BLOG POST, BLOG TOUR, BOOKSTAGRAM

Blog Tour: Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham

My stop on the Blog tour for this debut novel – Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham which is a first in the addictive new crime series set in East London, following DI Maya Rahman who is a Bangladeshi! Wow! Head over to my Instagram to enter the international giveaway and to get a chance to win 1 of 3 hardback copies of this exciting thriller!

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Synopsis: A twisted killer has a deadly riddle for DI Maya Rahman to solve in this pulse-racing thriller. A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept: “I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.” At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found. Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, and with a serial killer on her hands, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.

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You guys will absolutely love reading about the author and her thoughts, so here’s a very special Guest Post from Vicky Newham! Continue reading!

My path to publication – overnight success or hard work and perseverance?

My debut novel, Turn a Blind Eye, was published last week. A few people have asked me about my path to publication so I thought I’d say a little about it. When I was a child I would write letters to relatives and friends in my bedroom. I remember how much I loved telling them about things that had happened. In my teens, that progressed onto short stories and articles, and I adored essay-writing at university. Growing up, being a ‘writer’ was never discussed as an option. I think the expectation was that I’d get married or become a PA, because that was what my mother had done.

Fast forward many years, and three degrees later, I was still trying to write a novel while teaching A-level Psychology full-time. With a commute which could take anything up to two hours each way, marking and lesson planning to do in the evenings and at weekends, the only time I got to write was in the summer holidays.

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In 2012, I left teaching and began writing to a target every day. I set up a writing group in Coulsdon, where I was living, and ran it from the library there. I made a concerted effort to learn as much as I could about writing, publishing and crime fiction. I’d started writing a novel which I wanted to finish so I would write in the mornings and read in the afternoons. I began an MA in Creative Writing that year. I finished that novel and was about to start submitting it to agents when a book with an almost identical storyline was published, so I decided to put mine in a drawer until I could think how to change my plot. That freed up my time and mental space and I was desperate to begin writing the story that features in Turn a Blind Eye. However, one of my MA modules was on literary theory, and for another module I had to study and write poetry and drama. I learnt a huge amount from both modules but wasn’t able to write fiction at the same time. In addition, life intervened: my mother died; I had to clear out my childhood home in Sussex; I had to sell my house in Coulsdon and bought one in Whitstable; I decided to re-home a puppy.                  2Figure 2: the re-homed puppy is not 4 and likes to be involved in everything!

In spring 2014, I seized the opportunity to start writing Turn a Blind Eye for my dissertation piece. It was an amazing chance to learn as much as possible from my supervisor, literary agent, Juliet Mushens. Once that was handed in, I set about finishing the first draft of the book. I rewrote it numerous times, then sent it to beta readers for comments and an editor friend offered to read it for me. I combined the bits of their feedback that felt right, and rewrote the book twice more and started submitting to agents. When I signed with PFD, I did some edits with my agent, Adam Gauntlett, before it was sent to editors, scouts and production companies. I then did more edits with HQ/Harper Collins before publication.

3Figure 3: returning to Kingston uni in 2017 to talk about my book

The characters, setting and storyline in Turn a Blind Eye began in my head in 2002 when I was teaching and living in East London. Over the four years that followed, before I changed schools, I was inadvertently researching topics, themes and issues. It wasn’t until I’d left teaching that I felt able to formalise my questions and ideas into a proper plot. So, nothing has happened overnight other than a few grey hairs and wrinkles! Timing and luck are definitely involved with writing, but that’s a topic for another blogpost.

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham”

      1. No problems Nadira! I have followe Vicky on Twitter for an age now and really like the sound of TABE! Something fresh and original in the land of crime fiction. Just waiting for the paperback release now! First time I have stopped by your blog – nice job! Take care x

        Liked by 1 person

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