I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for the fantastic debut The Truth About Lies thriller by Tracy Darnton, from Stripes Publishing.
Tracy won the Stripes YA Short Story Prize in 2016, run in partnership with The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize. Her story The Letter was published in the short story anthology I’ll Be Home for Christmas. This is her first novel and I can assure you it is a gripping, brilliant read full of suspense,exploring the issues around memory and what happens when everything you do is built on lies. Tracy joins the blog today with a very special guest post- welcome to the blog Tracy!
Unforgettable memory tips from The Truth About Lies
“I’ve always been interested in memory and writing my YA thriller The Truth About Lies was a great opportunity to explore it further. I can still remember the poems I learnt by heart when stuck at home with measles, the sickly smell of Impulse body spray from my teenage bedroom and definitely the shock of a near accident age 11. Why do I remember those things but not where I left my keys this morning?
In writing the book I became obsessed with all the little memory techniques that you can use to improve your powers of retrieval. I wove some of them into the book by using memory games as chapter headings. These hold their own clues or hints as to what has happened in the past.
I use the teacher character Mr Desai to set memory tasks too. He quickly learns all the students’ names using a classic technique of association. Give it a go: Imagine you’ve just met my character Dan at a party. Picture him with a famous Dan – Daniel Radcliffe maybe – sitting on his shoulders. Now ‘put’ Dan in a judo suit as dan is a ranking in martial arts.
To help further, add some emotion or general silliness – Dan Radcliffe blowing you kisses or raspberries – and how you would feel about that. And boom – Dan will be very impressed that you remember who he is next time you meet (though he won’t realise the role played by Daniel Radcliffe and some kisses).
Mr Desai teaches a memory palace or loci technique, placing items to remember along the route they know well around Dartmeet College. Making the images as whacky as possible helps to engrain them.
Lastly, the class develop their own mnemonics, for instance taking the first letters of something they need to remember to make a new word or phrase like BIDMAS in maths or Richard of York gave battle in vain. I dragged myself through theory for piano with a huge set of mnemonics. But, spoiler alert, Jess receives a rather sinister one tacked to her noticeboard…
The Truth About Lies conveys some of my fascination with how we can improve our memory. Don’t forget to try it.”
The Truth About Lies will be published by Stripes today! You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyDarnton #thetruthaboutlies
With thanks to Stripes Publishing for inviting me to participate in the blog tour and sending me a review copy of this book.
Check out the rest of the blog tour at these brilliant blogs!