Paperback publication day & my hopes for this story!

It’s paperback publication day for The Gift, my second psychological thriller which has already been a global e-book No. 1 Bestseller. I’m SO excited for this book to reach a whole new audience.

The Gift is a story based around cellular memory, the concept that the cells of the body can store memories, and if organs are transplanted, these memories could also be transplanted with them. I first stumbled across cellular memory about fifteen years ago and was intrigued with the concept. Although this isn’t scientifically proven, there are an increasing number of doctors and scientists supporting this theory and further research is being carried out.

Endlessly fascinated I’ve spent years researching, reading up on real life cases where recipients have received donor organs, in particular hearts, and inherited some attributes of the donor whether it is a craving for the donor’s favourite food, or, in more extreme cases, speaking a different language after the surgery that the donor could speak, or suddenly being able to play an instrument the donor could play.

Could this really be happening? Is the heart just a pump or is it something more? It wasn’t that long ago the heart was thought to be the centre of all knowledge and wisdom. Is it more than we think?

I desperately wanted to write a novel around cellular memory but I was wary. It is a subject I felt that deserved sensitively handling. Where there is a transplant, there has to be a loss. A grieving family. A recipient who has perhaps been ill for a long period and the impact that has had on their family and friends. I considered all of these points four years ago when I wanted to start writing a novel and I decided I didn’t have the experience to approach a story that included organ donation with the sensitivity it deserved.

Instead I wrote The Sister, a psychological thriller based around a grieving girl and I found that despite the genre of the book I was able to write it with raw emotion and when readers read it and fed back how connected and empathetic they felt towards the characters, I decided to tentatively start to write Jenna’s story in The Gift.

Jenna is a 30-year-old woman who receives a new heart and begins to have disturbing thoughts and dreams. She becomes obsessed with her donor, Callie’s family, and she doesn’t believe Callie’s accident was as innocent as it was purported to be. Jenna is determined to uncover the truth behind Callie’s death, to bring her bewildered parents the closure they deserve, but as she begins to dig and discover the secrets surrounding Callie, she finds there is someone who wants to silence her, at any cost.

The Gift is fiction, and of course as an author I have taken artistic license with the subject of cellular memory and I’m sure readers will understand the need to do this but I hope I have handled the medical aspect and the loss with accuracy and respect.

My family and I have been on the donor transplant list for years. I know it’s not always something families discuss and it has been humbling to receive emails from readers saying after they read Jenna’s story they sat down and discussed their thoughts and wishes with their loved ones. My hope for The Gift is that it can continue to spark conversations about donation and perhaps encourage someone who might not have previously thought about it to sign themselves up to the register. Signing up really could save lives.

The paperback version of The Gift, published by Sphere (Little, Brown) is now available in all good bookshops as well as Asda, Tesco & Sainsburys. The Tesco version includes an additional short story written exclusively for their customers or you can order the paperback, digital or audio version from Amazon here

 

 

31 thoughts on “Paperback publication day & my hopes for this story!

  1. Congratulations, Louise. You’d be most welcome to come over with a guest post to help spread the word if you would like. Meantime, I’ll set this up to reblog in a couple of days.

  2. Congratulations! I agree with you, cellular memory is intriguing, so I’m happy to hear that “The Gift” is doing so well. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet, but it’s on my list.

  3. Wow! Cellular memory has been something I’ve been fascinated by for years too! I’m clearly in very good company, and can’t wait to read your fictional take on this, Louise! Way to go on knocking this out of the park; you rock star!! xo

  4. I read The Gift as an e-book some time ago and I just loved it! I recommend everyone looking for a gripping thriller to just go and buy it.

  5. Reblogged this on Word Shamble and commented:
    The lovely blogger, Friday Fictioneer and novelist, Louise Jensen has had another of her books – The Gift – published in paperback by Sphere, an imprint of Little, Brown. Now, Louise doesn’t really need my help to publicise her work (The Gift has already been a global e-book bestseller and her debut novel, The Sister, came out in paperback earlier this year after similar electronic success) but her work is so readable and she’s such a generous, lovely person, I thought I would try to shout her work about my tiny corner of the internet. So there you are – go out, buy a book

  6. The idea of cellular memory is fascinating; I have come across it before, and I seem to remember that innate knowledge of this played a role in ancient civilisations especially those who practised the removal of organs from enemies’ bodies, for various purposes (taking on the soul or the skills of the enemy). But the potential for inethical exploitation of this is enormous and I can already see the chilling plot of a dystopian horror story…. personally I don’t know how I’d feel about donating my heart to someone who then starts to write psychological thrillers or modern gothic novels (I have by the way agreed to be an organ donor).

Thanks so much for reading!

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