Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.
As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe.
Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?
Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?
Title: Bad Little Girl
Author: Frances Vick
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd February 2017
Author Q & A with Frances Vick
Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels.
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I read a lot about the Philpott case in Derby, where the parents deliberately caused the fire that killed their children, and the Shannon Matthews case. I’m interested in family relationships, social class, and the mistakes people make when they’re trying to do the right thing. All these things and lots of others stewed about for a bit and ‘Bad Little Girl’ was the result.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, always! But I never thought I could be. At school I was told I’d be lucky to stay off the dole.
What other jobs have you had?
Loads. I was a youth worker in London for a long time, I was an English teacher in Japan and Italy, I worked in a theatre in New York for a while; I was a cook/life model in Italy; and for two hellish weeks I was a street based charity fundraiser.
How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
My first novel, ‘Chinaski’ came out in 2014, through a very small publisher. Then, in 2016 I signed with the wonderful Bookouture, for three psychological thrillers. They’ve been amazing, very proactive and pushy (in a good way!)
Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
When I find myself indulging in displacement activities like watching a lot of daytime TV and calling it ‘research’ I know I’m in trouble. I try to be brutally honest with myself.. Do I really need to watch the end of this episode of Judge Judy before I can turn on the computer? Probably not. I’m powered by guilt.
What motivates you to keep writing?
I love it, and the more I write the more I love it. Plus, having the Bookouture team behind me helps a lot, because I know they have my back.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I live in a very small house with my husband, two sons and two cats, so there’s not a lot of space. I sit at the a desk in the dining room during the day and work on the lap top. After school I work as a childminder, so I can only work 9-3
Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
They do. A lot of my characters aren’t very likeable, they do things that I can’t argue them out of. As a result I often look as if I’ve come away from a bad phone call.
What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Read. Read some more. Write.
Which authors inspire you?
Joan Didion and Jenny Diski for their unswerving- and unnerving- commitment to the truth of a situation, even if it casts them in a bad light. Nabokov for sheer nerve. Salinger for beauty.
What are you reading at the moment?
A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne; The Collected Letters of Samuel Beckett; The American Way of Death by Jessica MItford and the Unauthorised Biography of Nancy Reagan by Kitty Kelley.
If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Probably the prelude to Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. I can imagine my main character, Claire Penny, listening to it on the way to work.
Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Millie Bobby Brown- Eleven from ‘Stranger Things- would be great as Lorna Bell.
What is your next book about?
It involves a suspicious death, a broken friendship, an old obsession and a buried knife.
And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'
Which book has made you:
Laugh out loud?
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘73 Hunter S Thompson
Cry your heart out?
Life and Fate Vasily Grossman
Want to read it again?
The Idiot by Dostoyevsky. I’ve read that dozens of times, it’s my comfort book.
Freakonomics Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Wish it would be made into a film?
Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick (!)
American Psycho By Bret Easton Ellis
IT By Stephen King
Thanks so much for joining us Frances and good luck with the book.
Book Angel x
About the Author
To find out more about Frances Vick please visit her website