Two days ago, I finally finished writing Harrison’s Wedding. To celebrate, I made a (non-comprehensive) list of 15 things I would rather have done than write that book. Without further ado…
- Have a grasshopper crawl into my ear and have it pulled out with tweezers while it’s still alive.
- Go on Survivor, make an alliance with someone, and have them dick me over in the semi-final so I lose.
- Find myself at work completely naked.
- Get fired for being at work completely naked.
- Find an earwig at the bottom of my bowl of Coco Pops.
- Attend a family lunch at Buckingham Palace.
- Skydive with a broken parachute and hope the backup one works.
- Have 27 contact lenses stuck in my eye.
- Listen to “Baby Shark” on repeat for 82 days straight.
- Watch Caillou once.
- Bite the head off a live chicken.
- Be bitten by a monkey and have to get treated for Rabies even though the monkey almost certainly didn’t have it.
- Trip and break my foot on the first day of a two-week ski trip.
- Give over the phone IT support to someone the first time they ever use a computer.
- Have a massive huntsman spider crawling over my car’s windshield while it’s simultaneously broken down at the front of a line of traffic at a stop light on a major highway.
So, yeah, those are all some of the things I would rather have done than write this book. 🤮
I’ve spoken at length in my newsletters, Facebook posts, and on this blog about Harrison’s Wedding. I always dreaded writing it. Writing The Wedding traumatised me, there was just something about Heather and Harrison’s story that got me. The thing was…I always knew that Harrison’s version would be worse.
*** SPOILERS FOR HARRISON’S WEDDING/THE WEDDING BELOW ***
Sometime last year, I wrote chapter 14 from his POV for people on Goodreads. They wanted to see inside his head, so I gave that to them…and boy, was it messy in there. My plan had been to write a chapter a fortnight, so I wouldn’t have to write his book in one go.
Yeah…that didn’t happen. I ended up going over my editor’s deadline for Gabriel’s Album by about four days just to get that finished. Which left me with Harrison’s Wedding. All I had written was chapter 14, and some of chapter 13, which I deemed the second worst chapter. I’d decided to write those chapters in order from hardest to easiest.
This was the order I came up with in the end: 14, 13, 17, 15, 18, 20, 20.5, 21, and 12.
Chapters 16 and 19 from Heather’s book weren’t relevant in Harrison’s, but he did need a chapter added between 20 and 21. In general, I would say I was pretty spot on with this assessment. I was surprised by how hard some of the chapters were to write. While it did get easier, it was by no means easy.
Chapter 12 was a lot harder to write than I expected, too. Emotionally, it was fine because Harrison had no concerns whatsoever about what he was doing. I, however, hated it. I ground my teeth so hard that I ended up with a raging headache that night. I was listening to that chapter yesterday (something I do when editing to try and find mistakes) and I was literally just shaking my head and saying, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
It’s especially worse when you know what he is going to wake up to. The moment when he wakes up in bed with Maddy is truly devastating. His frantic attempts to contact Heather, which only get worse after the paparazzi show him the picture. The pure self-loathing and hatred, even though he was the victim of a crime.
I’m putting a warning in this one for cheating and themes of consent. No matter how many people remind him that he was drugged and couldn’t consent, Harrison still blames himself. There’s an awful conversation with Gabriel, actually I’ll share it as an excerpt:
There’s an awkward silence on the line before Ariana says, “I know you’re upset, but please be kind to yourself. This is a terrible situation for everyone, but you’re not wholly to blame for what happened last night, and it sounds like you’re blaming yourself.”
“Because there’s no one else to blame.” I raise my voice a few decibels.
“Yes, there is,” Gabriel interjects. “The person who took away your opportunity to consent. The person who took away Maddy’s opportunity to consent. Neither of you were in the right frame of mind when you did what you did.”
My blood runs cold. Did I rape Maddy? She couldn’t consent to what we did. I feel sick again and I can barely breathe.
“I raped Maddy,” I whisper in horror.
“No, Harrison,” Gabriel exclaims. “Holy shit, no. That is not the takeaway you should’ve gotten. You couldn’t consent either. None of us could. Hell, Ariana and I had sex last night and couldn’t consent to it. My point was that we were drugged. We had the choice taken away from us at that point. Whatever you did, you can’t blame yourself entirely for it.”
I know what he’s saying, but the guilt and shame crash over me and I feel like I might crumble under the weight of it. I fucked Maddy and she couldn’t consent to it. I cheated on Heather, who didn’t deserve it. I’m complete trash.
“Harrison?” Gabriel asks.
“Did you hear what I said?” I can hear the concern in his voice.
“Yes,” I repeat.
“Do you need one of us to come be with you?” Ariana’s voice comes through the line.
I shake my head, even though they can’t see it. “No. I need to call Heather.” The image of her in the airport comes back to my mind and I choke back a sob. “Now, actually. I’ve got to go.”
I hang up without waiting to hear what they have to say and call Heather again. It rings for so long that I pray she’ll answer, but I’m diverted to voicemail again and I fall into tears.
It definitely gets pretty dark. They mention Gabriel’s suicidal ideation, but I’m not putting a trigger warning on it for that because the method isn’t mentioned. Sebastian is on the lookout for that kind of behaviour from Harrison, and even asks him outright if he’s had any dark thoughts, which he hasn’t…he’s just, you know, getting blind drunk every night to try and forget the world.
The dynamic between Harrison and Sebastian during the split is also very interesting. Sebastian is, of course, the only one of his friends that Harrison feels will judge him for what he did. He repeatedly tries to use Sebastian as a method of punishment for himself, but Sebastian refuses to play into it and encourages him to seek help.
All in all, I know that it’s a good book, but I just hate it. Even with it completely written, and the cover reveal done, and the pre-order in place, I could happily not publish this book. That’s how much I hate it. It just upsets me on a very deep level.
That being said, of course I am going to release it. I couldn’t not. It belongs in the series, and it needed to be written and released despite how I feel about it!
If you’re interested, you can read my Goodreads review of Harrison’s Wedding by clicking this link. It basically says what I said here with less details lol.
Anyway, I’m off to write some more of The Stalker. I can not believe that I’m writing the final book in the main series, already! It was only a year ago that I published The Album it took years and years to finish it!
Anyway, I hope you’re having a good day, and happy reading!