Friday, August 10, 2018

The Girl on Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell

The Girl on Camera banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Girl on Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 6 till 26 August. See the tour schedule here.

The Girl on CameraThe Girl on Camera

By Morgan Dun-Campbell

Genre: Thriller

Age category: New adult, Adult

Release Date: March 14, 2018


Reality TV is about to get real...

"Are you ready to win the heart of the nation? Compete with seven other contestants for the cash prize? Change your life forever?"

Twenty-six-year old Rory Stevens is thrilled to be selected as one of eight contestants for new reality show: The Retreat.

However, on the second day of filming - during a televised broadcast from the show's host - all power shuts off with no explanation: leaving the contestants, quite literally, in the dark.

Completely stranded, it is now up to Rory and her seven companions to figure out what is happening.

And then one of them disappears...

For fans of Naomi Alderman, Dave Eggers and John Marrs.

You can find The Girl on Camera on Goodreads

You can buy The Girl on Camera on Amazon

Excerpt #1:
He leans forward again, and shakes his head. ‘I knew this would happen.’
‘Knew what?’
‘That you couldn’t go through with this. And you see, this is your problem. You’re acting as though you need to make some grand gesture, because this,’ he jabs his finger down on the tablecloth, ‘this is the risk. You and me, moving in together. And you can’t handle it. Because you never take risks. You just keep your head down, hope for the best. You’re scared of getting out of the comfort zone, and you always have been. All this talk of doing something spontaneous, seizing the moment – you know what? It’s all bullshit. I know you. You’ll attempt to try something new, maybe go to a cookery class on your own where you have to share a mixing bowl with the person next to you, and in a couple of weeks or so, when you’ve gotten bored of trying to find a new hobby, you’ll call me. And we’ll have wasted a perfectly good evening right here, right now. This is a Michelin restaurant, you know.’ He opens the menu again, scanning his finger down the options. ‘The mushroom risotto is supposed to be delicious.’
I can’t take this.
‘David. Please. You aren’t listening. Nobody is, that’s the point.’ I draw my chair out noisily, people from other tables glance over momentarily, before resuming their conversations. ‘I feel like I’m being suffocated. And if you can’t take me seriously, then we shouldn’t be together at all.’
I am gathering my handbag, when to my alarm, he reaches over and seizes my arm.
‘Rory. If you really are being serious, then I hope you remember this moment, over the coming weeks and months. We have a good thing, here. I can’t guarantee I’ll be there for you if you end up sorry for what you’ve wished for.’
‘I’ll be fine. Please let go of me.’ I steel my voice, waiting for him to let go.
His eyes darken, and he presses his lips into a thin white line.
‘Fine.’ He promptly lets go. I gather my handbag, brush strands of hair away from my face.
‘I’m sorry, David. I know you think this is just some momentary freak out, but it isn’t,’ I tell him. ‘But I’m sure you’ll make someone else very happy.’ He slowly shakes his head, then points at me, a strange smirk on his face.
‘Remember this moment. You’re always running, dear. Too scared to take a risk.’
By the time I get back to my flat after hailing a taxi, the emotions of the night have caught up to me. I pace the room, David’s words fresh in my mind. Never before has it felt so like a cell.
Too scared to take a risk? It wasn’t the reaction I’d expected from him at all.
I make myself a mug of Earl Grey, then sit at my laptop. Has it always been so quiet? The ticking of the wall clock is my only company.
I check my emails.
And there it is again. That one, tantalising message, staring at me from my inbox.

Bored of everyday life? Dream of being rich? Famous?

My mouse hovers over it. Of course, it could easily be a Trojan virus. But so what if it is? Isn’t that a risk that I am taking, David?
I click on the email.

Big Brother? Too tame. I’m A Celebrity? Outdated. What do we want? A cutting-edge new show to push the boundaries!
In five weeks, Channel 10 will be broadcasting our brand new show The Retreat live to the nation – will you be the one to seize the opportunity of a lifetime?
Eight contestants, four male, four female, will be carefully handpicked and taken to our secret location. The experience will include group tasks for the contestants – which may result in punishments or rewards – and a cash prize of £50,000 up for grabs – as well as earning the heart of the nation.
Do you dare to audition? Can you entertain an audience? Have you got a game-plan for the cash prize?
Auditions are being held in London on the 25th of September, as well as the 1st of October in Manchester the following week: click below for post code and directions.

DISCLAIMER: Boring people need not apply

There’s a video link, too. Caught up in the moment, I go ahead and click on it.
At first the screen is black. Then there is the scratching noise of a match being struck across the sandpaper edge of a matchbox, and an orange flame flickers on screen. Two slender fingers with purple nail polish are illuminated by the glow. The hand moves forward and a stunning woman’s face comes into view, with high cheekbones, light blue eyes and white blonde hair. She wears dark purple lipstick to match the nails.
‘Guys, I’ve got a secret,’ she whispers, and the flame flickers some more. Her eyebrows are raised high, and her breaths are short and fast. I assume frightened excitement is what she is going for. ‘But I haven’t got much time,’ she carries on, and she looks to the match for a moment. ‘This is the hottest show around and word about it is catching on fast. We are ready to make television history. We just need you.’ She is so mesmerising, I get that impression radio DJs are always trying to perfect, that she really is speaking just to me.
The flame is getting ever closer to her hand.
‘Are you ready to win the heart of the nation? Compete with seven other contestants for the cash prize? Change your life forever? This is a once in a lifetime chance. But you need to be in it to win it. Ever felt like spicing up life?’ I think of the spiced candles rack. ‘Are you ready to take a risk?’ Now I’m getting goose bumps.  ‘Great, cause we’re waiting for you,’ I almost expect her to finish the sentence with my name. ‘So hurry up, before it’s too –’ just when the flame is almost touching the skin of her thumb and index finger, she blows out the match. A second later THE RETREAT appears on screen in white, and flickers, lines and blotches covering the screen, like an old-fashioned film reel.

So here I am. Filling out an application.
As I say, and as David agreed, I don’t take risks.
But there’s a first time for everything. After all, what have I got to lose?

Morgan Dun-CampbellAbout the Author:

Morgan Dun-Campbell lives in London. She has an MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing and Publishing, has participated in two Arvon literary writing courses, and has worked as an intern for numerous publishing houses, including Penguin Random House and Bloomsbury. The Girl on Camera is her first novel.

You can find and contact Morgan Dun-Campbell here:

- Blog

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Goodreads

- Amazon

Interview with Morgan Dun-Campbell

1. What is your favorite part of this book and why?

One of my favourite parts is definitely the beginning of chapter five, when the live launch of reality show The Retreat is happening. The contestants are being introduced to viewers watching at home – and the reader – via replaying the two minute video blogs they recorded during the audition process. I really liked this way of conveying a glimpse of their personalities before Rory meets them all, and how it becomes clear why they were each chosen. There’s the “former celeb”, and the “overly emotional one”, and the “cool mysterious one”, and so on.
Also, I like the scene when the power shuts off, as it follows a heated moment for one of the contestants, where they saw a glimpse of someone from the outside world – who could be in real danger. Except, rather than being able to help, they’re stranded with this group of misfits.

2. If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I’d spend time with either Rory, Adam, or maybe Jess. Sure, Jess is cloying – hence why the meaner contestants pick on her – but she’s also very good-natured. Adam is hopefully a captivating character to read, as he is intended to be. Still, he can be selective with who he does or doesn’t warm to. Rory is the character I’m probably most like, in the way that she’ll try to keep the peace via any means necessary, and has a sense of humour about any given situation, no matter how dire. But, she’s no saint, either. Although she redeems herself eventually, Rory does have a bit of a selfish streak. Still, she’s a good person overall, and would probably be my top pick. I can visualise us on a spontaneous outing to Brighton (small English city by the seaside). I think Rory likes visiting different cities now and then, for the anonymity. Also, it’s slightly adventurous, but not reckless – and she’s not the biggest risk-taker. Plus, she’d enjoy locations that remind her of her childhood.

3. If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

This is such a tough question! There are so many books I adore. I’m going to interpret this question as, which book I would choose, based on which book’s style of writing is closest to what I am trying to achieve with my own. So, for example, I wouldn’t choose a literary fiction book, because my writing is more likely classified as commercial fiction. I am also really interested in dystopian fiction, so perhaps I would choose Dave Egger’s The Circle. The combination of a headstrong female protagonist, and an alternate reality which isn’t too far from our own, is exactly what I hope to achieve via my own writing. My novel The Girl on Camera is slightly dystopian, and the novel I am currently working on is too. Not surreally so, they are still grounded in reality. I am hoping both novels seem a little like an episode of the TV series Black Mirror.

4. Are your characters based off real people or did they come entirely from your imagination?

Entirely from imagination. At least, as far as I know – unless my subconscious thinks otherwise! Truthfully, The Girl on Camera is one of my oldest novel ideas, which first came to fruition when I was thirteen. It was the second novel I seriously pursued – having started the first few chapters of novels since the age of eleven – and has always been one of my favourite novel ideas I’ve ever come up with. It’s one of my ‘originals’, and in many ways, is stronger than some of my newer ideas – perhaps I was more imaginative as a child. As far as I can remember, none of the characters have ever been based on real people. Many of their names changed over the years, though. Rory’s name changed a few times. But characters like Adam, Freddie, Mariah, and Honey Summers pretty much remained the same.

5. What made you want to become a writer?

It’s been my main passion since the age of seven – though I do remember the day I officially decided I wanted to be a writer. I was seven years old, and my mum was driving me back from school after parents’ evening. She’d had a long conversation with my English teacher, Mrs Webber, about a story I’d written which had really impressed her. I still remember being in the car on the way back – that was when my mum drove an old-fashioned 2CV. Staring out of the window deep in thought, I officially decided that ‘author’ would be my future career.
Ever since then, it has more or less remained my main passion. There was a time, around the ages of 11 – 16, when I was equally passionate about drama. In fact, there is a chapter in The Girl on Camera where one of the contestants, Freddie, lists all his near-misses on his pursuit of an acting career. And they’re all mine, in real life! Being a part of the ITV Television Workshop, being cast in a daytime movie about WWII alongside Sir Ian McKellen – which was never aired as it was deemed too depressing – and almost getting a small role in Eastenders and Casualty (and also Skins). However fortunately, I didn’t develop an unhealthy obsession, like Freddie. Probably because I was already content with my other calling: that of being a writer.


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Girl on Camera. Five winners will each win a prize bundle including a signed copy of the book The Girl on Camera, a bookmark, and a small box of Celebrations. Giveaway is UK and US only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

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