The lovely Beth Thomas stopped by Tesco HQ to tell us about her debut book, Carry You, and what inspired her to put pen to paper.
Hello Tesco Books Blog readers,
In the Museum of Unlikely Results From Apparently Unrelated Events (it’s in Paris), between cake (the first person to make a sponge was actually trying to make a small bag for carrying arrows) and coffee (a drink? from beans?) is my debut novel, Carry You. Why is it there? I hear you ask. Well, it’s the unlikely result from an apparently unrelated event, of course.
It all started four years ago when a good friend of mine asked me if I would join her in a charity walk in aid of breast cancer research, called The Moonwalk. Hmm, I’d heard of that. Wasn’t that the one a colleague of mine had done a year or two earlier, and had then – rather awkwardly, I felt – emailed photographs of herself at the finish line to everyone in the office? I was embarrassed for her about those photos. She was just in her bra, you see. That’s the idea of the Moonwalk – it’s a twenty-six mile power walk around London, starting at midnight. In your bra.
I agreed. My mum died of cancer, and although it was seven years earlier, it never really goes away, losing a parent. I wanted to do something to honour her, and help others, and this was perfect. But I decided in parentheses that I would definitely not be circulating photos of myself in nothing but my underwear like my colleague had. I would maintain dignity and integrity at all times. How wrong I was. It turns out that once you’ve had your bra out all night in front of the entire capital, you want everyone to know about it (and losing three stone and toning up very nicely thank you during training certainly helped on the photograph front.)
Completing my first Moonwalk in 2010 was a life-changing event because it taught me that I could achieve anything. I hadn’t realised until then exactly what I was capable of. I was so exhilarated, inspired, moved and overwhelmed by the experience, I knew I had to write about it, and what started as a physical challenge for charity became my novel, Carry You. Suddenly I was a marathon-walking, money-raising, goal-achieving author, and I was on an accomplishment high. I didn’t want to come down.
So my next challenge took me literally up high. Like Daisy, the lead character in Carry You, I am terrified of heights. I am completely useless on a bridge. So when the same good friend suggested climbing a mountain, I thought, yeah, sure, I can do anything, I’m an achiever. In parentheses I thought, it’s only Snowdon anyway. More of a hill than a mountain, right?
It’s definitely a mountain. I know that now. How do I know that? Because I flipping well climbed that thing. I practically swallowed my own heart doing it, but I got up it, and I got back down again. Hell, yeah.
So now I need a challenge for this year. Obviously I have my debut novel coming out, and I’m working hard on my second, but I need something that’s going to push me to my limits (without involving going up high). Anyone got any ideas?
Love, Beth x