Something I didn't know as I read this book, but Kate divulged...this had to be rewrote, and when she rewrote it, she had to update all the technology... (Technology being what is, by 2012, something you wrote in 2004 is like historical fiction! LOL)
And this what Kate has chosen to talk to us about today:
Five things I learned about rewriting a book
I wrote the first draft of Run Rabbit Run about eight years ago, and when I came to rewrite it for Choc Lit there were more than a few things I wanted to change. Not just because of the hindsight of half a dozen published (and professionally edited) books, but because, when you’re writing about international espionage, you’ve got more than politics to keep up with.
1. In 2004 my heroine, Sophie, was constantly running in and out of Internet cafes to check her email and Google stuff. When she buys a new phone, it needs to be one with WAP capability. Does anyone remember WAP? I had to look it up. In 2012, she has an iPhone.
2. Sophie spends pretty much the whole book on the run from MI5, so she needs some falsified documents in order to leave the country under the radar. Of course, international security, especially where flying is concerned, has got a lot more stringent in the last decade. Although interestingly, most of the changes came several years after 9/11; for instance biometric passports, which were only issued in Britain and the US from 2006. Biometric passports contain facial recognition technology and a whole lot of data about the holder. This makes it pretty damn difficult to get a black-market fake passport, as Sophie needs to. However passports issued before 2006 are still valid and don’t have all that biometric malarky to worry about. Also, Sophie knows some really dodgy people. Phew!
3. In the first draft, we only saw Sophie’s 1st person point of view, whereas one of the most major parts of the rewrite was adding in her boyfriend Luke’s POV. This also meant I had to figure out what my MI6 hero actually did all day. I’ll admit, it was fun working out how he’d evade the many professionals watching him 24/7. Stealing car keys does feature...
4. Facial recognition technology. Argh, this was a headache! How effective is it? Does it apply everywhere there’s CCTV? Can you fool it? Unsurprisingly, these are not answers you can easily get from Google (and to any police officers reading: yes, that is why those search terms are in my broswer history. Ahem). What resulted was a lot of poetic licence.
5. This is going to sound really obvious, but eight years ago I was eight years younger, and so, in terms of her character, experience and maturity, was my heroine. For her, only a few months have passed since the events of Still Waters, but for me it’s been a few years. In 2004 I wrote a heroine who was in her early/mid twenties. As I rewrote it, I was staring thirty in the face. I thought about writing in a gap of several years, but there was one huge problem with this: Sophie’s best friend Angel discovers she’s pregnant in the previous book, and the way I planned it, the baby was to be born in the sixth book. Now, I’m not an expert here, but generally babies don’t need more than about nine months to make an appearance. I thought about rewriting the sixth book (which was after all uncontracted) but in the end decided to stick with the existing circumstances. As for Sophie’s age, well it’s undisclosed here, but let’s just say that when a girl becomes a spy, meets and loses the love of her life, gets shot and shoots in return, and is then accused of murder...well, she’s going to grow up pretty fast!
OMG. That was pretty fascinating!!! Thanks for this post, Kate. I had no idea about that passport stuff OR biometric passports. That's too cool.
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Sophie’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.
Sophie Green’s an ex-spy, or trying to be. You wouldn’t believe the trouble she’s in. An MI5 officer has been shot with her gun, her fingerprints all over his office. And no, she didn’t kill him.
But she has gone on the run.
Now Sophie’s desperately seeking whoever’s trying to frame and kill her. She’s being forced to work with the least trustworthy man in Europe, MI5 is following her every move, and she’s had to leave the tall, blond, god of a man she loves behind.
Luke Sharpe works for MI6. Or did, until his girlfriend became a murder suspect.
Doing nothing wasn’t an option, so he started investigating. Who cares if it is means jeopardising his career? Sophie’s everything he used to say he never wanted. Young, irresponsible, bright and mad. Now she’s just everything – and she has to live.
She will live, won’t she?