I'm delighted to be able to be a part of the Blog Tour for this lovely new release The Truth About Lies! This piece explains the significance of memory in Tracy's book which is so interesting and definitely made me even more keen to read The Truth about Lies.
So without further ado, I present Tracy Darnton!
Memory in The Truth About Lies
The main character in The Truth About Lieshas an extraordinary memory. Jess doesn’t just have a photographic memory and an aptitude for recognising faces - she has hyperthymesia which means she remembers everythingthat happens to her. I wanted to explore what that would be like for a seventeen-year-old trying to form friendships and relationships. So would you get really annoyed by people, trust people less? If you fell out with someone or did something crushingly embarrassing would that be forever playing in your head? The emotional intensity of life in our teens and early twenties tends to make those memories more enduring for everyone but for Jess it’s amplified. How does she ‘forget’ and move on like the rest of us?
So that leads on to thinking about how memories shape our personality and if memories make us who we are, would you, should you, change or remove any? I also touch on whether we are outsourcing our memory to the likes of Google and the effect on our ability to remember.
When I worked as a solicitor, I saw first-hand how memories may be presented as facts but are really just reconstructions. Witness statements, identification evidence and testimony in court all have their limitations. But in our popular culture, we often present ‘memory’ as a fixed file which we can access. In fact, this is really useful in plots for books and films – where there’s an extremely high incidence of amnesia! There’s a lot of satisfaction in following a character who is puzzling out what happened to them and who they can trust. Trying to sort the truth from the lies.
I’ve always been interested in memory and some of my jobs have required me to have a pretty good one. Like Jess and the super-recogniser Callum in The Truth About LiesI have an aptitude for recognising faces and I’m part of a research programme which tries to understand why some people are better at this than others. I’ve been looking at photos of people and then seeing if I can pick out that person from a group of images. It’s like a games of Guess Who but with pixelated, blurry images, sneaky profile shots and lots of beanie hats! Recently I was tested for voice recognition skills too. Some people are amazing at it (not me) and have a career in law enforcement. If you’d like to have a go yourself, click on the test at https//tinyurl.com/yc575sdh
Writing a book which includes something you’re passionately interested in makes it easier to keep momentum going. For me it’s the psychology of memory, but if you settle on a theme close to your heart, so many other parts of the book will fall into place.
That's all for now. But there's still lots more exciting stops on the blog tour#TheTruthAboutLies
Tracy Darnton’sThe Truth About Lies will be published by Stripes on July 12th 2018.
Follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyDarnton #TheTruthAboutLies