I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Legend Press author Tara Guha to the blog today as she releases her debut novel, Untouchable Things – whoohoo! This novel won the coveted Luke Bitmard Bursary last year. Here’s Tara to tell us a bit more about it.
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
A tapestry of seven brightly coloured lives and the single black thread that weaves them together.
Who is your favourite character and why?
With eight major characters in the novel, that’s not an easy question to answer! There are aspects of all the characters that I like or admire. Rebecca is the character I relate to most, and the one we follow most closely in the narrative. I’m hugely fond of José, enjoy Anna’s sharp tongue and feel for Michael and Catherine as they struggle with themselves. But the most compelling character for me is Seth. He makes the book what it is.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
I love authors who explore the dark side of people and relationships, and for that reason Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is the book that has fascinated and inspired me most over the years. Also up there is Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. But in terms of inspiration and support to break through my (many) blocks and start writing this novel, I’m hugely indebted to Julia Cameron and her creative handbook The Artist’s Way.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
Have you been peeping through my window? My writing process (and house) is inevitably confusion and paper flying everywhere, much as I’d like it to be otherwise. I’ve told myself that I’m going to be more organised with my second book and plan things out better in advance, but it’s hard to break habits of a lifetime!
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
The internet, it pains me to say. I only succumbed to Facebook a few months ago, knowing full well what effect it would have on my concentration, and so it has proven to be. It’s not necessarily a “pleasure” flicking around checking social media and news websites, but it’s a distraction on days when the writing is a struggle. I also find it hard to write without a mug of strong tea by my side, but I’m well past the point of feeling guilty about that!
Please share your blurb with us.
For the third time this week he is watching her scream.
Watching, not listening.
Rebecca Laurence is centre stage and shining in her role as Ophelia. She pivots, rotating like a ballerina impaled in a musical box, red hair cascading down her back. Amidst the thundering applause, one man is watching.
Rebecca meets the charismatic Seth Gardner, and as attraction grows between them, he invites her to join his Friday Folly, a group of artistic friends. But as Rebecca is drawn into the web of tangled relationships all is not as it appears. The scene is set for the night that will rip the group apart.
Consumed by loss and surrounded by secrets, Rebecca must escape the grip of the Folly to have any chance of saving herself. Meanwhile, one man continues to watch.
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book and can tell you it’s a great read! Untouchable Things is available here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tara Guha was born to an Indian father and English mother and spent her childhood in the Ribble Valley, passing many a wet day writing poetry and music. After studying English at Cambridge she embarked on a career in the classical music industry in London, promoting artists including Placido Domingo, Paul McCartney and Dudley Moore. Over the years she has also been a freelance journalist, charity worker and has trained as a counsellor. Tara is a keen amateur pianist, singer and song-writer and lives in the hills of West Yorkshire with her partner and two daughters.