I have a new book out! PICTURE HIM is the story of Aliya, a girl who prefers taking photos to talking to people. Aliya has a stammer, and apart from to her best friend Zoe, she doesn’t talk much.
Aliya’s a talented photographer, and it’s only gradually that she realises there’s something odd going on…in many of her photographs, there’s a shadowy figure in the background. Someone is watching her, it seems…but who, and why?
I loved writing this short story for teen readers. Aliya and Zoe make a strong team as they decide to tackle the mysterious stalker, and I loved writing the ending too. But what was particularly cool about doing this book was that it’s the first one to include my own photographs! I love photography, though I’m still very much an amateur with a decent camera. When I was writing the story, it hadn’t occurred to me to suggest my own photos for use in the book, but I came to realise that stock photos (where you choose from a large library the one that most closely matches your needs) simply wouldn’t do the job. In the story, Aliya takes photos of Zoe dressed up as a zombie princess for a school project – what was the likelihood of being able to find exactly the right pictures to illustrate that?
So hesitantly, I suggested to the publisher, Ransom, that maybe they could use some of my photos for the book. They thought it was a brilliant idea, and so shortly after that, I conducted my first ever photoshoot with a friend’s teenage daughter all dressed up as a zombie princess! It was SO much fun, and although this little book is unlikely to be available in high street bookshops, it will be available to schools and through online retailers like Amazon.
I’ve just today transferred to using a brand new computer (swishy!) and therefore don’t have access to my photos right now, but I will put some up as soon as I can! In the meantime, thank you to Grace Wilcox for being my fantastic model 🙂