Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones. And to entice you I have a Spoiler-free introduction to The String Diaries Sequel. Promise!
I loved reading The String Diaries (see my review) and I cannot recommend it enough! Don’t forget to visit other blog stops along the tour for other great content. Below Stephen explains what to expect of book two in the series which is out later this year! This article, perhaps miraculously, remains spoiler free, the story of The String Diaries and its sequel await your reading pleasure.
With the paperback edition of The String Diaries only launching this summer – it may be out by the time you read this – I’m going to assume that you haven’t read it yet. (Please do, though. I’ll be enormously grateful.)
That said, how do you write a teaser for a sequel, while avoiding spoilers? If I tell you anything about the characters who appear in the new book, you’ll know that they must have survived the last one. If I tell you much at all, in fact, I risk revealing some of the surprises that await you in the first instalment. I suspect this article is going to be very short.
Let me start, then, by telling you a little about The String Diaries. It’s the story of Hannah Wilde, a young mother on the run from a man who’s murdered the last five generations of her family. Everything Hannah knows about him comes from the diaries themselves – a collection of hand-me-down journals, notes and letters written by her ancestors. They record everything the family has learned about the threat that stalks them. They’re a Wilde family history, closely guarded, but much more importantly, they’re a survival guide: the only weapon Hannah wields in her fight to keep her loved ones alive.
While The String Diaries is, for the most part, a contemporary thriller, it does contain mythological elements. Creating that mythos was one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing the novel, yet although we glimpse some of the history associated with the myth, the book is fundamentally a microcosm – an intensely personal battle between Hannah Wilde and her nemesis.
So what can I tell you about the sequel? Well, although it features a few of the same characters, and is set fifteen years after the events told in The String Diaries, it can be read as a standalone novel. I’d always wanted the first book to be a contained story, and I wanted that for the follow-up too
For those who enjoyed the multiple time-lines of The String Diaries, you’ll find more of that, too. The new book (I’m referring to it like that because we’re still debating a title) continues to explore the history associated with the hosszú életek, and unearths a new horror. You’ll revisit old locations such as Snowdonia and Budapest, but you’ll travel to new ones too, such as present-day Switzerland, 1920s New York and 1940s Yukon.
It might sound odd, but I frightened myself a good few times while writing The String Diaries, especially during scenes featuring the book’s antagonist, Jakab. With the sequel, I actually had to pause on occasion, especially during late-night writing sessions when I was the only one awake.
If you read The String Diaries, I hope you’ll experience the same frisson of fear I experienced while writing it. And if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll join me again to find out what happens next.