Hello everyone and welcome back! I have a very special guest for you today – you may or may not remember that I read and reviewed Evonne Wareham’s previous novel, Never Coming Home, last year and absolutely loved it. Evonne’s new book, Out of Sight Out of Mind, was published last week – on March 7th – and she’s here with a special interview today. So without further ado, please welcome Evonne herself!
Everyone has secrets. Some are stranger than others.
Madison Albi is a scientist with a very special talent – for reading minds. When she stumbles across a homeless man with whom she feels an inexplicable connection, she can’t resist the dangerous impulse to use her skills to help him.
J is a non-person – a vagrant who can’t even remember his own name. He’s got no hope, until he meets Madison. Is she the one woman who can restore his past? Madison agrees to help J recover his memory, but as she delves deeper into his mind, it soon becomes clear that some secrets are better off staying hidden.
Is J really the man Madison believes him to be?
Thanks to Vicky of Books, Biscuits and Tea for inviting me here today. I’ve asked Jay, the hero of my new paranormal romantic thriller, Out of Sight Out of Mind, to join us, for a short interview about his part in the story. I know Jay finds it difficult to talk about himself, although in this case I hope that he can be persuaded to open up just a little. I should explain – Jay is currently suffering from amnesia and doesn’t remember anything that happened in his life before about three months ago. I’ve got together with Dr Madison Albi, the research scientist who is helping him in his attempts to recover his past, and we’ve managed to convince him that answering a few questions might help to jog his memory, or maybe someone else’s.
Before we begin, I’d better give you a quick description of what Jay looks like. A little over six foot tall, broad shoulders, probably early to mid thirties, dark blue eyes, dark hair sprinkled with a few traces of silver, flopping forward onto his face. I am sure he’d laugh if he heard me say this, but there is no doubt that he is a very attractive man. Madison is always completely professional in everything she does, but I suspect that privately she might agree with me. Even so, I know she would take great care about letting her feelings interfere in any way with her work. She has a reputation as a very dedicated scientist, who is meticulous in her research. I think we’re ready to begin. Briefed by Madison, I’m going to start with something general.
“Welcome, Jay. To start us off, can you tell me about the things you do remember?”
“It’s not much.” He’s frowning. “All I can recall is what has happened in the last three months.”
“You don’t remember your name, or where you live? Your job?” I can feel a shiver running down my spine at the thought. “That’s frightening. But you still know basic things, like how to read and write. Do you think you were in some sort of accident?”
“I really don’t know – but there’s no evidence of anything like that.” He sighs, and I can feel my own breath catch. “It’s just, well, it’s like there is a wall, inside my head, cutting off everything from my past.”
His face is so desolate there’s a lump gathering in my throat. “I can see that it’s hard for you to talk about …” Oh no – wrong thing to say – Madison did warn me about displaying anything that looks remotely like pity. Jay’s still fiercely independent, even if he doesn’t know who he is.
Better move on to something more positive. “You do recall something though – your name?” Ah, that’s better, he’s settled back in his chair.
“It’s just a single letter – J, or Jay. I’m not sure that it means anything.”
“But it could be part of your name?” I persist.
He shrugs. “Maybe.” He smiles suddenly, and his whole face changes. “It’s something to work on. I have to believe that.”
My grip on my question sheet is relaxing – I think we may be getting somewhere. “And when you … I suppose you’d say you woke up, three months ago, you were living as a homeless person?”
“In an alley close to Paddington Station. Since then I’ve moved around London, and eventually found my way here, to Uxbridge.”
“Where you met Dr Albi?”
“Uh … I met her … Yes”
Jay’s turned away from me, so I can’t see his expression. There’s something going on here. I’m not sure what. When I asked Madison how they came to meet, she was vague on the details too.
“Dr Albi is conducting laboratory experiments to retrieve your memory, as part of her work?”
“She’s trying to help me … and I’m very grateful to her for that.”
It’s clear that something is wrong. I’ve blundered somehow in asking that question about how Jay and Madison met. Jay is getting up. “Look … It was very kind of you to try this, and I appreciate it, but I think we had better stop now. I can’t tell you anything more. I simply don’t know.”
There’s actually a lot more that I want to ask – like the details of the scientific experiments that Madison is conducting, which I’m not at all clear about – but it’s obvious that I can’t go any further today – Jay has told me all he feels able to, and I have to respect that. I thank him and now he’s leaving.
And that’s it – Jay’s story. A very disturbing one. I know Madison will do all she can to help him and I wish then both well – but somehow – I have a bad feeling about all this. I wouldn’t go as far as claiming to have a premonition, but this whole thing has a very ominous atmosphere surrounding it.