Out of Sight Out of Mind
Everyone has secrets. Some are stranger than others.
Madison Albi is a scientist with a very special talent – for reading minds. When she stumbles across a homeless man with whom she feels an inexplicable connection, she can’t resist the dangerous impulse to use her skills to help him.
J is a non-person – a vagrant who can’t even remember his own name. He’s got no hope, until he meets Madison. Is she the one woman who can restore his past?
Madison agrees to help J recover his memory, but as she delves deeper into his mind, it soon becomes clear that some secrets are better off staying hidden.
Is J really the man Madison believes him to be?
In celebration of the launch day of her second novel Out of Sight Out of Mind we’re thrilled to have award-winning Evonne Wareham back on the blog with us, sharing some cake and a celebratory glass of something fizzy, talking about the perils of paranormal and the dreaded second book…
The Dreaded Second Book
Out of Sight Out of Mind is a well-known phenomenon in writing circles — the dreaded second book. It is legendary that second books are notoriously difficult to write. An author may have been working on their first book for years, and it hits the publisher’s desk and then the book- stand as a highly polished article. The second book, possibly written to a deadline for the first time, involves a whole new discipline on the part of the writer. There are no expectations of a first-time writer — no one knows what will be between the covers — but a second book has something to live up to. In the case of Out of Sight Out of Mind, it was actually written before Never Coming Home. When I had the chance to pitch to Choc Lit, I went with my most recent book, but they were interested in both the books that had been competition finalists in the States, and asked to see Out of Sight Out of Mind as well, so they were both submitted at more or less the same time, but in reverse order. Which of course doesn’t mean that readers won’t be expecting the same style of read — romantic suspense — with similar thrills and emotional upheavals, from Out of Sight Out of Mind, as they got from Never Coming Home – they are entitled to! I hope I will not disappoint them.
The Perils of Paranormal
If that isn’t enough of a challenge, there is an added complication in that Out of Sight Out of Mind is a paranormal romantic thriller. Paranormal can be a bit like Marmite. I know that some people don’t like it. My Mum, for one. I’ve got used to her sorting through a pile of books, just brought from the library, and asking suspiciously. ‘Are there vampires in this?’ Those books, most definitely go on my reading pile. Mum does not do vampires. But I can assure everyone that Out of Sight Out of Mind is a vampire-free zone. (Are you listening, Mum?) The paranormal feature of the book is mind reading, the protagonists are human, and the thriller element comes in their efforts to stay out of the clutches of an organisation — called The Organisation — which wants to control what they have. I think it is as much a thriller as Never Coming Home, and that it may be a little more romantic — but I also think that I may be a bit biased. Introducing an extra ingredient like the paranormal is still perilous. The readers will judge.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on at the moment?
I have a novella that I am trying to complete. As far a ‘Book three’ goes – there was A Plan – a book written a while ago that I want to revisit. But you know what happens to plans … At Christmas I got an idea for a new story involving a robbery, and that seems to have taken over my imagination to the extent that it looks like it will be written. I’m at the very important stage of staring vacantly into space and claiming to be working out the plot at the moment, which is, of course, a vital prelude to actually doing any work.
Out of Sight Out of Mind is a paranormal thriller, what are your thoughts on paranormal activity?
I think there is a vast amount about the universe and the human brain that we don’t yet know, so I am open to ideas. Like all writers, I’m curious.
Who would you most like to be haunted by?
I don’t think I’d want to be haunted at all, even by a friendly ghost. One of the things that I wanted to explore in Out of Sight Out of Mind was the impact that having a paranormal talent might have on your life. It hasn’t brought Madison happiness – she classes herself as a freak. As a writer it’s bad enough coping with your characters having conversations inside your head, without having a ghost dropping in for a chat. And most disconcerting, never to know if you were really alone …
Do you have any strange secrets like Madison and J that you’d like to
No definitely not. If I have learned anything from my heroes it’s never volunteer classified information.
Your debut novel won the RNA Joan Hessayon Award last year – and I believe it’s now won another! Can you tell us about your latest award?
That was a very unexpected Valentine surprise – a Reviewers’ Choice award for 2012 from the Single Titles review site. I’m thrilled to have been picked. It was completely out of the blue – I’m still floating slightly above the ground. (And no – that does not have anything to do with ghostly activity.)