Manipulated by fear and love...could you cut the strings and take back control?
Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain?
Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems.
Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them?
One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.
I am thrilled to have Abbie on my blog today chatting about her debut novel "The Puppet Master". Thanks so much Abbie for coming along and answering my questions!
What would be your one line pitch for "The Puppet Master"?
I’m terrible at just one line answers, I love to waffle. But here it goes, The Puppet Master is a tale of battling those that would try to control you to achieve your happy ending.
The cover is very effective and sinister. How much input did you have in its design?
I had a lot of input; I knew I wanted to have my two characters as the puppets and it was actually my best friend who chose the colour scheme. The shadow work was down to my cover designer; he did a great job.
Your novel has three voices which tell their story in alternate sections. Did you find that you found one character easier or harder to write?
I found Adam’s section hardest to write as I’m not a man (as far as I’m aware) and at the back of my mind I was worried about the authenticity of Adam’s character. I spent a lot of time observing my husband and how he spoke and acted which was very helpful. Billie’s character was the easiest to write as I was able to draw upon my own experiences to flesh out her character.
The subject matter of "The Puppet Master" is sensitive and upsetting. What compelled you to tackle this topic in your writing?
I know that the subject matter is difficult but my reason for including it was the overall message of the book. I wanted to show that no matter how much trauma you have to endure it is possible to get through it and be happy. No matter how low you get, there is always a way back up. I tackled the upsetting topic in the book because I felt I had enough personal experience to do the subject justice and show just how powerfully young people can be taken advantage of.
Eric is a deeply unpleasant character. Which other fictional characters from other novels do you love to hate?
I love to hate ‘Jack’ in Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris. He is horrendous but so well crafted. I love to hate him.
Ooohhh good choice! I can see the similarities!
Billie is given "Jane Eyre" at a very influential age and she identifies with Jane immediately. Was there a book which spoke to you as a teenager?
Funnily enough, it was Jane Eyre that spoke to me as a child. It was the first book that sucked me in and showed me the power of reading. I didn’t really have that many friends at school as I was ginger and quite on the large side, so I didn’t quite fit. This was why Jane Eyre really stuck with me. Her isolation mirrored what I was feeling at the time. Her happily ever after at the end of the book gave me hope for when I grew up. I love this book so much, and each time I read it, I discover some new dimension to it or something I hadn’t thought about before. So Billie’s love of this book is a reflection of how I felt.
I think that comes across really well in the book - and I have to agree, I think Jane Eyre is a very influential novel for so many girls. Great answer!
The ending of "The Puppet Master" is very creepy. Is there another instalment to come? Are you currently working on anything at the moment?
I left the ending ambiguous. When I wrote it, I meant it to show how egotistical Eric was that he thought he could still control people from prison. But I have had so many requests for another installment that I have started to work on some novellas based on this book. I’m also working on a completely different thriller and also a romantic comedy. I seemed to have unleashed a store of ideas that I never knew I had within me. I just need to find the time to work on them properly. But that is my new year's resolution, to write at least two books this year. I know I can do it, I just need to plan out my time.
Wow, that's very exciting news! Can't wait to see the finished results!
Can you recommend another title for those of us who enjoyed "The Puppet Master" - either a novel that is similar / influenced you or just an author that you admire or a book you enjoyed recently?
Fantastic recommendation! I do believe there's a good quote of the back from another book blogger who totally agrees with you!! ;-)
Thanks so much Abbie for such great answers - it's been really interesting to hear more about the book and your writing. I wish you all the very best in 2017 with "The Puppet Master" and your new writing projects! Thanks for appearing on my blog!
For my review of "The Puppet Master" please click on the link below:
For my review of "The Good Mother" you can click on the link below:
I was born in the Lake District and have moved all around the UK since then. I currently live with my husband in the West Midlands. I studied English Literature at University but it took four years after I finished University to realise how much I loved writing. I started a book reviewing blog last year and the encouraging responses I got to my reviews encouraged me to try writing this book. The Puppet Master is my first novel but I'm hoping it won't be my last.
For more author interviews, recommendations and reviews please look me up on Twitter @katherinesunde3 (bibliomaniacuk)