rita brassington


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By r brassington, May 2 2016 11:15PM

Intricate lives, destructive secrets

This sums up an intricately detailed slice of suburbia from Louise Candlish. There’s a house, the bedrock of the story, a sublime interior-designed piece of heaven that reeks of money. The previous owners, Jeremy and Amber, have sold up and left in a hurry, but why? This is what new owners Christy and Joe are dying to find out. Christy especially.

Embarking on her own investigation, she finds the street less than welcoming. Told from both Christy and Amber’s viewpoints, we get a clever mix of knowing-and-not-knowing, as the reader is let in on the secret while Christy is left trying to figure it out on her own.

What really got me about this book was the descriptions. I feel like I have visited this house, met these people. Although this book did not go where I thought it was going to, I was surprised at my own strong feelings towards the characters.

These people might seem like they have it all, but it’s rarely as simple as that. A fantastic read.

By r brassington, Apr 3 2016 10:47AM

Today I've been featured on Linda's Book Bag blog, with an exclusive article about how hard it was to let go of The Good Kind of Bad. I'm honoured to be on the blog. You can read the article here:


or below:

(taken from Linda's Book Bag)

Regular readers of Linda’s Book Bag will know I love to feature authors I’ve actually met and today I’m delighted to be welcoming Rita Brassington whom I met at a recent author and blogger event. Lovely Rita agreed to write a guest post for the blog which you can read below, but first I’d like to tell you more about Rita’s psychological thriller The Good Kind of Bad.

The Good Kind of Bad

The Good Kind of Bad is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Secrets don’t stay secret for long…

She spent her whole life being the perfect daughter, the perfect girlfriend, and was all ready to become the perfect wife. But after ditching her fiancé at the altar and escaping to Chicago, she marries smouldering stranger Joe Petrozzi three weeks after meeting him in a bar. At least this time, there’s no chance of cold feet. Married life starts out great: there’s the new job, a gorgeous, enigmatic husband and money’s not an issue.

So what if she’s kept a few secrets from Joe – like where all her money came from. Joe’s been keeping secrets from her, too.

But his might just get her killed.

The Good Kind of Bad has just been selected as one of Heat Magazine’s Top Five Reads too!

The Art of Letting Go

A Guest Post by Rita Brassington

When I started writing, I knew I was going to finish the book. Though I wasn’t so sure it would ever go further than my laptop screen. Last year, it did, and The Good Kind of Bad, my psychological thriller/crime novel, was launched into the world – ten years after I first put pen to paper. Yes, the road to letting go was a long one.

I first had the idea for the book in 2004, when I was in America’s Mid-West at St. Louis airport. I’d been visiting friends I’d made while studying abroad, and distinctly remember the feeling of being in an alien environment but surrounded by familiar faces. This idea of the other, or the age-old fish-out-of-water scenario popped into my head. I looked up at the airport departure boards, the people queuing for flights or sleeping in chairs and I wondered about their stories, what led them to be there. I saw a flight leaving for Chicago, wondered about who was on it, and I thought ‘what would happen if you left your whole life behind and started again?’

When I arrived home, I started formulating ideas though only began writing the year after, once finishing my degree. That summer I began to write, with a loose plot in my head, and thought I’d let the writing take me in whatever direction felt right. I’ve never suffered with writer’s block, not that it means whatever flows from my fingers is liquid gold, far from it. When I did start writing the book in 2005, it took nine months to finish it. Great, I thought. I’ve done it. I’ve written a book. The hard part came next. Editing. My great hurdle in the art of letting go.

Editing is the reason it took ten years to get the book out. In a way, I’m glad I waited. The literary landscape during that time changed beyond recognition. With the advent of social media, self-publishing, eBooks, bloggers etc. it has widened the scope and possibility for writers of all genres. My procrastination did have an upside.

Many times over the ten years I tried to let go. I sent it to a few agents, re-edited time and again, but it never felt like the right time. Life got in the way. I was never totally happy with the manuscript, and that was the key. In every draft it was always missing something. I went back to the drawing board and thought about what the story was about. Did it make sense? Did the characters make sense? Was I ever going to let go?

Then in 2013, I uploaded the book to Wattpad, the story sharing website with ten million users or so. In the space of a few months, I clocked up two million reads. People liked it. They gave me usable feedback. I changed things. Added sections. Though what it truly gave me was the authority to say, ‘the book is good. People like it.’

What had been missing from my book before wasn’t necessarily the words, but the permission I wouldn’t give myself, to believe I had written something someone else would want to read – to take it seriously.

I hired an editor, who also tore the book to pieces, but holding the book in my hand was becoming more real. I hired a cover designer, Jamie Keenan (who’s an award-winner, no less). For me, it was always about the finished, polished version of what had once started as an idea, almost a challenge to myself to see if I could do it – to see if my twenty-year-old self could write a book. All that time, I was waiting for the book to be finished, where I could reconcile with myself and truly say I was done. The book was finally perfect.

That day never came. It still isn’t finished. There’re still bits I’d love to change, even though I can now pick my own book off my bookshelf, nestled between Joyce Maynard and Paula Hawkins (ha!). Though I don’t think any book will ever be finished. There will always be new readers to carry on the story, to think up new scenarios for when the words run out.

That’s the best thing about letting go. There’s always someone to bring it back.

You can follow Rita on Twitter and find out more about her on her web site.

By r brassington, Mar 26 2016 02:29PM

This work of literary fiction by Louise Beech was not a rushed read. I am one of the slowest readers I know but this book definitely needed time to be fully digested. It's two tales, intertwined through time and heartbreak of the dramatic and life-changing kind. Natalie's daughter, nine-year-old Rose has been diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes, and to deal with the daily blood tests, she agrees to read Rose parts from her grandad Colin's diary, a sailor who was stranded at sea in the Second World War.

What follows is a cleverly constructed tale of how to be brave when the unexpected suddenly becomes your life, and how sometimes time is not the great barrier it's perceived to be. It's a stirring and well-written tale, transporting you from the ocean to the heart of the family, and explores how difficult and strained the relationship between mother and daughter can sometimes be.

A thought-provoking and clever novel that deserves time to fully digest the story.

Four stars.

You can buy the book at Amazon now.

By r brassington, Mar 18 2016 07:26PM

Another day, another country. I've received pics of The Good Kind of Bad read in places all over the globe, from its spiritual home of Chicago to New Zealand, Cincinnati and now the Australian Outback. Louise Cleary is currently spending a month travelling around Oz, but took the time to send me some pictures enjoying reading her copy by Uluru. Her next stop is Adelaide, where she hopes to get more reading time in. I'm loving seeing the book work its way around the world, so if you have a copy, whether paperback or kindle, please take a pic and send it to me at hello@ritabrassington.co.uk. I'd love to see where in the world you are. Even if it's a wet Wednesday in Widnes, I want to see it!

By r brassington, Feb 23 2016 12:44PM

On Saturday I travelled by (very) noisy train over the top into Yorkshire, to attend the 2nd Northern Meet Up of The Book Club in Leeds. It was a chance for authors, bloggers and readers to mingle, meet and generally have a chat about all things bookish.

I (unwisely) decided to choose last week to commence a detox diet for my imminent wedding, which meant I was on the sparkling only (water, not wine). Regretting banning the Dutch courage seeing as this was my first event attended as an author, I soon realised I didn’t need it. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly and interested.

I met a fellow author, Caroline Batten, who I’d been in contact with since before either of us had a word in print. On the train over I’d been reading How To Be Brave by Louise Beech, and then had the pleasure of speaking to her. Though best of all, people came up to me, telling me how glad they were I’d come, that they’d read my book and loved it. I don’t know what I’d been expecting from the meet up, but that definitely wasn’t something I’d counted on, and it was lovely.

It was a fantastic experience, being able to speak to people I’d only ever seen in little pixels on a laptop screen. There were so many people I didn’t get round to meeting, but my name’s already down for the next one. Where else would I be asked to sign a Kindle cover?

Myself and author Col Bury, with his signed bookmark
Myself and author Col Bury, with his signed bookmark
With author Steven Dunne and my signed copy of The Reaper
With author Steven Dunne and my signed copy of The Reaper
Signing a Kindle cover!
Signing a Kindle cover!
With author Louise Beech
With author Louise Beech
Myself and author Caroline Batten
Myself and author Caroline Batten

By r brassington, Feb 3 2016 08:19AM

I’m all for people finding books that interest them. They read a best-seller and they need another one, not identical, but in the same vein, to satisfy their book hangover. The Girl on the Train was the book of the year for 2015, so much so, they’re already filming the movie. I get it. It was a good book. People want to be associated with a good book. But The Girl on the Train became popular because people liked the story (and of course some marketing). Ultimately, it must’ve been word of mouth that got it a place on the silver screen. I have lost count of the amount of books I’ve seen with little stickers adorning the front. claiming it’s the new GOTT or Gone Girl. ‘If you liked The Girl on the Train…’ etc. etc.

I more than understand why it’s used by marketing peeps. It’s almost a sure-fire way to get the books flying off the shelves. It’s a saturated market and I know myself how hard it is to launch your self and novel and hope someone finds you within the millions of inches of type. If your book is like a best-seller, then surely, you’re next on the list.

Every writer would love to emulate the success of Paula Hawkins. She’s a good writer. On the other hand, maybe it’s nice to get that recognition on your own, without riding the coat tails of whatever happens to be flavour of the year.

Will I tag this blog entry on twitter with #thegirlonthetrain?


By r brassington, Jan 20 2016 08:31AM

On the 5th February, I'll be heading to Manchester City Centre to give away some signed copies of my book. There's five to find, with clues on the location posted on twitter and instagram. Just look for the hashtag #findthegoodkindofbad. I'll be posting more about this nearer to the time, so even if you don't live in the Manchester area, tell someone who does. It's free! Any maybe a bit of fun as well.

By r brassington, Jan 17 2016 03:04PM

In my next book, I will write about what I know, from an experience point at least. For my first, I didn’t. It's set in Chicago, a city I have been to twice, but am no expert on. It isn’t my world, and still it seemed like the perfect place to set the story. Everything will be ordinary to somebody, but that was not my ordinary (thankfully my life is not a psychological thriller). Exploring somewhere new, with characters and events that might not be your everyday experience but has aspects that everyone can relate to, is what I set out to do. Everyone will read something different into the words - the way they see that world. I think that’s why books are better in people’s heads than on the screen - if they’ve read the book first, of course. Nothing can compete with your own imagination. A writer can be as descriptive as they want, but the Joe Petrozzi from my book, The Good Kind of Bad, will be different from every other reader’s Joe. That’s what I like about it.

It's the same as my Chicago - even though I’ve driven around the city in rush hour (in a car with Florida plates so people just thought the horrendous driving was due to being hopelessly lost), it will hopefully conjure up images and senses needed to visualise the city, but will be formed by the reader’s own experiences of where they’ve known, what they’ve seen, their own memories. New York is everywhere you look, even on the other side of the world from the Big Apple, but Chicago is not so formed. I’d chosen the streets where my characters live, the places they go, what they see when they step out the door - and then my friend, living in Chicago, messaged me about the book. She was confused about the streets and hadn’t heard of some of the bars. Yes, some of them are made up. They’re not real. But that doesn’t matter. It’s a fictional Chicago. It’s whatever you want it to be.

By r brassington, Dec 30 2015 07:37PM

2015 wasn’t a bad year. I published a book. It’s something I’ve been trying to achieve for, oh, ten years maybe. I realised that it might not be perfect, I might not be 100% happy with it (don’t think I ever will be!) but sometimes you’ve got to make that leap, and I’m glad I did. The Good Kind of Bad has been out for just over a month now, and I’m getting good feedback on Amazon - if you’ve bought a copy, please post a review!

There’s still a long way to go, something I’m only just realising. I thought the hard work would be over once it was out there, but it’s just another beginning. So, for 2016? There’s the next book (that I have begun writing), which I aim to at least finish, and then there’s the exciting promos I have pencilled in for the new year.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who bought the book, supported me, and made me realise how lucky I am to have such great friends, wherever they are in the world. I probably would’ve given up years ago without them.

My resolution for 2015 was ‘don’t give up’. As far as 2016 goes? Ditto.

By r brassington, Dec 8 2015 09:34PM

So, The Good Kind of Bad has been out for over a week now, and I can't thank the people who bought a copy (and promoted it) enough. After the hype, only one thing matters to me now - people enjoying and liking the story. The main way to get that feedback is from Amazon reviews, and I'm lucky to say that my first review, ever, was one with five shiny stars next to it. The next review too. In fact, over Amazon UK and US together, I have 6 five star and 6 four star reviews. The story has spent so long inside my head and on a computer screen that I almost forgot people were going to read it. But they are, and not only that, they're enjoying it, too.

I saw a picture tweeted this week by an author on the Sunday Times Best Seller List, declaring dreams can come true, she'd made it. It's a nice dream to have, but I'm happy that something I wrote meant someone else thought it was worthy of the highest of praise - someone I've never met. It can be even more nerve-wracking when people you do know start to give you their feedback. Thankfully, it's only been praise so far. So what made my week? Being told by a friend: 'I love a book I can't put down but don't want to finish it 'cause it's so good and want to carry on reading it!'

That'll do me.

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