My Friday Read this week, the YA, No More Lies by Gill-Marie Stewart, is just right for your teen to curl up with on winter nights as it's set in the Scottish Highlands in winter. No More Lies is the final book in the George-and-Finn Young Adult trilogy and to celebrate its publicatiion the first book in the trilogy, Music and Lies, is FREE for 2 more days - until Saturday 5th November!
Time to tell the truth?
Finn is not happy when dippy Aunt Lulu drags him off to spend Christmas on a community farm in the Scottish Highlands. Things look up when his girlfriend George joins them. Finn needs to start making some decisions about his life, but when abandoned dogs turn up on the doorstep, and Aunt Lulu starts revealing uncomfortable truths, it all gets a bit overwhelming …
George can’t sort out what is going on with her and Finn, so she concentrates on getting to the bottom of the mystery dogs. Impulsive and unpredictable as always, her actions lead her and Finn into danger once again.
No more lies: it's time for George and Finn to tell the truth about their feelings and move forward. But will that be together or apart?
Want to find out what happens? You can buy the book here:
To celebrate the completion of the trilogy, the first book, Music and Lies, is free on Kindle for until Saturday 5th November 2016.
Born in Lancashire, I lived in Yorkshire and Cheshire until the age of 15. Then – big change – my family moved to South Africa. At the age of 21 I moved to France, and then tried Zimbabwe before finding the perfect country: Scotland.
Now my 2 sons have left home, my husband and I have relocated to a small (very rundown!) croft on the west coast of Scotland with our 3 dogs and 2 cats. As well as writing and dog-walking, I help my husband run his own business supplying animals for the film and tv industry.
I asked Gill to tell us a bit more about herself:
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I still have some of my early attempts from way back in primary school, and I have the hand-written copy of my first full-length teen novel from when I was about 14. I haven’t dared to re-read it though!
Has any author inspired you?
Initially Elinor M Brent-Dyer – I loved the Chalet School books – then I went through a D H Lawrence phase. Now the writers I most admire are people like Katie Fforde (adult) or Stephanie Perkins (YA) for the warmth of their characters and their complete sense of place. I’d love to think I could write like them.
What do you like writing most?
I love writing Young Adult novels, which I do under the pen-name Gill-Marie Stewart. The final book of my YA trilogy about George and Finn (No More Lies) came out on 3rd November and I had great fun rounding off their story. I’m also published in women’s contemporary fiction (as Gilly Stewart) and I like the contrast of working in two genres.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I have a desk in my bedroom where I do most of my writing, but actually I can write anywhere as long as there is peace and quiet. I recently went on a week-long writing retreat in France which was bliss.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Pantster – although I’m trying hard to plot a bit more as I think it will save time in the long run.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
The initial idea for a story or setting often comes from real life, although after that it’s all a result of my vivid imagination. For example, I got the setting of my first YA book, Music and Lies, from attending an indie music festival with my (then) teenage sons. The drug dealing, art theft and romance that happen in the book are all completely imaginary!
What are you writing at the moment?
I have a lovely new agent (Kate Nash Literary Agency) and am working on a new YA series for them. I’m currently working on the second book, which has a half-French, mixed-race heroine (hence the excuse for the writing retreat in France :)).
What inspired you to write this book?
The main character, Olivia, seemed to appear to me fully formed. I’m interested in the idea of what it might feel like to be ‘different’ in a group of teenagers who have all known each other a long time. I particularly like the conundrum between one character, Lily, insisting that Olivia should tell her if she experiences any racism, and Olivia suggesting that if this is the first thing Lily thinks about, isn’t this racist in itself?
What time of the day do you write best?
Morning! It has to be morning. I have breakfast, take the dogs for a short walk to the shore, and then settle down to write.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, walking, cooking, knitting. I also like learning languages. I took up the study of Latin recently. This year we moved to a part of Scotland where almost all the place names are in Gaelic and I’m now interested in learning (a little) Gaelic.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Keep trying! The more you write, the better you get. Join writing groups and mix with other writers. We all learn from each other. If you write romance, I’d particularly recommend joining the brilliant Romantic Novelists’ Association.
I totally agree, Gill.Never give up! And I love the RNA. :)
Gill-Marie Stewart https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gill-Marie-Stewart/1565665140343048
Gilly Stewart https://www.facebook.com/GillyStewartWriter
Get reviews of great YA books at https://paisleypiranha.wordpress.com/
Lovely to speak to you, Gill. Good luck with the new book!