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Me and my debut novel

Hello, I’m Sarah Marie Graye – writer of The Second Cup. I was born in South Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents as the second eldest of five daughters. (When people hear this they usually say “Your poor father!” – but he insists he never wanted sons.)

To the outside world I seemed like a relatively normal kid. I would work hard in class, but found myself easily bored. I was bullied and often retaliated, getting into scraps in the playground.

When I was diagnosed with depression at aged 9, although it was initially a shock, when the idea set in, it made a lot of sense to me. I’m now in my early 40s, and it’s a diagnosis that has followed me through the past three decades. I don’t think it’s any surprise that my debut novel, The Second Cup, is about mental health issues.

The novel follows Faye, Beth, Olivia and Abbie as they come to terms with a shocking death. Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

So what’s next?

I’m currently working on my second novel, which has a working title of The Victoria Lie. Yes, it’s also about mental health, but it’s a different story, a different set of friends. And it relates to my relatively recent diagnosis of ADHD.

You can find out more about what I’m up to both writing wise and exploring what my new diagnosis means in practice on my blog The Dissociated Voice.