After Dirty Weekend was published (August 2015, Crooked Cat), ideas for a sequel began to arrive. I loved those characters, and knew I wanted to spend more time with them. Dirty Weekend was set in the autumn of 1966, and Moonshine (April 2017, Crooked Cat) moves the story on to the summer of 1969.
It was my first attempt at a sequel, and I knew I had to get the balance right. I had to write the new book so that it could be enjoyed by readers who hadn’t read Dirty Weekend, while at the same time giving a sense of continuity from one story to the other. Naturally, the second book gives away a little of the story of the first. For example, Terry and Carol-Anne now have a two year-old, Donna. I had to get to know her, and she turns out to be a carbon copy of Carol-Anne, with charm in shedloads and a wilful personality.
Three of the main characters in Dirty Weekend return in Moonshine – Carol-Anne, Terry, and Mark. I sent Jeanette, the focus of the drama in Dirty Weekend, to Canada, and in her place we have Mark’s new girlfriend, Vicki. This time, the group head off on holiday not to Brighton, but to Torbay. Carol-Anne’s teenage sister, Beverly, plays a big part in Moonshine. She causes havoc on the night of the Apollo 11 space mission, while the others are watching the moon-walk on television in the holiday camp clubhouse.
Knowing most of characters so well definitely helped me write them into the sequel. They’re now 21, and have learned a lot about life since the first book, but not so much that they can avoid trouble altogether! The year 1969 also signified much change in Britain, and I hope I’ve given a flavour of that whilst showing how my characters have changed and developed.
Dirty Weekend and Moonshine are different in style from my other two books, Remarkable Things and Never Coming Back. The sixties backdrop and the scrapes my young characters get into lend themselves to comedy and fast-paced writing. This lot don’t spend a lot of time on introspection – they’re out in the world, getting on with life. I hope you love them as much as I do.
Amazon links to both books: