It’s a common misconception that most suicides are an impulsive act – and something I thought was true as well. Although we can’t speak to those who have killed themselves, we can still ask those who survived about their ordeal. And many admit to planning out their suicide for months, maybe even years, before taking any action.
If you remove the impulsiveness from suicide, then it becomes a measured act. From a writing perspective, this slows everything down: the suicide is all the time leading up to the act – and for those that survive it is all the time after it too.
Time is an important tool in a novel. In thrillers, for example, there’s often a race against time to recue someone; in a romance, there might be just five days until the prom to ask someone out. The way we tell stories distorts time, and I wanted to explore how a suicide can both speed up and slow down time.
Part of the “planning” of a suicide includes whether or not to leave a note. Only 1-in-5 people who take their own lives leave any kind of message saying sorry or explaining why. Again, speaking to those who survive, for many it’s because they don’t know how to say what they want to say or they don’t want their words to be misinterpreted.
In The Victoria Lie, this is the case for Zoe too:
“It wouldn’t have mattered what I wrote in a note, it wouldn’t have been enough. It could be the simplest language and it would be overanalysed, each sentence disassembled. Goodbye is a really simple thing to say face-to- face, but impossible in a note.”
She wants to explain to boyfriend James and best friend Alison her wish to die is nothing to do with them and to ask them to move on with their lives. She wants to do this face-to-face, but without this giving them the means to stop her. So she takes a Paracetamol overdose.
When I was researching overdosing on the Internet, I discovered that Paracetamol kills you by destroying your liver. It’s a slow, painful death that can take up to 10 days. A Paracetamol overdose can be treated within the first few hours, but if the treatment is given too late and fails, the only option is a liver transplant – an option rarely available to those who’ve taken a purposeful overdose.
This slow death gives Zoe an opportunity to talk to James and Alison from her hospital bed – after she’s taken the overdose.
“I knew a Paracetamol overdose would give me a window of a few days, before I died, to talk to you about it, to explain. I didn’t want to leave you wondering why, wondering if there was anything you could have done. I knew this way you’d have the chance to ask, so you wouldn’t be left with any niggling questions. I wanted to make sure you could move on.”
I wanted to make sure Zoe’s story was feasible, so I researched further – and found two real life cases of people taking Paracetamol and because they wanted to use the post-overdose period of time to say goodbye.
When someone is dying every second important: but if they’re dying slowly then the days yawn ahead of their death. Both James and Alison struggle to come to terms with what’s going on: they find it difficult to be around Zoe but know if they don’t spend time with her they’ll regret it once she’s gone.
When you have a few days left, you have no time at all and all the time in the world.
British writer Sarah Marie Graye is the author of The Butterfly Effect series, which looks at suicides and those left behind. The Second Cup, the first book in the series, was published in July 2017, and this Blog Tour is to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series, The Victoria Lie.
Social Media Links – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon
When is a lie a lifeline? To Tori lies are everything.
ZOE wants to end her life. But she can’t just leave a note. She needs to say goodbye to boyfriend JAMES and best friend ALISON.
TORI is waiting in the wings to fill the space ZOE will leave behind, wanting to claim both James and Alison for herself.
But with ZOE still alive and Alison’s childhood friend RUBY now on the scene vying to fill the gap, TORI realises she has her work cut out.
Just what lengths is TORI willing to go to in order to claim Alison and James for herself?
(Trigger warnings: Suicide, depression, IRA bombings, ADHD, Autism, manipulative characters.)
Purchase Link – Amazon
For a chance to win 3 x Signed copies of “The Victoria Lie” by Sarah Marie Graye Click Here
(Open to UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Today I have Sarah Marie Graye, author of “The Victoria Lie“, joining me on the blog as part of the Book Launch Blog Tour. And I’m so thankful for Sarah for bringing this subject into light on my blog.
Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers that given their contribute in this Blog Tour, from reviews and basic promo/spotlight posts.
Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.
If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out my Request Review page.
I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.
And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.
2 thoughts on “Guest Post: “The Victoria Lie”, by Sarah Marie Graye”
Sarah did an amazing Guest Post.