book which was almost the precursor to Mind Blind, in a tangential way: Drawing a Veil – a novella about a girl who decides to wear the hijab and how her best friend and classmates react. When I wrote it, I did keep thinking – gosh this is tough, solving plot problems without magic! The story also ends on a bridge in an industrial area, just like Mind Blind. In fact, both endings were inspired by the same bridge in Leith, but in both books the bridge has changed slightly to fit the plot. So anyone who’s read Drawing a Veil might have thought that I was heading for teen thriller territory. I didn’t realise it myself when I was writing about Amina though!)
I’m always keen to know what readers think about my books. Feedback is very important to writers, and especially so with Mind Blind – because it’s like my very first book all over again!
So, if it sounds like your sort of book, please go and read Mind Blind (paperback, ebook, from a shop, from the world-encirling amazon or even FOR FREE from your local library) and let me know what you think!
And here is Mind Blind IN A BOX even if it doesn’t tick the usual boxes!