For once, I don’t mean exposure in a sexual sense. I mean media exposure, the exposure of having your life scrutinised and speculated on.
Tomorrow, A Twist of Fate is released in ebook format, with the paperback following in a couple of weeks. Much of the plot is focused on how the media treat Callie and Paul after their safe return following the plane crash, and how they in turn handle the celebrity.
Does exposure make us behave differently? Does it change our reactions to situations? Does the pressure of it influence our decisions? Callie has mixed feelings about her new found celebrity. On the one hand, she is wary of it and senses the danger, but equally it excites her. She seems to think she can enjoy her fifteen minutes of fame along with everyone else.
And how will it affect her relationship with Paul? After all, their relationship starts in a situation as far removed from exposure and celebrity as can be; they cheat death and find themselves alone and isolated from the modern world. Without the distractions of jobs, commuting, bills or the internet, they can devote themselves to the pleasure of each other. How can that be maintained in the media circus they return to? It’s a different world.
Here’s an extract. Callie and Paul are appearing on a breakfast TV show and being interviewed by the hosts, Bob Rhys-Jones and Dawn Turner.
‘You two are being called the miracle duo. And I have to say, I can’t quite believe I’m looking at two people who have survived what you’ve been through. Thank you so much for taking time to come and talk to us today.’
‘Pleasure.’ Paul sounded completely at ease. He sat with his left arm stretched out across the back of the sofa, while one hand clutched the ankle of the opposing leg as it rested across his knee. A typical bloke-ish relaxed pose. And so sexy.
I was sitting awkwardly. I daren’t lean back for fear I would sprawl and became acutely aware of every part of my body and what I was doing with it. Nothing seemed to be right. I just smiled and looked at Paul for guidance.
‘You’ve been back over a week now. How are you finding things?’
‘I’m back at work. It’s all fine. I wanted to get back to normal really. It helps, I find. But, err … Callie’s still on holiday.’ Paul looked at me, indicating for me to speak.
‘Yes. We’ve been looked after very well. I’ll be ready to go back to school in September.’
‘Of course, you’re a teacher.’ Dawn smiled briefly at my response but her eyes quickly moved back to Paul. ‘And you’re a builder, Paul?’
‘I’m part-owner of a building contractor’s, yes.’
She nodded as though he’d just told her he was an astronaut on a mission to Mars.
Bob took over. ‘Now, we won’t press you on the details of the crash, but you said in your press conference, Callie, that it was Paul who unfastened your seat belt to let you swim to the surface.’
‘Yes, I was still strapped in when we hit the water, even though I could see the way out of the plane. I couldn’t move. I was being dragged down as I was still in my seat, when I felt a sudden release around my waist. But I didn’t think I’d make it. I lost consciousness in the water. Paul must have got me to the surface very quickly.’
‘Do you remember, Paul?’
‘Yeah. Callie was the one nearest me, the only one I could reach. Luckily, I managed to get her out. I wasn’t sure she was going to pull through. Again, luckily, we weren’t too far from this island. I managed to get us both onto some floating debris and make it to shore. I knew she was breathing and she was moaning and mumbling a bit. I did what I could for her but I’m not a medic. I had to wait and hope she came round, which she did.’
‘Didn’t have to perform the kiss of life then?’ Dawn asked.
‘That would be tellin’ …’ He glanced at me. I blushed scarlet.
Dawn laughed, a hand across her cleavage. ‘There you go, Callie. Given a life-giving kiss by a gorgeous Prince Charming and you don’t even know it. I think every woman watching will be jealous – you’re quite the hero, Paul.’
He certainly seems to be …
A Twist of Fate is released in e-book format on 5th June and in paperback on 18th June. It is available for pre-order now.