I’m here today on the Good Girl Bad Girl blog tour with a wonderful guest post from Ann Girdharry about her inspiration for the book!
I’ve already started reading this book and I am very much addicted to it. It’s full of intricate details as well as mystery and intrigue. I have to know how it is all going to come together!
So without further ado, here’s some info on the book.
About the Book
Mother missing, the discovery of a powerful and corrupt syndicate and dark secrets about her father revealed leaves 28-year old Kal determined to pursue her own investigations, no matter what sinister truths she uncovers, in this intense psychological thriller.
Kal is convinced her investigative journalist mother must have been working on a controversial, and top level, news story, it is the only explanation for her sudden and suspicious disappearance. Although mistrustful of the police, Kal allows Detective Inspector Spinks, the officer assigned to her mother’s case, to accompany her when she visits her grandmother to break the news. What they don’t expect is to uncover a file of shocking research cataloguing the deviant activities of seven members of London’s political and business elite. Back on the streets of London, the survival instincts and specialist expertise she learned from her late father, kick into overdrive, as Kal resolves to not only find her mother but continue her work and unveil the conspiracy hidden amongst those in power.
I love to write mystery and psychological suspense. I like to take the reader on a journey where they can see the darker sides of human nature, and I like them to experience that darker side in a place that they didn’t expect to see it – like next door, or, better still, right on their doorstep. Once, when my very best friend told me she had to stop reading one of my stories because she found it ‘too frightening’, I took it as a great compliment.
My starting point for Good Girl Bad Girl was the idea of Kal and her family. More specifically, I wanted to create a situation where Kal would be faced with impossible choices – saving her mother or saving a child. Then, if she avenges those she loves does that make Kal evil? Which line will she take when she is absolutely pushed over her limits?
You see, I’ve worked in some extreme situations – for instance with survivors of rape, or victims of racial attacks and I’ve studied psychology and I’ve reflected on all the nasty ways that the mind can turn. As well as all the inspiring ways. So that means I can create situations where characters can be made to face their darker sides. I think it’s the darker side within each of us that really scares us. It’s easy, or certainly easier, to create a villain who has a dark side. What’s even better is to create a main character who is haunted by the possibility of her own darker side.
That was the key inspiration for this story.
So then we have Kal’s father. Since he died some time ago, we only see his influence working its way in the story through Kal. David Khan shaped her. He made her who she is. She fears that he made her everything that she is and Kal’s father had a secretive side. A dark side. How dark, we shall find out in the story and we shall see also the triangle that is formed of Kal, Alesha and David Khan because what we don’t know, and what Kal is tormented by, is the possibility of a connection between her mother’s disappearance and David Khan’s secret life. That part of the story will take us into the place that Kal doesn’t want to go, but, she must go there.
I think that the layers of a story are really important too. So, in this book friendship plays a key role. Family plays a key role too – the good, the bad and the inherited parts we can do nothing about. Fate plays a part. The past is important. Personal values and ethics have a leading role.
People often like to know if characters are based on anyone in particular. For me, none of my characters are based on just one person. Rather, they are an amalgamation of traits and looks and temperaments and thinking that come from many different people I’ve encountered or known in my life.
It’s true that when you’re writing about them, characters take on a life of their own, so that perhaps a thought you had about them at the beginning will no longer suit them by the end of the book because they’ve taken on their own personality by then. This happened for me with Kal and Marty, and, more surprisingly, with Sarah – she turned out much more assertive than I had initially imagined her to be, but it was really right for her!
Stereotypes were also a source of inspiration for me, or rather, the overturning of stereotypes. In particular, I’m talking about stereotypes in relation to women and those about ethnic groups. LeeMing himself alludes to this when he decides to pose as the pizza delivery boy and when he talks about Marty’s take on the Triad. We hear Kal’s thoughts about her ability to pass under the radar due to her ethnicity and we hear her grandmother’s comments about life as an immigrant and how she’s been treated during her life in England.
My imagination has always been my worst enemy friend, and all the elements I’ve talked about here were thrown into the pot to cook up Good Girl Bad Girl.
About the Author
Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racism and racial attacks. Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children. As well as her passion for writing, Ann enjoys gardening and is a member of her local roller blading club. Ann has previously published a series of short stories called Tales of the Unexpected (2015-2016). Her debut novel, and the first in the Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry (published by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing 23rd August 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.