I’m so excited to welcome Cara Hunter, author of Close to Home to Linda’s Book Bag today in celebration of this first DI Fawley investigative novel. Cara has written a fabulous guest post about the positive use of social media and I would like to thank Poppy North for inviting me to be part of these celebrations for Close to Home.
Published by Penguin on 14th December 2017, Close to Home is available for purchase here.
Close to Home
HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE?
Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.
DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.
That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.
Positive Social Media
A Guest Post by Cara Hunter
This time of year we get a lot of media stories looking back on the past twelve months, and I’ve been really struck by how negative many of those have been about social media. It’s not just the fake news or the trolling or the hate campaigns – we already knew about those – it’s deeper than that. Even the things we used to praise about social media are under scrutiny now – EM Forster may have urged us to ‘only connect’ but it seems too much connection is just as bad for you as too little. I’ve lost count of the number of New Year’s resolutions that include a commitment to live in the real world more and the virtual one less, and India Knight (one of my favourite Twitter feeds, incidentally) is not alone in deciding that she’s going to make some serious changes to how she uses social media in 2018. In short, less (depressing) news and comment, more (uplifting) nature, cooking and books.
So where does that leave us authors on social media? First and most obviously, let’s seize the chance to be positive. In every sense of the word. More talk about writing and less about politics. More conversations, less sounding-off, however desperate the world seems. And this isn’t just about what we say, either: making social media more positive is also about ensuring that the way we use all these infinitely distracting platforms adds to the work of writing, rather than detracts from it. We all know that social media will devour every second you give it, so it does need to be rationed. On the other hand, writing is a solitary life, and if you work from home (as most of us do), social media can limit the loneliness. Probably the best analogy is the office water cooler – great to swing by for a few minutes’ chat, but no sensible person would dream of spending the whole day there. Not least because you wouldn’t get anything done.
The other thing that the best of social media can do is widen your world. I did a lot of the research for Close to Home on Twitter, where one of the main themes is how social media responds to – and can even influence – the investigation of a crime. But it’s broader than that. At its best, social media doesn’t just find you answers to questions, it drops things in your lap you didn’t even know you were looking for. Images, anecdotes, snippets, memories. And as any writer knows, that’s where all good stories start….
(So lovely to have a positive article about social media. Thanks so much Cara.)
About Cara Hunter
Cara Hunter is the pen-name of an established novelist who lives in Oxford, in a street not unlike those featured in her series of crime books, who is starting a new life of crime in a series of Oxford-based books to be published by Viking/Penguin.
She also studied for a degree and PhD in English literature at Oxford University.
Close to Home is her debut featuring DI Adam Fawley, and her second, In the Dark, is coming soon.
You can follow Cara on Twitter @CaraHunterBooks.
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