BLIND EYE  

by | Apr 12, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

Blind Eye is a fast-paced political eco thriller set in the Indonesian rainforest.

It’s about the challenges of combating environmental degradation in the face of powerful interests.

WHOA! Stay with me. In my mind’s eye I imagine Authors’ Lounge readers thinking this sounds way too heavy. I promise it’s not. I can’t stand fiction that’s preachy and bashes me over the head.

I want to engage readers in a good story and invest in the characters they’ll share so many hours with. Equally it is important to leave readers with a sense of hope and ideas for what actions they might take. I don’t leave readers on a downer.

My main character, Ben, is sent to compile a report for the UK government on a forest project producing timber for exportation. Everyone has an angle. The government wants trade. Linda, a radical environmental campaigner, will stop at nothing to protect habitats. Yulia is passionate about the forest communities under threat. Ben tries not to get entangled and stay neutral. But in the end, he can’t.

I’m in a unique position to write about this subject. Having trained as a journalist, there’s nothing I enjoy more than nosing out a story. In this case I didn’t have to go far. It began at home.

My partner is a founder member of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) an organisation to promote responsible forest management. His international networks were key to providing specialist input to bring authenticity to this fiction.

Blind Eye began as a screenplay in 2008 supported by Film Agency Wales. Finding a producer was difficult, so I put the project aside.

In 2020, with the coronavirus lockdown keeping us inside, I updated Blind Eye and submitted to Green Stories screenplay competition. It was awarded joint first, judges saying: A great success of this script is locating the plight to save forestry in a global context and showing how interdependent we are as a community.

Winning prizes for screenplays doesn’t count for much in the real world, so I figured I could control the narrative, and process, by reshaping Blind Eye as a novel.

I’d written one novel by then, (historical fiction inspired by real-life female pirates) and discovered how much I loved writing in this format, so dived into book number two.

Insiders – foresters, environmental activists, and politicians – once again helped me by advising, reading scenes and draft manuscripts, making sure my story felt authentic.

Blind Eye was published by The Book Guild in 2021.

It thrills me that Dr Leonie van der Maesen, life-long rainforest campaigner wrote to me saying: This book may be a fast-paced environmental thriller but for me it is real. Leonie could very well be my character, Linda. And the story is endorsed by Lord Jonny Oates, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Energy and Climate, who checked my political scenes. He called the book a compelling environmental thriller. This tells me I have a story that holds up for people that know the subject inside out.

The issue of rainforest destruction doesn’t go away and is more pressing than ever. Vast swathes of rainforest have been destroyed since I was first inspired to write this story. It was important then, and so much more important now as we all face the reality of the climate crisis.

My author USP is writing thought-provoking stories to keep readers turning pages. My books are ideal for book clubs seeking engaging reads that spark lively discussions.

On my website Blind Eye page, https://www.annamholmes.com/blind-eye, you’ll find info on the book and links to opening chapter, reviews, articles and where to buy. For starters here is the Amazon link. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blind-Eye-Holmes/dp/1913913457

You’ll find me on social media, occasionally. (Instagram handle @annamholmeswriter )but the way I most enjoy connecting with readers is in monthly newsletter. You can subscribe via my website.

Happy reading!

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