Friday, 5 May 2017

Guest Post: My Guilty Little Secret by Cat Clarke

I've been a huge fan of Cat Clarke's books since her debut Entangled was released back in 2011 so I'm chuffed to bits to have her on the blog today to celebrate the release of her new novel Girlhood. Today Cat is telling us all about her guilty little secret and the role guilt has to play in her books.

My Guilty Little Secret by Cat Clarke 

I tend to write so-called ‘dark’ books, often dealing with subjects like death, grief and depression. But something I keep coming back to again and again is guilt. It features in almost everything I’ve written, most notably in Torn and A Kiss in the Dark. My guilty little secret is my obsession with guilt.

In my latest book, Girlhood, Harper feels guilty about the death of her twin sister, Jenna. Her guilt is so deeply felt that it’s completely intertwined with her grief; it threatens to drown her. The guilt isolates her from her parents, who are too busy grieving to even realize. It isolates her from her best friends, since she’s never talked to them about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s death. When the new girl arrives, Harper finally feels like she’s found someone she can confide in. Of course, this is a story written by me, so things don’t quite work out as planned.

Lots of people feel guilty following the death of someone we care about. We feel we should have treated them better, told them we loved them. In extreme situations, we might even blame ourselves for the death. It would never have happened if… If only I’d…

‘If only’ is a very powerful thought. A pointless, toxic thought, but one that we all have from time to time, because all of us feel guilty about something. I think it helps to talk about guilt. To confess, if you prefer to look at it that way. If you choose the right person to talk to, chances are they’ll reassure you and help put things in perspective. If you can’t face confiding in someone, then imagine your best friend, or someone you love, confiding in you. You’d reassure them, wouldn’t you? (Unless you’re an evil monster, in which case, what are you doing reading Jess’s lovely blog? Be gone, monster!) It never ceases to amaze me that we’re so much harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Humans are weird like that.

Of course, being an evil author, what interests me most is what happens when you confide in the wrong person… And you can read Girlhood if you fancy finding out.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today Cat! 
For more from Cat you can follow her on Twitter @cat_clarke 
Girlhood is available to buy now in all good bookshops
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