Wednesday, 14 August 2013


I was just thinking today - no wonder I'm exhausted.  I took a half-finished story and pushed, pulled, finished, and edited it (3 times) within 10 weeks.  Yeesh!  As much as I'm super-proud of it, it did come at a price.  My poor family - I've basically been coming home from the day job and locking myself in my studio.  Thank goodness they realised it was only a short-term thing!

These past few days have been spent catching up on family time and sleep, and I'm just about feeling "normal" again.  My body clock is slowly righting itself after all those 2am bedtimes, and I no longer have to wear a name tag to remind my family of who I am.  Things are looking up!

So, what's next, you might ask?  Well, I finished a story a couple of years ago that I'm keen to revamp and edit into my next release.  I've been thinking about it for the past few days, and I made a momentous decision regarding the format of it today: I'm going to split it into three parts.  Not three books, but three parts.

You see, the story takes place over three days - an anniversary get-together by a group of friends - and over three years.  So, I've decided to write those three days in each part, one part per year.  Hopefully this will work!  I'm hoping this brings about the character progression that I think this story needs.  You see, the subject matter is not a light one: suicide.

The story is titled "Anniversary" and here is the synopsis for you:

Danny was larger than life - right up until he shot himself.

Each year, his friends mark the anniversary of his death by meeting at the beach house owned by Danny's family.  Together, they relive the memories, both good and bad, and try to deal with the questions that his suicide inevitably left them with.  Why didn't he tell anyone what he was planning?  Why did he do it?  

Danny's girlfriend, Kate, blames herself.  She should have known - shouldn't she?  Max was the one who found him that day, and what he saw has altered his entire future.  His best friend Finn is tired of watching everyone tear themselves apart over what went wrong, but you can't speak ill of the dead - can you?  

Told over the course of three years, and three weekends, we see the effect that Danny's decision has had on everyone he loves.  It may have seemed like the easy way out for Danny, but there is no doubt about the devastation he left behind.  

Friendship.  The word itself conjures up images of camaraderie, of trust, of love.  But what happens when that trust is broken and when that love is thrown back in your face?

Over the next few weeks, I intend on beginning the editing process (once the other parts of my life are back in kilter!).  I'm aiming to finish in 2014 and will look at publication options then.  In the meantime, I'm hoping to be able to share some snippets and teasers with you!

Thanks for all your support thus far - I can't wait to share "Absolution" with you all, and hopefully "Anniversary" too!  If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them - either here on my blog, or over on my Facebook page.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

"Absolution" - The Prologue

The very fact that I'm writing this post means that I have 300 likers/fans on my Facebook page - woot!  Thank you all, I'm so glad you joined me on this journey!  I love hearing your comments and having that interaction with you.

So, as promised, here is the prologue for "Absolution", in it's entirety.  I'd love to hear any comments or feedback you have - either by leaving a comment here on my blog (below) or by popping back to my Facebook page and telling me there.


By Amanda Dick


“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”
~ Virginia Woolf

“Eddie Vedder is a god.” Ally announced from the back seat.  “No doubt about it.”
Jack nodded at her in the rear-view mirror.  “No arguments from me.”
“I’d go along with that.” Callum agreed.
“And not only is he a god, but he has to be one of the sexiest men on the planet.” she continued.
“Good save.” Jack winked. 
“He’s the guy that chicks want, and guys want to be like.” Callum smirked.  “But I don’t blame you - if I was a chick, I’d do him.”
“Ugh.” Ally screwed up her face.  “Now I need bleach to scrub that mental image from my brain.”
“You’re welcome.”
Ally leaned forward between the seats.  “Okay – favorite song from the concert tonight.”
Jack pulled a face, thinking, his eyes on the road ahead. 
“’Jeremy’.” he decided finally.
“’Crown of Thorns’.” Callum said.  “I never got to see Mother Love Bone live so it’s the next best thing.  Although ‘Why Go’ was pretty freakin’ amazing.”
He broke into a frenzied air guitar session in the front seat, his expression rapturous.   
Jack chuckled as Callum turned back to Ally.  “Yours?”
“’Black’.” she said, without hesitation.  “With ‘Release’ a close second.”  She held up the camera, grinning.  “And I got it all on video.  Can’t wait to get home and upload it.”
Jack smiled as she screwed up her face and squealed happily, leaning back again.
“I cannot believe it’s taken so long to see them live, but tonight was worth the wait.”
“He has the sexiest voice – ever.” she sighed.
“Hello?” Callum turned around in the seat, throwing his hands up.  “Do we have to spend the entire trip home hearing about how sexy he is?  I’m sure that, given half a chance, he’d prefer to be known for his talent than his looks or his…general sexiness.”
“Jealous?” Ally asked cheekily.
“When I have all this at my fingertips?” he smirked, running his hand through his hair haughtily.  “Not a chance.  And come on - he may be sexy, and he may be a rock god, but I’m sure it’s not fun and games all the time.  I mean, he probably has those paparazzi bottom-feeders chasing him all over the world, splashing his visit to the pharmacy to buy haemorrhoid cream all over the front page – that’s gotta suck, for sure.”
Ally leaned forward from the back seat to swat him hard around the head.
“Don’t you dare drag him down to mortal level like that!” she laughed.  “I’m sure he has people to do all that stuff for him.”
“True.  He probably has people to apply the cream for him, too.”
Ally leaned forward to slap him again but he ducked out of the way at the last minute, catching a slight cuff to the ear instead.
“Quit it, you two.  Don’t make me the grown-up here.” Jack warned, grinning as he anticipated the approaching corner, taking his foot off the gas slightly. 
The road was still wet, even if the rain had stopped.  The country road had been lined with trees for the past half mile, trapping the light from the headlights, bouncing it off the undergrowth and back out onto the road again.  The effect was slightly eerie and he was grateful when the trees gave way to the open countryside again. 
“She’s vicious!” Callum insisted, rubbing his head vigorously.  “You oughtta put a leash on her.”
“Turn the music up will you?  Can’t hear it over the whiny bitching in here.”
Jack glanced at her in the rear-view mirror and she smiled back, winking wickedly.  She was in a playful mood tonight, still on a high from the concert.  He could relate - his ears were still buzzing and adrenaline hummed through his veins.  It had been worth the long drive there and back but he suddenly wished they were home already.  The ring that was tucked safely into the pocket of his jeans dug into him as a physical reminder of what lay ahead.  But first, they had to drop Callum off at his place. 
Distracting himself, he leaned over to turn the music up and Eddie Vedder’s sultry voice filled the car.  Ally swayed to the music in the back seat, eyes closed, satisfied smile on her face.  He turned his attention back to the road as they rounded the corner.  Headlights cut through the dark, directly into their path, and his heart leapt into his throat.  He knew instinctively what was about to happen mere seconds before the car hit them. 
Callum yelled something as he automatically wrenched the steering wheel away from the blinding light.  It all happened so fast, he didn’t even have time to slam on the brakes.  The impact was mind-blowing, sending a shuddering jolt throughout his entire body that seemed to shake his bones loose, turning his limbs to jelly.  Time stopped as they skidded across the road, the buzzing in his ears blocking everything else out momentarily.  Then they were upside down and plunged into darkness.  He squinted out through the windshield at a sea of dark green and black, his brain struggling to process what was happening, trying to prepare himself even though a part of him knew there was no preparing for any of this.  His fate was completely out of his hands.  He felt like he was moving simultaneously in slow-motion and fast-forward and it crossed his mind that this might be how he died.  A strange calmness washed over him as he waited for his life to flash before his eyes.
The car suddenly bounced as it left the road, ripping through a fence, the trees ahead rapidly filling the windscreen as he mentally braced himself for the impact.  He was being tossed around like a rag doll and the crazy rollercoaster ride ended as abruptly as it had begun, jolting him again, throwing a spear of pain through his shoulder and neck that momentarily left him breathless. 
And then there was silence.  Buzzing, humming, vibrating silence. 

Don't forget - "Absolution" comes out in ebook format via Amazon and Barnes & Noble in October 2013 - print run to follow.

~ Amanda