Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Who is Tess Stimson?

I've discovered a fantastic new chick lit author in Tess Stimson. I received a copy of the Cradle Snatcher for my birthday last month and perhaps sometimes you really should judge a book by its cover. i.e. fucsia metallic cover, gratuitous patterning = great read. After a weekend away in Catherine Cookson county, I've had no choice but to recover in bed reading this gem. 
Each chapter ends with a one-liner "hook" - the plot is fast moving and punchy, which explains how I read 108 pages in one sitting. One sitting without any interruptions, such as refilling my popcorn bowl, answering text messages or making a cup of early grey. I also love the way that each chapter is written from a different character viewpoint, with some of the scenes repeated through the eyes of another character. 
That said, the characters are fab - from the sloaney clueless new mum Clare, the toyboy cad of a husband, the shady and elusive nanny with a variety of injuries and gorgeous baby twins. The most curious character is Lady Davina - Clare's "mother", who's favoured the hands-off approach to parenting and appears to have raised two emotional-wrecks in the process.
The format of this book is fairly unique, compared to other recent chicklit offerings. I enjoyed the constant twists and turns of the plot (none of which I'll give away here, as I'd encourage you to curl up with a copy and find out); there's plenty of suspense and multiple story lines. If you're looking for an example of something that has the page turning-factor, this would be your textbook.
The author interview also gives tips to fellow writers - Tessa favours using strong characters to drive the book. She also mentions that while writing a novel, she always has a clear idea of how the book will end, although she's not always sure how the characters will get there. Phew! It was a relief to hear that.
And the other good news? Tessa has two other novels published for me to get hold of - hurrah!

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