My Book Muse is excited to have Moira Fowley-Doyle, author of The Accident Season, on the blog today to talk about her journey to publication! My
The Accident Season Published by Kathy Dawson Books For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a family caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard.
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
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Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.
Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she's ready or not.
For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a family caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard.
Moira Fowley-Doyle’s Journey to Publication
I wrote the first words of the first draft of The Accident Season on the first of November three and half years ago with very little plan of what I wanted to write. In a notebook I had a few snippets like dots to be connected: a secrets booth in the school canteen; tarot cards and pencil cases; rolling down hills; “today isn’t the day you die.” I had some details I wanted to steal from a short novel I wrote when I was sixteen: forbidden love; an abusive relationship; mouse traps, flypaper and butterfly nets; a girl pulling her braid over her eyes. I sat down on my bed with my laptop and a cup of tea and the first thing I typed onto the screen was: It’s the accident season, the same time every year. So I let the story take me from there.
I wrote the first draft in a month and a half, partly in Dublin (where I live) and partly in Mayo (where the book is set), and something about the chilly time after Halloween and the dark forest made it feel very real. When I had finished it was long and rambling and a bit of a mess, but I had a good feeling about it. I spent the next few months revising, and the canteen became the library, rolling down hills became a fall resulting in a sprained ankle, and the girl pulling the braid over her eyes became the scene with Cara and Elsie in the ghost house.
I took a bit of a leap of faith and sent the manuscript to a small number of agents I really would have loved to work with. A couple of them offered representation (at this point I had to get out of the house and go play the ukulele by the lake for a few hours because it was either that or scream with excitement) and the moment I got off the phone with my agent I knew she completely understood the story and where I wanted to go with it. I signed with her that summer (at this point my sister and I drank a lot of champagne) and we started to work on edits together. Over a period of about six months, eleven hundred words got cut (including a scene with a sprained ankle from falling down a hill), an entire subplot involving a kitchen witch disappeared, and “today isn’t the day you die” became unspoken fears of old accident seasons.
My agent then sent the manuscript on exclusive submission to my UK editor, who sent back brilliant revision suggestions and an offer for a two book deal. (At this point I walked around my living room slightly stunned and saying “Well!” a lot.) We worked on two rounds of edits – halfway through which I broke my wrist because apparently I’d inadvertently cursed the manuscript (please count this as an apology to anybody who suffers mishaps while reading it) – adding more school scenes, some flashbacks, and a whole lot more empathy for my broken-boned characters.
Not long after, rights were sold to my US editor (at this point I baked furiously for several hours), and she sent over suggestions for the last round of revisions and the last of the dots got connected. Three and a half years after that first of November my join-the-dots is appearing on the shelves of my favourite bookshops and at this point I’m running out of ukulele songs & have had far too much cake and champagne.
The Accident Season is out August 18th!