by M. Jonathan Lee
Following a tragic car accident, Michael Sewell is alone for the first time. The loss of his wife, Margaret after thirty years of marriage has left a hole far greater than Michael could have imagined.
Persuaded to go on holiday, by his daughter Jane, a page blown from a book crosses the pool and sticks to his chest. The words from the page resonate with Michael, describing in detail the exact events leading up to the accident.
Now, Michael must delve into his past and face his future, taking him and his family on a horrifying and tragic journey toward the truth.
The rain wasn’t falling. It was forcing itself out of the shadow of the moonlit clouds and smashing down to the earth below.
The tall, lean figure of a man exited through the door, leaving the relative warmth of the building behind him. He strode forwards intently towards the scattering of cars part-hidden in the darkness of the car park. From inside the pocket of his trousers he pressed the button on his keys. The car awoke, momentarily lighting the dim scene with a flash and emitting its chirpy beep. The man pulled open the door and sat in the driver’s seat. He removed his gold, half-rimmed glasses and wiped the rain from his forehead.
A few moments later he was followed by a short and very slightly overweight woman. The woman, no more than sixty years of age, looked flustered. From the warmth inside she had swept her belongings into her bag and quickly headed outside after the man. She pushed open the door and stood for a moment, half inside the pub and half outside. Until now she hadn’t noticed it was raining. She stood for a while under the porch, taking in the scene. The car park was fairly quiet with maybe five or six cars dotted around its vastness. Large trees surrounded the area. The heavy rain on the leaves weighed down the boughs, pointing accusatory fingers at her. Across to her right, the brightly lit sign of the pub swayed backwards and forwards, making a repetitive creaking sound. Usually, in this kind of weather she would wait under the canopy, protected from the rain, whilst the man brought the car to her. She knew tonight wasn’t usual. Tonight, if she was going to get in the car at all, she would have to make her own way there. Tonight, it wasn’t going to come to her.
The engine of the long black car began to spew grey smoke which glowed red as it wound itself through the rear lights. To save time she folded the top of her handbag over instead of zipping it and, grasping it tightly in both hands, headed towards the lights. The rain continued to fall, soaking her with each step. Her journey toward the lights was not as fast as that of the man; her high heeled shoes wouldn’t allow that.
The passenger side mirror allowed the man to watch her get ever closer. It was too dark to make out her expression, but it was obvious to him she was struggling to make her journey through the rain toward him. He smiled.
When she was about ten feet away, the man shifted the gear stick into reverse and accelerated at speed. The wet gravel crunched as it was displaced by the wheels. Startled, the woman paused and the man swung forwards, brushing her arm with the wing mirror. Abruptly, the car came to a stop. The woman’s soaking face, lit by the car’s interior lights, was now in his view.
She took a step back and pulled the door handle. The door clicked open and the woman threw her handbag into the passenger foot-well and climbed into the passenger seat. She let out a loud sigh and reached into her bag. From it she pulled a small packet of pocket-sized tissues and pulled down the sun-visor to use the mirror.
The man retrieved his glasses from the dashboard in front of him and looked at her. His face was expressionless.
She was aware he was watching but ignored him and began to remove the make-up that the rain had helped to distribute around her face. She licked the tissue and carefully wiped away the track marks which led from her eyes like black tears. She would not return his stare. This time, for once, she would be strong.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jonathan M. Lee author of The Page.
Hi Jonathan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in a small Northern town in England. I still live in that little town today.
What were you like at school? Were you good at English?
I was a pretty good student and English was my outstanding subject. Unfortunately, I did also have a tendency to play the class clown so I spent just as long out of the class as in it. I loved English though and it’s really left a lasting mark for me.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Ultimately, I’d like to be able to make a career from writing alone. I feel I have a thousand stories to tell, and to be able to write for a living would be fantastic. Perhaps one day I’ll give up the day job…
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
He is awful. Perhaps the most objectionable character that you could hope to meet. He is superior, feels that he alone has worked out what life is about and nothing could ever change that. Until one day, a random page blown from a book changes everything.
What are you working on currently?
I’m writing a book called A Tiny Feeling of Fear – a book that follows a character who can give the impression to the world that everything is okay, yet alone he feels things differently. Then something happens which means that the world can finally see how he feels and his whole life path changes because of that.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I got divorced completely out of the blue. I was suddenly living back with my parents in my mid-thirties and suddenly separated from my kids for half of the week. This was one of the most difficult times of my life, and sitting down to fulfil my dream and write got me through.
Where do your ideas come from?
Great question. The answer is absolutely everywhere. I observe the most innocuous of events and then weave them into stories.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I write one or two sentences as the overall plot. I visualise the characters and then start. By the time I begin writing I already know what I am going to write about although the plot changes sometimes surprise even me!
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding time. Five kids and a full time job come first. Then I find time for writing…
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Paperbacks. Always. I used to love walking around a pool on holiday and seeing the covers of everybody’s choices. Nowadays I’m afraid that there are kindles galore and this open expression of taste is gone.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I do. It depends what you want to achieve. I love telling stories and yes, one day I’d like to make a small living from the royalties, but for now I just want my work out there for people to read. You’ll note on my website I’m actually giving up my royalties in a competition for The Page anyway!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Check out my website at www.jonathanleeauthor.com – there’s lots of information on there and of course, a chance to ‘solve’ The Page and win my royalties. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I’m sure our readers will agree it’s a pleasure to learn more about you.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
A SPECIAL UPCOMING CONTEST FROM THE AUTHOR
The Page has 15 clues which to a lesser or greater extent give away the twist in the final chapter. The clues are inserted into the text and hopefully are well-hidden. To celebrate the release of The Page in February 2015, a competition will be run. We will invite people to identify the clues and enter (when they have ten or more – as some may be so well hidden they are never found) through my website: www.jonathanleeauthor.com. The competition will close 163 days after the release of The Page, and the winner (i.e. the one who identified the most clues – in the event of a tie – at random) will win:
1) One month’s royalties earned from The Page;
2) The original manuscript (of which there is only one);
3) A numbered and signed copy of The Page – review copy – there are only 20 of these worldwide;
4) A signed copy of my back catalogue in paperback or kindle version;
5) The Page promotional mug;
6) A free signed copy of all future novels released by me for life.
The overall winner will win 1-6 above. 2nd/3rd will received 4-6 only.
Jonathan Lee was born in a small mining town somewhere in the north of England. His first novel, The Radio was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012 for new authors, coming second from over 4,000 entries. The Radio was published in April 2013 and has received critical acclaim and sold more than 5,000 copies. His second novel, The Page is published in Spring 2015.
Jonathan will be awarding one (1) of only 20 limited run, signed review copies of The Page and one (1) signed first edition of The Radio to a randomly drawn winner (International) via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.
The tour dates can be found here