Monday 20 August 2012

Sworn Secret Book Blog Tour

When I agreed to be a stop-off for Amanda Jennings' Sworn Secret book blog tour, I had planned to read it well in advance and post my review on the same day as my blog tour post. Well, I have to admit, I forgot to pack it in my suitcase for Tunisia so I still haven't read it yet - oops ! I have read the blurb and it looks really good though, so I can't wait to read it and share my review with you very soon. In the meantime, here's a fascinating article from author Amanda Jennings on how the book came to life. I'm sure it will strike a chord with any parents of teens and tweens out there !


Sworn Secret tells the story of a couple of whose teenage daughter, Anna, was killed a year before and is told from three points of view, those of the parents, and that of their surviving daughter, Lizzie. Lizzie is fifteen and feels torn between grieving for her sister and wanting to escape the family’s tragic loss. She meets a boy and falls headlong in love, and though she doesn’t understand why, her parents forbid her to see him. 

When writing a book you spend so much time with your characters, they’re all you think about, and they soon take on a life of their own, they become real in your head. I’d be out walking the dogs or washing up and I’d hear the three of them talking, I’d see them react, and catch their slightest facial expressions. For a writer this is a fantastic place to be, to know your characters in this way. It makes the process so much easier; you merely set the scene and let the characters take over.

 In some instances this meant the narrative diverted from the route I expected it to take. I’d begin to write something and then say hang on, Kate wouldn’t allow that or Jon would never say something that unthinking, and the story would ricochet slightly. Of the three of them it was Lizzie who surprised me the most, and perhaps because of this she was my favourite to write. Watching her develop was almost like watching one of my own children develop and I loved seeing her blossom in front of my eyes. She was an uplifting character to write, becoming feistier as the book progressed and she began to move out of her sister’s shadow and fight for the happiness she believed she should have. I had great fun writing the arguments she began to have with her parents towards the end of the book! I could feel Lizzie’s frustrations growing as her parents, concerned for her safety, tried to stop her doing what she was so desperate to do. I drew on my own teenage emotions and those I could see in my eldest daughter who was then approaching thirteen. 

Seeing your child move towards adulthood is both heartbreaking and wonderful. As they grow they begin to draw away from us and as difficult as this is we have to allow them to go, hoping against hope that the lessons we’ve taught them are enough to keep them safe and happy. It’s this desire of the child to gain independence and the fear of the parent for their child’s wellbeing that will often cause conflict. It might be painful, but it’s perfectly natural to argue with your maturing child, and in the case of the family in Sworn Secret, it’s Lizzie’s fight for independence, as well as the love they have for each other, that ultimately pulls them back together and enables their recovery from the tragic loss of Anna.

You can keep up with news of the book on the Sworn Secret facebook page :

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

French Lessons Blog Tour : Q & A with author Ellen Sussman

Write for the Fight blog tour : guest post from Tess Hardwick



  1. sounds a really good read, I'll look out for it ready for my own hols. I just recently read another book which was written from the perspective of different characters, it was called House Rules by Jodi Picoult and it was an amazing book, particularly as one of the characters had Aspergers syndrome so reading soemthing from that perspective was a real eye opener. As I enjoyed that one so much I'll definitely look out for this one which uses the same sort of writing technique.

  2. Sounds like an interesting book, I like the sound of the plot from three perspectives! I am a little concerned that it might make me sob though!


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