It is great to challenge ourselves with new genres, and ‘We Other’ is a dark fairy thriller. According to reviewers, ‘We Other’ is a magical novel to inspire the imagination. ‘In the book you will meet faeries you would never want to meet on a dark night,’ explained, the author, Sue Bentley. Intrigued, I asked Sue to address her readers, and tell us more about her novel.
Dear Readers – I am delighted to present We Other.
In this extract we meet Jess Morgan, a loner who doesn’t fit in and has few friends. Her life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined.
I chose this extract to introduce Jess, whose story this is. She’s feisty, difficult and street-wise – with good reason – but she’s vulnerable too, with a good heart.
The reader should be tempted to place my book in their handbag because it’s a complex and rewarding read, with many twists and turns which will keep them guessing. I’m rooting for Jess and I hope you will too, once you get to know her.
Best wishes and I hope you enjoy the extract. Happy reading!
Words from the book…
And then looking through the opening into the final gallery, Jess caught sight of a large painting hanging by itself. Her breath quickening with excitement, she walked rapidly towards it.
There was a small crowd of people in front of the painting. She could only glimpse details through the shifting bodies, but she knew it was the one. She hung back, wanting to prolong the moment when she stood face to face with that figure wrought from shadows. Leave me alone with it, she thought. Go away. All of you.
Oblivious to the air around her tingling and shimmering, in a way that was beginning to feel familiar, she stared at the painting. As she moved forward, time seemed to shift into slow motion. A slew of sound echoed hollow and discordant in her ears as every person standing in front of the painting turned in a single movement. They looked at Jess with glazed eyes, before drifting sideways in a single body, moving as if in the steps of some tightly choreographed dance, and melting from the gallery.
Everyone else had somehow left too, she realised. She could see people strolling around the other galleries through the archways. But here, she was alone. In the sudden stillness Jess caught her breath. The painting was revealed to her in its entirety. Or as she thought oddly, it revealed itself to her.
She was not disappointed by what she saw.
More about the book…
Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of her worries. Drawn into a new world of rich darkness, she finds herself torn between love, family and a growing sense of a new, powerful identity.
Strapline for the book – Fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.
What the reviewers say…
‘Darkly delicious. Lights the blue touch paper and runs away.’ Peter J Goodchild
‘Absolutely magical. Compelling story and gorgeous writing.’ Freda Warrington – award winning author of 21 fantasy novels
‘Give yourself time. You won’t want to put this down.’ Ruth Webster
More about Sue…
Sue Bentley is fascinated by English Folklore, the extraordinary in the everyday and the darkness that hovers at the edges of the light.
Louis Armstrong says it best – ‘the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night’ You can’t have one without the other.
I always enjoyed ‘real’ fairy tales – not the sanitised Disney versions. For example, in some versions of Cinderella – the ugly sisters snip off their toes to be able to cram their feet into the glass slipper.
I was that kid in a class of pink tutus who was dressed as a vampire bat. I never wanted high-heeled dancing shoes, I wanted sturdy boots to go tramping around forests looking for the shapes of goblins in the trees.
As for characters – Goody, Goody is all very well, but it can get boring. We all love the ‘bad’ characters who do doubtful things – they’re much more fun to write about.
I am intrigued by Sue’s exploration of the ‘darkness that hovers on the edge of light’ and wonder what she presents to the reader in ‘We Other’. The extract evoked my imagination, and I wanted to know why Jess ‘wasn’t disappointed’. This novel sounds as if it will challenge the boundaries of the imagination, as it has done for the reviewers.