Delighted to be joining the blog tour today – organised by Anne at Random Things – for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, published by Wildfire (Headline), available already for kindle and due out in hardback on 22nd March. Sadly another great looking book that I was unable to get round to reading – but I’m not entirely sure that I could cope with a book that Fiona Cummins describes as “brilliant and terrifying”.
A frightening depiction of unbridled obsession, where love and pure hatred grapple on a knife edge.
Juliette loves Nate. The fact that he’s broken up with her doesn’t change that.
She has a plan to win him back, starting with training as a flight attendant for the airline where he works as a pilot, so she can keep a closer eye on him. Twisting the self-help books she’s read, she takes the mantra ‘in charge of you own destiny’ to new extremes.
She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants – the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life, the perfect ending.
An utterly compelling voice that hooks you into Juliette’s world, a unique insight into the face behind the air hostess uniform from an author with first hand experience, and ultimately a completely page-turning experience make The Perfect Girlfriend one to watch in 2018.
It’s a real pleasure to welcome author Karen Hamilton as my guest on Being Anne, to tell us more about writing what she knows…
Given Juliette’s nature, what probably won’t come across in the novel is just how much I enjoyed the job. I did, however, try to recreate a glamorous and authentic world based on my experiences. What was enjoyable about using my experience was the imagining someone like Juliette at work and and using the claustrophobic environment of being trapped on a plane to her advantage.
The idea of Juliette’s character first came to me whilst I was still working for an airline. The image came to me when I was changing out of uniform one day, I felt this sense of returning to ‘anonymity’, an ordinary member of the public. I thought about the faces and personas behind the uniform and this gave me a good starting point to create Juliette.
There were many aspects to the role of cabin crew, customer service was just one part. There was fire and safety training, which involved evacuating colleagues from the mock-ups of planes, entering a ‘smoke-filled’ cabin to locate the source of a fire and rescuing ‘people.’ Survival training covered areas such as how to survive in a life-raft or in a remote area and we were also taught how to handcuff unruly passengers, but this was, of course, always a last resort! Self-defence was also taught to deal with aggressive passengers.
I decided that Juliette would definitely use her new skills to her advantage and I enjoyed using my knowledge to enable her to do just that! I never encountered a person like Juliette. Most crew are friendly, kind and professional at work ,however, crew do confide in each other quiet openly about all sorts of personal issues. I used this to Juliette’s advantage, she is able to find out information from other crew about people she wants to keep an eye on.
I enjoyed taking Juliette’s character to different parts of the world, places I had visited. I liked the fact that she was able to keep a very close eye on the object of her affections, no matter where he was! I tried to keep the more boring parts of the job out of the novel, whilst still giving a flavour of the tiredness, lack of control over your own life, difficulties of working in a confined space. I still miss flying (I still dream that I do) so I hope the book gives a good insight and will make people think about the faces/personalities behind work uniforms!
Thank you Karen, and wishing you every success with the book – may it fly off the shelves! Here are all the other stops on Karen’s tour…
About the author
Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thirller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband. ￼