‘Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.’ I knew this quotation from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from my university days, but until I wrote The Ceruleans, I had no idea how accurate it is.
When I set out to write The Ceruleans series, I knew there would be something of myself in it, because a central concept in the first book, Death Wish, of grief in the aftermath of losing a loved one, was inspired by my own experiences. ‘Write what you know’ is an old adage and a good one; I know grief, so I decided to write about grief.
I did not, however, intend to write five books that so closely aligned to my own emotional journey. As I write in the author’s note at the end of Book 5: ‘The story isn’t my own, but the feelings are, and it has been dark and deep and beautiful to share these truths with you.’
Neither did I intend to write a heroine with such a similar disposition to me. Scarlett differs from me in some pretty significant ways, but her sensitivity and her desire for a quiet life come directly from me. Would I like to live in cottage on a cliff in a sleepy Devonshire cove? Absolutely!
Remember Goethe’s words ‘even if it be against his will’? As a writer, when you discover you are exposing parts of yourself through fiction, you feel vulnerable; and that drives a desire to hack away at the manuscript, stripping yourself out. I could have rewritten The Ceruleans with a more thick-skinned heroine and less emotional resonance. I didn’t, though, because where’s the meaning in that?
As Franz Kafka put it, ‘Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.’ Publishing your writing, however, offers a way out of that solitude – if you’ve been honest and brave enough to infuse the writing with elements of yourself, so that you are not merely the author behind the words, but the author within the words.
Death Wish (The Ceruleans I) by Charlotte Wilson
IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.
Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit: run away from school, join a surfing fraternity, drown in a tragic ‘accident’.
Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove to uncover the truth. And, as it turns out, to fall in love with the place and its people, especially a certain blue-eyed surfer with a serious case of the heroics.
But as Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Power.
What transpires is a summer of discovery: of what it means to conquer fear, to fall in love, to choose life, to choose death.
To believe the impossible.
Forget Me Not (The Ceruleans II) by Charlotte Wilson
IN THE FACE OF DEATH, SHE MUST PROTECT THOSE SHE LOVES.
Death is stalking Scarlett Blake. As if the encroaching darkness in her head wasn’t enough, she’s become disturbingly accident prone. Falling off a cliff isn’t ideal when all you want is as much time as possible to live the life you love.
But the clock is ticking, louder with every heartbeat, and now Scarlett must decide how best to protect the people she loves.
Will she trust in Jude and the life-after-death he promises? Will she stand against the Fallen, who have her sister captive? Will she carry the burden of her death alone – every headache, every hallucination, every harrowing emotion?
And when the clock falls silent, will Scarlett fight for life? Or will she surrender to the one who’s determined to kill her?
Wild Blue Yonder (The Ceruleans III) by Charlotte Wilson
IN A WARPED HEAVEN, SHE MUST CHOOSE HER FATE: OBEDIENCE OR REBELLION
When Scarlett Blake chose to Become a Cerulean, she expected to grieve for all she left behind. But at least Cerulea, her heaven, would be… well, heavenly. Right?
Wrong. The world in which Scarlett awakens is picturesque, sure, and serene. But there can be no paradise within the unforgiving walls of a prison, be they of cold, hard stone or beautifully blue water.
Now Scarlett faces her hardest decision yet: be a good, dutiful Cerulean, or be true to herself and fight for freedom.
And if she can find a way to escape, what then? Can she save her sister from the murderous Fallen? Can she evade her destiny with the Ceruleans? Can she ever reclaim her life-before-death… or must she let go of all she loves?
Devil and the Deep (The Ceruleans IV) by Charlotte Wilson
STORM CLOUDS ARE GATHERING, AND THEY WILL RAIN BLOOD.
Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the ‘happy’ part is proving problematic.
For starters, there’s the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so time with those she loves can only be fleeting.
Then there’s her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility – and it comes with rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.
But what’s really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with: blood.
When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water – or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?
Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully (The Ceruleans V) by Charlotte Wilson
DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.
With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.
But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?
Pulling a single thread impels a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.
All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the final journey – to where it all began and it all must end. But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.
In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?
Charlotte Wilson Biography:
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.
Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte is a professional writer. For authors and publishers, she writes and edits books as The Book Specialist. For herself, she writes soulful, coming-of-age romance for young adults.
Charlotte grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm, or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a library in her home to house her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.
You can find Charlotte online at:
Did someone say free books? Yes, five of them.
Charlotte’s giving away a full set of the Ceruleans novels in print: that’s all the new-edition paperbacks delivered to your door (wherever that is in the world).
Entry is via Rafflecopter below, and is open to all. Good luck!