AGCW: RELEASING SEPTEMBER 1st

28 August 2019



Hello Readers & Friends,

If you got my newsletter, you'll know that A Girl Called Whisper is set for release on Amazon on 1st September. I am so excited!

I wanted to take a minute to introduce it all properly, and explain how it has all come about.

THEMES & INITIAL CONCEPT

I really, really wanted to write a book for teenagers where the main character was a boy, struggling with mental health. Why? Because I've never read one before. It's always females and young girls struggling through anxiety, depression, and an array of illnesses. Where is the representation for males? Cooper Nelson came to me very early on. Initially, he was actually written to have aspergers syndrome, but in time he changed to be struggling with social anxiety. This was because the storyline and narrative is so dark that for me it was essential to use humour to keep it light and fun. As it was written in the first person (this was never up for negotiation in my head), the easiest way to get a dark and dry sense of humour across was through Cooper himself. If I had written him to have aspergers this would have been more difficult, as people with aspergers struggle with social interactions but also with reading situations and dialogue that uses a lot of sarcasm and irony is often tricky for them. Cooper drips sarcasm, so it came apparant very early on for me that giving him aspergers wasn't going to work if I wanted to represent it accurately.
Most of all, I want boys to know that it's okay to struggle, to worry, to panic and to be afraid.

THE CHARACTERS

We have three main characters in the story.
Cooper, the protagonist obviously. He's 16, born 'n' bred in the suburbs and enjoys painting, fantasy novels, comic books and staying at home. Check out his moodboard here. 
Cooper is a really intelligent, funny, witty and dry character who despite being quiet is very analytical and very much a wallflower. He takes in everything going on around him and draws accurate conclusions about people quickly. I love Cooper.

Unfortunately for me, he's obsessed with new-girl, Whisper. (See her moodboard here. )  Whisper has just moved to the suburbs from the heart of London and is struggling with the bores of their small new town. A rollercoaster of emotions, she's up and down and all around and finds herself striking up an unlikely friendship with Cooper after an incident at the school. Whisper loves spontanaeity, adventure and dreaming.
 
 
THE PLOT

The story is told through the eyes of Cooper who is struggling with crippling social anxiety.
After meeting wild-child Whisper, she begins to bring him out of his shell until he discovers she is struggling with her own mental health disorders - triggered by a dark secret she holds. Weighed down by the enormity of her dangerous secret, Cooper must fight through his own anxieties to help his new friend escape her own demons.
It’s a story about mental health, abuse and first loves.
I would describe it as Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Looking for Alaska.
 
"AGCW explores important themes that people don’t like to talk about. Heartbreaking and uplifting, it is a story that you won’t forget." - @BrontesBookshelf"

WHY SELF-PUBLISH?

I've written a post about this before, but for me it's all down to the darkness of the storyline. I didn't want to sugarcoat or to shy away from discussing mental illness and abusive relationships, and this is something that publishers would likely want to avoid in a book that is otherwise quite funny and playful. It would be difficult to market and isn't what is trending currently in the market.
I wanted to keep the story true to it's intentions and the easiest way for me to do this was to self-publish.

DID I GET ANY HELP?

Yes! I used the same editor as I did for Enmity, Melissa Kaye, who really helped bring it all together and ironed out some character creases before I put the final draft together.
Whereas before on Enmity it was all comments I understood, I hadn't realised how wide the gap is between UK and US culture. A few of her comments (Would this really happen at a school?) I found interesting. Having grown up in a suburb that mirrors Cooper's home, of course we bunked off to smoke weed in the woods and get up to terrible mischief at house parties. (Haven't you seen Skins?) Maybe the US is more well-behaved as the drinking age is older, but I definitely noticed the cultural difference using an American editor haha.
For the cover, this time I designed it myself. I would not do this again! It was a shitemare! I don't have photoshop so I was trying to build it all together using free online programmes and the sizing for trims and bleeds was a nightmare. But I'm a broke bitch so I did what I had to do. (Hint: buy my book.)
The cover art was comissioned though, and created by the wonderful Dodo. He really made Whisper look as badass as I envisioned.

I hope this helps you to understand more about AGCW and I can't wait for it's big release! Paperback out on the 1st too :)


Love,
C x

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