Hello, lovely blog readers! I know, I know, I've been rubbish about blogging lately (as usual). So to make up for it I've got a very special guest! Emma Haughton, author of NOW YOU SEE ME (out now from Usborne), has stopped by to talk about reinvention. But first, here's a bit about the book…
Three years ago, Hannah's best friend Danny Geller vanished without trace. Not knowing if he's alive or dead, she struggles to move on with a life shrouded in secrets and suspicions... But as hope returns to haunt Danny's family and their desperation is used against them, can Hannah bear to expose the painful truth? Or is it better to live in the dark? A mesmerizing psychological thriller with the most incredible twist you'll read all year.
Sounds amazing, doesn't it? Over to you, Emma!
I’ve been chatting to some online friends about the subject of reinventing yourself. Specifically as a writer. If you want to write in a different genre, or reboot your career, you always have the option of adopting a pseudonym. You can rise, phoenix-like from the ashes, and start all over again with a brand new name. You can even swap genders, a la J K Rowling.
It’s a subject I deal with obliquely in Now You See Me - the idea that people can embark on a whole new life. I’m not going to say any more, because I don’t want to spoil the book for potential readers, but it is a subject I find eternally fascinating.
And it got me thinking about why people write fiction. I think all of us enjoy the opportunity to reinvent ourselves through our characters. While few authors create characters exactly like themselves, it’s probably true to say that every character contains pieces of their creator - or at least aspects that the writer can relate to. As authors, we get to live out different lives, test drive different choices, put different personality traits through a trial run. It’s part of the fun, inhabiting someone else’s head and world for as long as it takes to write and edit that book.
But beyond writing, I think the idea of reinvention is compelling, however you spend your days. Perhaps that’s why starting over makes for such popular TV. A new house or location, a style makeover, or even just a damn good declutter is something that appeals to most of us, holding, as it does, the promise that we can all shed our skin and start afresh.
As teens we’re very much in flux. We’re trying on different roles, different life options, deciding who we really are and what we really believe. But even in fully-fledged adulthood, very few things in life are fixed. It’s possible to start again and recreate your world at any age, in almost any walk of life. Perhaps that’s why many people dream now and then of disappearing and starting afresh. The idea of beginning again with a clean slate, in a completely different part of the world, can be very appealing.
But of course, walking away from everyone and everything is not something most of us would really want to do. We have bonds, ties, commitments. Abandoning those without a word to anyone is a selfish act, with terrible consequences for those you leave behind, as Now You See Me explores.
That said, reinvention is still open to us. A new job or career, a new friend or lover, a new passion or hobby, even something as small as a new pair of jeans or different hairstyle can breathe life into our jaded psyches, and make the world feel fresh again. Indeed, as a kid, one of my favourite things to do when I was bored or feeling a bit blue was to rearrange all the furniture in my bedroom. It would only take an hour or so, but for days, even weeks afterwards, it made everything feel fresh and different. By doing something simple to jog myself out of the rut I’d got into, I gave a little lift to my soul.
Emma Haughton is a one-time family and travel journalist turned YA writer. Her YA thriller, Now You See Me, is now on sale in bookshops or through Hive or Amazon.co.uk. Her second thriller, Better Left Buried, is coming out in May 2015.
Visit Emma’s website at www.emmahaughton.com for more details, or connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/emmahaughtonwriter or come and have a chat on Twitter: @Emma_Haughton.