I’m so very pleased to welcome author Pat Young to the blog today as part of the blog tour to talk about what inspired her to write her debut Till the Dust Settles! Many thanks to Pat Young, Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for the opportunity and my advanced copy.
Author : Pat Young
Title : Till the Dust Settles
Pages : 306
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : July 27, 2017
Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide.
Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.
As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.
On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again.
She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.
Readers often wonder where writers find their inspiration. ‘How did you get the idea for this book?’ is a question asked at almost every book launch or author interview I’ve ever attended. The responses vary enormously and sometimes the writer doesn’t even know the answer.
I can identify the exact moment in time when I was inspired to tell Lucie’s story. I didn’t know that her name would be Lucie or anything about her or what would happen to her. That came later, once I started writing, but the seed of a plot was planted in my brain one night in September when I was sat in front of the television.
It was the anniversary of 9/11. Perhaps every anniversary is marked with special programs on TV but I had never seen them. My husband was away from home, so I had control of the remote and I was channel-hopping. Three documentaries caught my attention. I watched them back to back.
One was about the dust that shrouded Manhattan after the Towers fell. It was the first time I’d seen images of people caught in the dust shower. I saw how they became completely unrecognisable. It was impossible, in some cases, to say whether a person was male or female, black or white, young or old. They were walking snowmen. No other way to describe them.
The second report was about a woman who pretended to be a survivor, although she was nowhere near New York State on September 11th 2001. This woman, for reasons known only to herself (and her psychiatrist) set up and became leader of a survivors’ group. She made herself so well-known that she ended up standing at Barack Obama’s side at the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial. No one thought to question her. She was accepted as being who she said she was.
The third programme focussed on crime. Apparently, thousands of crimes occur in New York every single day. Anything from shoplifting to murder. Compared to a horrific terrorist attack, every crime seemed petty. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, according to this documentary, many felonies, from the small to the very serious, went undetected, or at least, unreported. As far as the USA was concerned, there was no news, other than the tragedy that had occurred in Manhattan.
A person shrouded in dust beyond recognition, a woman pretending to be someone she was not and serious crime going unnoticed. The three came together and inspired a ‘What if?’ moment. For me that’s the start of every story and it was a great start to this one.
What if a young woman has committed a terrible crime?
What if she’s running away when she gets caught up in the dust storm?
What if such an awful tragedy gives her the chance to take on a new identity?
And so Till the Dust Settles was born.
Thank you so much Pat for taking the time to tell us what inspired you to write this story!
Till the Dust Settles was published on July 27th.
Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.
Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.
Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.
Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.
Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.