Title: The Jump
Author: Doug Johnstone
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Links: Amazon . Goodreads
Struggling to come to terms with the suicide of her teenage son, Ellie lives in the shadows of the Forth Road Bridge, lingering on its footpaths and swimming in the waters below. One day she talks down another suicidal teenager, Sam, and sees for herself a shot at redemption, the chance to atone for her son's death. But even with the best intentions, she can't foresee the situation she's falling headlong into — a troubled family, with some very dark secrets of their own.
The Jump is a hugely moving contemporary thriller, and a stunning portrait of an unlikely heroine.
I received an eARC of The Jump from Faber&Faber in exchange with an honest review.
This book was released last year in th e UK, but this blog tour is for the US rerelease of the book.
This is my very first Doug Johnstone book, and honestly I am very impressed with The Jump.
This is a book that will give you something to think about with every chapter you finish ! I was hooked right after finishing the first chapter.
The writing style is one of those things that matter to me the most, and I enjoyed the one in this book. It wasn't what I usually loved, which is "Pretty & Metaphoric", but rather " Smooth & Fast Flowing" . This suits the storyline perfectly.
There is nothing better than an intriguing plot, and fast flowing writing style.
Smooth & Fast flowing writing, doesn't mean that the description was plain and boring. This is a story that needed so much emotional description, and it doesn't lack that.
I really enjoyed reading The Jump.
I give it 4.5/5 stars.
Doug's writing process
Every book comes to life in the same way (at least they have so far, and I’m halfway through a first draft of my ninth novel and I don’t see any sign of the pattern ending). Before I begin a first draft, I spend a couple of months planning, plotting and making notes.
I say “making notes,” but the process is a lot more haphazard than that suggests. To begin with, it’s really just scribbling stream of consciousness guff — ideas about themes, characters, settings and so on. Usually all of this is swirling around a central “inciting incident” — a hit and run, a missing person, a suicide. Gradually over the weeks, things begin to coalesce into something more tangible, and at the same time, stuff starts to appear on the walls above my desk.
For a start there are pictures. Photographs of locations along with images of people who fit the physical characteristics of my characters. There is always an Ordnance Survey map of the area where the action takes place. So for my latest book, The Jump, I had a huge map of the river Forth, stretching from Fife over to Edinburgh, with all the little islands scattered about, and of course the bridges that span the water, the structures that are such an integral part of the story.
Also, at some point, a writing schedule makes its way onto the wall. How many words need to be written by which dates. I rarely stick to it, but it’s motivation enough to keep going. I also have a list of major plot points, and on my desk I have a more detailed scene-by-scene list. Some of these scenes are very fleshed out — typically the beginning and final scenes — but some of them have very little detail, leaving room for whatever pops into my brain at the time of writing.
And still more stuff winds up on the wall. There’s usually a ‘Don’t Forget’ list — a compilation of themes, subplots, character relationships and so on that I want to keep in the loop. Writing a novel feels a lot like keeping all these plates spinning in the air, and this list is my reminder to give each particular plate a little spin every now and then.
And then finally, just before I launch into the first draft, a single sheet of A4 goes up with motivational crap on it. This has grown over the years, each new book seemingly inspiring a new piece of advice for myself. And seeing as how I’m revealing all my writing method secrets here, I’ll end here with what was on my wall when I wrote The Jump. Whether it will mean anything to anyone else is open to debate, but I leave you with it anyway. Enjoy!
LESS IS MORE
SHOW, DON’T TELL
NEVER APOLOGIZE, NEVER EXPLAIN
INCREASE THE CONFLICT
AS EXTREME AS POSSIBLE
EVERY WORD MUST JUSTIFY ITS EXISTENCE
About the Author:
Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre.Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. Hes had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature.He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children. He loves drinking malt whisky and playing football, not necessarily at the same time.