Saturday 18 May 2019

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald @FitzHelen BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #MyLifeInBooks #WorstCaseScenario

Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line.
Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.
Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.
A heart-pounding, relentless and chilling psychological thriller, rich with deliciously dark and unapologetic humour, Worst Case Scenario is also a perceptive, tragic and hugely relevant book by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 16 May 2019.
I love this book, it's one of my favourite books of the year so far.  I reviewed it on Random Things back in April, you can find my review here.

As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to welcome the author to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books

My Life in Books - Helen Fitzgerald

I don’t remember what age I was when I first read Ping (or more probably, when my Mum read it to me as I pored over the beautiful colour illustrations). Three or four maybe. It’s a heart-wrenching tale of a Chinese duckling who becomes separated from his brothers and sisters on the Yangtze River, and has all manner of adventures before finally reaching home. It’s such a simple, straightforward story, yet there’s something epic and timeless about it too. Something about family and belonging. I’m one of thirteen kids, so I guess it was bound to push all my buttons. It has a very special place in my heart.

I know for a fact that I did read this all by myself – in fact, I read it over and over again. It fed my craving for fantasy and adventure, and – as with Ping – I loved the pictures. In later years I felt a pang of regret when Fanny and Dick had their fine names changed to “Franny” and “Rick”, and I’m not the only one. Others have been known to throw offending editions into the recycling bin.

Hanging Rock is just a few miles away from where I grew up in country Victoria, and we went there often, so the novel made a massive impression on me when I first read it.  It drew me into a world of mystery and danger and I adored it. It was my introduction to the dark side, and I’ve been happy there ever since.

Both the novel and Kate Bush’s song meant a lot to me growing up. The book swept me up in its Gothic romance and made a terrible, wonderful kind of sense.  When I heard the song for the first time, and saw Kate Bush dancing, it blew me away. The idea that you could express yourself so openly and dramatically – it was liberating.

I studied Russian literature at university, and I fell in love with it. Again, I was drawn to epic stories packed full of flawed characters engaged in a futile search for happiness. I liked my endings sad, and still do.  Anna Karenina is the one that has stayed with me the most – her tragic character exists as a timeless archetype for me, and it’s one I engage with a lot in my own writing.

I had always wanted to be a writer in the way that young people always want to be writers. But it had never really occurred to me that I might do it as an actual job. Then one day my husband recommended Writing Screenplays That Sell, saying it had really helped him in his own work. The book was a revelation to me. It outlined some very simple but very powerful ideas about storytelling that immediately made sense, and I decided to try putting them into practice. Within months I was getting paid for it, and my life hasn’t been the same since.

Helen Fitzgerald - May 2019 

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. 

Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

Find out more at her website
Follow her on Twitter @FitzHelen

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