Woooo hoooooo it’s Friday and have I got a treat for you!!! I’m delighted to be welcoming the blog tour for This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch and I’ve got an enticing extract for you. Having read this excerpt, I can’t wait to read this book!
Massive thanks to Rachel Nobilo of Serpent’s Tail for inviting me on the blog tour!
How well do you know your girlfriend?
How well do you know your lover?
How well do you know yourself?
Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.
But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.
And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.
16 January 2016
I am so embarrassed by what I wrote on New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t myself that night. I could not have expected such an understanding response. It feels nice to be writing to a Listener. I feel like I haven’t been listened to for a long time. Vic hears me but she doesn’t listen. The ‘mysterious’ Vic is my partner by the way. We’ve been together just over five years. These days I can’t figure her out. She’s maddening and evasive. She did not come to my mother’s funeral, that is true, but she had her reasons. I can’t believe I’m opening up like this to a stranger!
As it happens I have read Nineteen Eighty-Four and I understood your reference. My father was big into books. He was a carpenter, like me, but his great passion was reading and he encouraged me to read as much as possible growing up. He used to say the only reason he became a carpenter was so he could make himself a nice reading chair. Don’t be like me, he’d say. He was referring to his profession of course, he didn’t want me to work with my hands. But he was such a peaceful soul, so calm, so in control of everything, so content. There was always this serene almost enlightened smile on his face, as though he was privy to some secret of the universe nobody else was. As though what he knew removed any worldly concerns from his head. How could I not have wanted to be like him? He died when I was twelve. I used to read all the time. I used to lie on the rug at his feet and read ‘serious’ books to try and impress him. I haven’t read a single page of a book since he died.
My mother left a cottage to me in her will. I’m renovating it. I want to move there with Vic and start over. I finally got the lights to work today, which sounds insignificant now that I’ve typed it, but it felt like a big deal. I wanted to tell Vic but she dashed off as soon as I got home so I’m telling you about it instead.
Please, Ruby, tell me about you too. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Is your twin identical?
Sorry, there’s no order to this letter. I am writing these thoughts as they pop into my head. Are you analysing me as you read? Am I being selfish writing to you like this? I feel I should be asking about you, not burdening you with my problems. But you’re right, it is cathartic to get stuff down. It’s only taken me twenty minutes to write this letter, I haven’t stopped typing. It has come pouring out of me like water from a tap.
Can I trust you? Are you real?
Who Is A.S. Hatch?
A.S. Hatch grew up in Lancashire in the 90s, and has lived in Taipei and Melbourne. Now he lives in London and writes fiction in his living room-slash-office-slash-gym in the early hours of the morning before going to work in political communications.