When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith's childhood was dominated by Laurel's disappearance - from her parents' broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans' old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that's lost can be found again...
Quercus have just published Cat Clarke's new YA novel, The Lost and the Found, in the UK on July 2nd. It looks set to be as good as her previous books, my favourite of which is still Undone!
As part of this blog tour, Cat has written a great post about writing essentials - thanks, Cat! Do check out the previous stops on this blog tour, which you can see on the banner below.
My Top Ten Writing Essentials
by Cat Clarke
You might think that all a writer needs in order to do their job is a computer, or a pen and some paper. And you might well be right. I would love to be one of those writers. But I’m not, so here are my writing essentials*.
The tea has to be in the right mug. A writing session calls for a mug of considerable size, and should ideally be one that also makes me smile. I have no time for boring mugs. Oh, and the milk ABSOLUTELY must go in first. (I’m fully aware of how controversial this is.)
2. A sofa or a bed
I used to write at a desk but that felt a bit too much like proper grown-up work. Now I tend to write on the bed in the morning (NB: not actually IN the bed... very important distinction there) and on the sofa in the afternoon. This way I can trick myself that I’m just messing around on the computer and not doing actual work. Let’s just ignore the fact that for a large part of the day, I am indeed messing around on the computer and not doing actual work.
Ideally a dog snoozing on either side of me and a cat looming above in a slightly menacing fashion. Optional extra: additional cat sitting in the hallway making sounds like a baby in distress.
4. An open Word document
I like to have the document open, even if I’m not quite ready to start writing. This makes it easier for me to sneak up on the story and get started without really making a conscious decision to do so. This is VITAL if I’m going to get anything done.
I used to listen to music when I wrote, and was convinced that it wasn’t possible for me to manage without it. These days I tend to write in silence. But I like to listen to certain songs on repeat while I’m gearing up for a writing session. I nicked this idea from Keris Stainton – thanks, Keris! My current favourite is Peter von Poehl’s The Story of the Impossible.
6. Lunch or dinner already planned
There is absolutely no way I concentrate if I don’t know what my next meal is going to be. It also helps if the prospective meal has the potential to be extra delicious.
7. A good book This can be problematic if the book is TOO good. Because then I just want to read all day and leave the writing till tomorrow. So it has to be a book that I can put down, even if I don’t particularly want to.
8. No plans for the rest of the day ESPECIALLY not a scheduled phone call. Phone calls are the worst. Well, actual phone calls are usually fine, but the prospect of them? Not so much.
9. An idea of what I’m going to write next If Past Cat has been kind, there will be a few sentences in the Word document, outlining what should happen in the next scene. I’ll often ignore these suggestions, but it’s comforting to have them there nonetheless.
10. Oh dear…
This is all getting a bit ridiculous, isn’t it? After all, it’s just making stuff up. How hard can it be? Instead of telling you about number 10, I’m going to go away and WRITE. (And by ‘write’, I mean ‘make sure all the essentials are in place so that I can begin to start to think about maybe, just maybe, getting some words done’.)
*Correct at time of going to press. Subject to change on a daily basis, annoyingly.
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