Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast--and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea's has taken a vow of silence--to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
5 Questions answered by Hannah Harrington
1. You deal with some big issues in this book: homophobia, bullying. What inspired you to write this story?
I just had the initial thought of writing a story about someone who decided to take an oath of silence. Once I had that idea, I started thinking about what kind of person would have the hardest time doing that, and why someone would do it at all, and from there the story sort of built around itself. I didn't set out to write an "issue" book, but the homophobia and bullying elements seemed like natural elements to the central conflict when I started weaving it together.
2. Chelsea takes a vow of silence to teach herself to think about what comes out of her mouth. Have you ever done anything to teach yourself a lesson you thought you should learn?
This is a good question! There have been times I think where I've purposefully modified my behavior for the better. When I was a teen I was a lot more... careless with some of the things I said-- the language I used-- not really thinking of the problematic implications of gendered slurs and such. I really worked hard to avoid using certain words in that context, like really just biting my tongue and racking my brain for the appropriate word instead of the bad one, until it came second nature to omit them completely from my vocabulary.
3. If Asha was to knit you a scarf, what colours would it be?
I really love black and silver as a combination. I would love a scarf in those colors!
4. Which character do you think you are most like? Why?
This is a tough one! I don't feel I overly identify with any of the characters in Speechless (as much as I love them). I think if I had been in the same situation the characters are, I would be most like Andy. Loyalty is very important to me and I don't take it lightly.
5. Can you describe Spechless in three words?
Words have power!
Speechless will be available from 29 August online at Harlequin www.harlequinbooks.com.au and in bookstores nationally for RRP AUS $19.99.
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