An engrossing and terrifying supernatural thriller
Published in paperback by Headline on 17th July 2014, priced £7.99
SELECTED FOR THE RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB
He has a face you love. A voice you trust.
To survive you must kill him.
The rules of survival are handed from mother to daughter.
Inherited, like the curse that has stalked Hannah and her family across centuries.
He changes his appearance at will, speaks with a stolen voice and hides behind the face of a beloved, waiting to strike.
Generation after generation, he has destroyed them.
And all they could do was to run.
Now, it is time for Hannah to turn and fight.
‘So gripping you'll want to read late into the night; so terrifying you shouldn't’
Simon Mayo, the Radio 2 Book Club
‘Original, richly imagined and powerfully told’ – Guardian
‘Will keep you awake late into the night’ – SFX
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21349281-the-string-diaries
Amazon : http://www.amazon.co.uk/String-Diaries-Stephen-Lloyd-Jones/dp/1472204689/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405441102&sr=8-1&keywords=The+String+Diaries+by+Stephen+Lloyd+Jones
Author Interview :
Where did the idea of The String Diaries come from?
It started with a single image that later formed the opening scene of the book: a terrified young mother driving through the mountains at night, looking for a place to hide. Her husband is slumped on the passenger seat, bleeding from terrible injuries. Her daughter is asleep in the back. At the time I didn’t know what had happened to the family, or from what they were fleeing. I spent the next two years finding out.
Since it takes place in different places and times, what research did you have to do?
Most of the research I undertook concerned the historical sections set in Budapest. I visited the city, spent a huge amount of time studying its culture, and pored over old maps and photographs. I also took Hungarian language classes to make sure all the phraseology I used was accurate.
Was The String Diaries always the name you had chosen for the book or was there a different one?
Yes, that’s the one that appeared on the submission package. I hear it’s quite unusual for a book to arrive in print with its original title intact, but I do like it. I think it fits.
Why shape shifters?
I asked myself the question – what’s the most frightening thing this family could be fleeing from? To me, the idea that any of the people I love could have been replaced by an imposter is intensely chilling. The hosszú életek who appear in the book are not shape shifters in the traditional sense – their abilities are far more constrained. Even so, they’re an overwhelming threat.
Lukács is a terrifying bad guy, did you always have a clear picture of how he would turn out?
I did, although writing some of his scenes was disturbing, even so. Lukács faces challenges as a young boy, but none are insurmountable. His responses are an indicator of his actions in later life. It’s the main reason I wanted to show his early years. He commits increasingly appalling acts as he grows older, but while he’s self-aware enough to feel remorse, he always finds a way, ultimately, of blaming others.
How long did it take to write The String Diaries?
Eighteen months from start to finish, and another six months of editing.
How has the publishing journey been so far?
There’s nothing better in the world than knowing that people are reading your stories. I’m immeasurably grateful to every single person who picks up one of mine. I hope I don’t let them down.
Finally describe your book in 5 words.
Don’t read late at night.
About The Author :
Stephen Lloyd Jones studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London and is the director of a major London media agency. The String Diaries is his first novel and Headline are delighted to announce that Stephen’s second novel will be published in hardback in November this year.
PRAISE FOR THE STRING DIARIES
‘The String Diaries has an unusual innovative plot that is rounded and well written; not one word is wasted
and it is a brilliant first novel and a truly gripping read.’
We Love This Book
‘Travelling from an dark history, to a frightening now, The String Diaries needs to go on your wishlist!’
BCF Book Reviews
‘Speaking as one who peeled herself off the ceiling after the first few chapters, fear of the unknown is a powerful emotion; as powerful as the hope that one day Stephen Lloyd Jones will write a second novel.’
‘A brand new author that not only gives you a thrill a minute ride but also adds to the mix a touch of urban fantasy that will leave you looking round the room, checking that the dark malevolent shadow within the pages hasn’t crept out to pay you a visit.’