Guest post by Rae Stoltenkamp: Birth of a Book

Please welcome my friend Rae Stoltenkamp to Murder Underground Broke The Camel’s Back for another guest post, this time to celebrate the launch of her book Palindrome (I am already halfway through and it has me hooked! My own review will be coming soon…)

Rae Stoltenkamp

First of all I have to state categorically that I did not plan on writing Palindrome. I was adamant there would be no sequel to my debut novel Six Dead Men as I was already working on several other ideas. Denial is futile. This prequel insisted on being written. Its conception is due to a vivid dream I had in which a woman was remembering the day her baby was born. I woke with the realisation that it was Robert’s mother I was hearing. I grabbed a notebook and hastily jotted down the gist of what she had to say.  

 At the time I was concentrating on other projects but several of the characters kept demanding I tell the world more about them. So Six Degrees a la Kevin Bacon style was conceived. It’s a series of 6 vignettes which focus on the back story of Six Dead Men. This little collection hints at links between characters and situations.  I thought this would mollify my nagging characters. But Robert’s mum, Rowena Deed kept speaking to me. 

 Eventually I got my notebook out and began typing up the bare bones of a monologue from my dream encounter. Before I knew what had happened I’d written almost 5000 words. At this point I realised Robert & his mum’s story needed telling. So I resigned myself to the fact and got cracking. I blame my good friend Victor Zaiger for this. He repeatedly told me how much he loved Robert’s character and wanted more Robert Deed stories. 

 Initially I thought the novella would be from Rowena’s perspective. Then young Robert began to creep in and I had to imagine myself as a weird 13 year old boy with burgeoning psychic powers, living in the 1970s. No easy feat I can tell you. To complicate matters even further, the book decided it needed to be set in Scotland. So Google and I went in search of a suitable location. I decided proximity to Edinburgh needed to be a factor just because I liked the idea. Haddington came up and when I did an online scout of the area it seemed to suit my needs perfectly. I hasten to add at this point that I’ve done that cheeky thing authors do and have changed bits of the town to suit my story’s needs. I hope the inhabitants of Haddington will forgive me in time. 

 Central to the plot is Robert’s relationship with those around him – his parents, the school librarian, Lorenzo Tomassi – his best friend and chef up at the Big Hoose, the vivacious Luisa Pearce – his first crush. This is also the story of a murder, a xenophobic policeman, a young female constable and an Australian sheep farmer. 

 Each of the themes are important to me: discrimination, alienation, belonging, female empowerment, strong yet sensitive male figures and family relations. 

 With all this in place, my latest literary baby is heading for the delivery room. Please don’t be shy – crowd in for the birth. It’s a very public affair. 

Due date: 27th July.  

 To start off the celebrations, my debut novel – Six Dead Men is available FREE exclusively through Instafreebie for e-readers. Why not grab a copy now! 


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