My upcoming release, Under Her Influence, brings together my fascination with theme parks and the interesting world of social media influencers.
The book takes place in Fraser Park—an award-winning nature reserve and theme park in Scotland. This fictional attraction borrows heavily from Tivoli in Copenhagen (also seen in my last book, Detour to Love). Like Tivoli, Fraser Park grew from a Victorian pleasure garden where ladies would promenade through manicured gardens to the kind of Disneyland-esque theme park we see today.
Beth Fraser runs Fraser Park with her twin brother Cameron after inheriting the business from their beloved grandmother. We join the Frasers at a tumultuous time for the park where their need for growth and development has caused them to seek outside funding which has resulted in a board of directors who don’t have the same love for the resort.
I’ve been wanting to write a book that showcased the magic of theme parks for a while. I’m not talking about funfairs or amusement parks, no matter how fun or amusing they may be. I’m talking about theme parks. Called so because of the theming. As someone who loves telling stories, it should come as no surprise that world-building and theming are of great interest to me.
While Beth is tied up in knots with stress, Cameron can’t help but drift along without a care in the world.
Cameron invites the young and vivacious Jemma Johnson to visit Fraser Park. Jemma is an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers eager to travel around the world by her side. Jemma is an amalgamation of the many travel influencers we see on Instagram and YouTube today. While she has no ill-intent, her perfect feed is perhaps not always an entirely accurate representation of what is happening.
The idea of Jemma came to me once when I was at a theme park and saw a woman in her early twenties order everything off the menu in a quick service restaurant. She sat at a table and took a while to set up her camera before filming herself eating a bite or two of every dish. In between filming she looked exhausted and when she turned the camera back it was obvious that she was putting on a show. Being an influencer may seem like an amazing job and an easy way to make money but I knew then that it was a lot harder than it looks.
Under Her Influence is available through the Bold Strokes Books website for pre-order now. Orders through Bold Strokes Books will be delivered on 1st June, general release everywhere else will be on 15th June