Secrets of the IN-Group
by Carolyn Re & Lorreta Re
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
A small town. A world wide web. Is the net really a friend?
What do you do when the children have flown the nest and you have time on your hands?
Six women in the Australian riverside city of Albury realise that, without social media skills, they’re staring irrelevancy in the face. Their book club won’t cut it any more. It’s time to go virtual.
But their decision to plunge into the on-line world brings shocking revelations and unexpected outcomes. Friendships, new and old, are tested and their lives teeter on the edge of collapse. They must navigate a path through the chaos. But who exactly can they trust?
[At Martin’s technology lesson, Sarah is shocked at an image on her husband’s iPhone]
—Sarah tried to smile, but her face felt stiff, as if she’d had Botox injected. Her mind screamed: Who is this girl who looks so like Anna? Why is she on Rob’s home screen? And why is he enveloping her in some sort of … horrible hug? It wasn’t the kind of hug you’d give a girlfriend, more like a father’s proud embrace.
Andrea cleared her throat loudly in a distracting way, quite out of character.
‘Sorry, but I have to go soon,’ she said, gathering her things. She slid her iPad into its leather satchel. ‘Such a nuisance. It’s been fun tonight.’ She looked at Martin. ‘There’s only ten minutes left, would you mind if we finished early? Pick up on this again next week?’
Thank you, Andrea. The ploy had given Sarah momentary breathing space. Her internal scream quietened a little. She had to get out of here, away from the goodbye chatter and the polite offers to take a slice of cake home. She needed to digest what she’d seen and work out what it meant. She had to have time to think.
She dreaded time to think. With the flick of a switch—what a cliché, but how true in this case—her life had changed. It was all so confusing; her fragmented brain whirled with questions. But an answer, barely thought out, misshapen but insistent, was boring into her brain.
Rob has another daughter somewhere. A daughter who’s the image of ours …
It’s unusual to see a novel written by two people. How did this come about?
We’ve had experience collaborating going way back to our early school days. As children, we wrote short stories together, an early form of fan fiction, along the lines of Enid Blyton’s adventure and detective stories.
We’d been writing independently for years, Carolyn in the medical field and Loretta in law, so this novel was a chance to be ourselves, and write about the sort of people we might meet in real life. At first, we thought it would be fun to come up with a pseudonym, a single combination of our names, but after spending over three years in the writing, it seemed a shame to hide behind a concocted name.
How did you develop your ideas together?
Being sisters, we know how each other thinks and although many writers say how difficult it must be to collaborate, it works for us and it’s wonderful. Having someone you trust to give an opinion about your latest ideas helps a lot. We live over 500 km apart so we developed a lot of the plot-lines using Skype regularly, messaging exciting new developments when they came to us, and going away on holidays for marathon working sessions. We had a week’s break with friends in the wine country near Albury, where the book is set, but we probably weren’t very good company—we spent most of the time working on the book while they were living it up in the vineyards!
Did you have disagreements about the story or characters? How did you resolve them?
Who doesn’t have different view points from time to time? Sometimes we’d see a character differently in our mind’s eye and we’d have to talk about it and agree on their most likely character traits and how they would behave based on that. We had a brilliant editor, so we could always reach a compromise if something hadn’t been resolved. Two out of three, majority wins!
Do you see yourself collaborating again?
That’s highly likely. It’s fun, it shares the load and no one else cares quite as deeply for your characters as your co-author.
5 StarsSecrets of the IN-group by Carolyn Re
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Six women come together for book club but when they realize that technology has gotten the better of them, they decide a change is in order. They all decide to try out social media, however it is met with a few unexpected bumps along the way.
I have to say I have found myself in some of the situations these women had. I found them all completely relatable and if you cant relate personally to on, you probably know someone a character reminds you of. A breath of fresh air to read. Would love to see this made into a tv show.
View all my reviews
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Carolyn Re worked for over twenty years as a general practitioner before turning to writing. No longer needing to produce serious medical and scientific articles, she’s now writing contemporary fiction for older women. Carolyn lives in the regional city of Albury, New South Wales, with Ziggy the whippet and three contented chickens.
Loretta Re is a former lawyer who is now writing novels and screenplays. Her book for middle grade readers, Stand Up and Cheer, is a story inspired by the rescue of the Uiver DC2 over Albury during the 1934 Centenary Air Race. It was voted one of the best books for literacy and language development in 2015. Loretta lives in Sydney and is on the board of Writing NSW.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Carolyn Re and Loretta Re will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
<a href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3259“>Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>