Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blog Tour Stop: 'The Exclusives' with the Author Rebecca Thornton

I am delighted that I am able to introduce you all to the author Rebecca Thornton at 'The Secret Writer' today. Rebecca has just written a powerful debut novel entitled 'The Exclusives' which is about friendship and tragedy at an exclusive boarding school.

Rebecca works as a journalist and also runs an on-line advertising business. She has written for a number of well known magazines and newspapers and has travelled to many parts of the world in her job role as a journalist.

Rebecca is with us today to answer some questions that I have put to her in relation to her new novel 'The Exclusives' and I am very grateful to Rebecca for visiting us here today.

Rebecca, on creating the two central characters in 'The Exclusives' Freya and Josephine, where did your inspiration for their characters come from? Are they similar to you or anyone you know in any way? How was it writing about them when they were teenagers and also when they are adults and do you sympathise with them?

Hi Calum. Thanks so much for having me here at 'The Secret Writer'.

My two main characters, Josephine and Freya, are best friends at an exclusive English boarding school. They've been brought together by the absence of both their mothers and ripped apart by the after-effect of a celebratory night out that goes wrong.
My inspiration for Josephine came from a voice that entered my head at three o'clock one morning. It was the beginning part of my novel and the tone of the words paved the way for Josephine’s character – complex and damaged but also upright and non-defeatist. I initially had no idea what I was going to write about. I knew I wanted to set a novel in a girls’ boarding school but that was it. I had tried writing in third-person and when someone suggested I try first-person that sparked the inspiration for Josephine’s voice and thereafter, the plot.
For Freya, Josephine’s best friend, I needed someone who was the opposite to Josephine but with similar qualities – both are fragile, yet show it in totally different ways. Looks wise, I had in mind a Hollywood actress when I wrote Freya. But only because I've got a bit of a girl crush on this celeb – in that I love all her films and the way she dresses. Bit sad!

Another of the lesser main characters was based on someone I saw on Facebook! I was scrolling through some random person’s network and I saw this girl that totally fitted how I imagined Verity, the Deputy Head Girl, to be. I couldn't get her out my head, so every time I wrote about Verity, I brought the image of this girl from Facebook into my mind. I still don’t even know who she is! It would be very peculiar if I ever happened to bump into her or meet her one day.
The characters aren't intentionally similar to myself or anyone I know. I desperately tried to base one of the characters on someone I know because I thought it would be a really easy way out. Unfortunately, it totally hampered the story – there was no space for my imagination to flow as the character kept doing things that this girl would do in real life, so I had to start all over again.
I'm sure there are parts of me in the book somewhere. I’d better not admit that too much because after my husband read it, I think he was a bit shocked.
I loved writing the girls as teenagers. It felt really uninhibited and nostalgic about how little they knew and how vulnerable they were. I found it interesting to see what type of people they developed into as adults and I sympathised with both Freya and Josephine. They both dealt with things in polar opposite ways but their foundations were the same.  Josephine is harder to sympathise with because she is more of a divisive character but in the end, I think that’s why I felt sorrier for her.

Book Synopsis
1996. Freya Seymour and Josephine Grey are invincible - beautiful and brilliant, the two best friends are on the cusp of Oxbridge, and the success they always dreamed they'd share.

2014. Freya gets in touch, looking for a conversation Josephine has run away from for eighteen long and tortured years. 

Beginning with one ill-fated night, The Exclusives charts the agonising spiral of friendship gone wrong, the heartache and betrayal of letting down those closest to you and the poisonous possibilities of what we wouldn't do when everything we prize is placed under threat. 

And in the end, as she realises she cannot run for ever, Josephine must answer one question: is it Freya she cannot face, or is it her own darkest secret?

The Exclusives published by Twenty7 is out on December 10th in e-book and in paperback on the 7th April 2016


  1. Hi Calum thank you so much for having me as part of the blog tour. It's hugely appreciated x Loving the blog!

    1. You are very welcome Rebecca and thank you again for taking the time to visit us all here :-)


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