Do you ever read dedications in the front of your books and want to know more? Read on to discover the true story behind Adele Park’s dedication in her dazzling and provocative new thriller Both of You!
So, Both Of You is dedicated to Abdu Mohammed Ali, a man I haven’t even met and have only spoken to once in my life. Yet, a man I am totally indebted to and – no exaggeration here – without whom this novel would not exist. Last summer, when I was 80,000 words into writing Both Of You, my computer caught a virus (oh the irony in the middle of the pandemic) and I lost every single thing I have ever written in twenty-one years, and all my photos. I remember being covered in a cold sense of dread, my heart palpitating. I felt like I was being eliminated. Removed, because I am the sum of everything I have ever written, and my photos mean more to me than anything else I own. It was a moment of such blinding fear.
I’ve faced tough stuff in my life before: disappointments, grief and heartbreak – haven’t we all. I’ve always believed it is important to try to fix things, rather than collapse under the horror. So, I didn’t scream, cry or shout (even though I really wanted to). Instead, I contacted my publisher and calmly explained I’d lost the novel I was three quarters of the way through writing. Everyone immediately understood, no matter how calm I seemed on the surface, this was a disaster. They immediately put Abdu, Operations Lead, onto the case and he and my husband patiently, carefully, set about rescuing my files.
I have no idea what went on for the many, many hours that they worked together (although remotely) as technology is a dark art to me; however, eventually my book was rediscovered. The relief was enormous, for me and for my publishers. I don’t know if I would have ever found the energy to start writing this same story again. Even if I had tried to, it wouldn’t have been the same story. Without a doubt Abdu is a tech genius and he did save the day. I’ve learnt the importance of regular backing up to the cloud!
Heartbreakingly, not everything was rescued and everything that was rescued was returned to me without a file name or a date indicating when it was produced. It was total chaos and now, eleven months later, I am still wading through the mess, refiling, renaming and slowly accepting that some things have gone for good. It has been a nightmare, slowly putting my life back together. However, even that feeling of things being lost forever has been useful to me: such is the creative process and the life of a writer – everything can be used. I decided to channel it whilst writing this book about women who disappear. Lost … forever?
Both of You is out now in hardback, eBook and audio.