Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?
The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017. The extended edition (includes character interviews) was published on 12 February 2018.
Today I am thrilled to welcome Sarah Marie Graye to Have Books, Will Read as part of The Second Cup’s first anniversary blog blitz. In her guest post, Sarah Marie is talking about the process of writing the first book of a series.
The easiest ways to write the first book of a series is to not realise you’re writing the first book of a series!”
This isn’t an exact quote. Instead, I’m paraphrasing more than a dozen indie authors (me included) who have realised – usually when they’re around 80% into the first draft of their first novel – that there’s more story to tell.
For some authors, they spend so many months with their characters, watching them grow with each chapter, they get to know them beyond the story of the first book – and they find a second story for these characters, and then third.
For other authors, the story itself has not been told in its entirety and they take a new set of characters and add them to the same world, in order to tell the parts of the story that were missed first time round. Usually, major characters of the first book play minor roles in the second.
Until I’d completed my first novel, I didn’t realise this second type of series existed.
It was when I hit around the 80% mark on the first draft of The Second Cup that I realised I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say in my novel. I thought I had to accept the gaps and move on to a new story.
But the acceptance didn’t come and I was discussing this grievance with other indie authors when I discovered I could write a sequel where I kept the story and changed the characters, rather than the other way round.
In The Second Cup, which is book 1 in “The Butterfly Effect” series, I explore what happens to a group of friends when someone they know has committed suicide. The idea was to look at those left behind and to explore how different people are affected by such an event – how they pick up the pieces and move on.
But the issue with this approach was that there’s no voice for the person who’d taken their own life. This omission was purposeful in my first novel, but I was left wishing I could address it.
So I did so in book 2. In The Victoria Lie (which is currently with my editor and which I’m hoping to publish in August) it is one of the characters from the central group of friends who attempts suicide, so we see the fallout from the situation from her point of view as well.
Both my novels have an “ensemble cast” because how we affect the lives of each other is an important element of my writing – and two of the major characters from book 1 play minor but important roles in book 2.
What I’ve realised since completing book 2 is that there are other issues on the fringes of both stories that I want to bring to the fore – and which I’m hoping to address in book 3.
I think if I’d set out to write a series, the importance of setting up future stories would have weighed down my first novel: so I’ve been freed from this responsibility by not realising I was going to write a series until after the first book was written!
Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally) – enter via the Rafflecopter
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then the blog tour organiser reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time the data will be deleted. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.
It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.
Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.
Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.