The perfect book to kick off your summer reading, The Sight of You by Holly Miller is full of love and heartbreak, and will have you thinking about your relationships and what you would do if you were knew how they would end.
Seeing visions of the future can be considered a blessing or a curse, and when it comes to the love story between Joel and Callie, knowing is a burden. For as long as Joel can remember, he has vivid dreams that show him what will happen to his loved ones in the future. Living with this information weighs him down, and when he “sees” something bad happening, he takes it upon himself to try and change the outcome. Choosing not to share this “gift”, Joel has difficulty developing long term relationships, and the pressure he feels causes him to avoid sleep. He turns to alcohol and medications to keep himself from dreaming, and he keeps his friends and family in the dark about his burden.
When Callie and Joel meet, they have an undeniable spark, and over time they become good friends and then even more. Their once in a lifetime love is real and blossoming, but keeping Callie at arms length is the only way Joel can protect himself from the possibility of seeing her future in his dreams. With bravery and compassion, Joel must decide how to show his love for Callie, and will it be at the expense of his own happiness?
The Sight of You by Holly Miller is a fast paced, all absorbing story of love and choices; heartbreaking and sweet. It is a perfect book to take to the beach, and will make you wonder what you might do if you could see the future!
Author Q & A
Q: Do you know anyone with psychic abilities?
A: I’m relieved to say I don’t! I think I would see it more as a burden than a gift, in much the same way as Joel does – I can’t imagine being in his position. In fact, I feel quite guilty about everything I put him through while I was writing this novel!
Q: In The Sight of You, Joel’s psychic ability has taken over to the point where he has difficulty being in honest relationships and is afraid to go to sleep. How did you come up with the character of Joel, and the idea that he would see the future?
A: I first had the idea for the book over dinner with friends – we’d arrived at that point in the night where we were starting to discuss slightly off-the-wall hypothetical scenarios, and the question came up of whether we’d want to know the date of our death, if we could find out. The table was fairly evenly split, and after that I started to think how interesting that idea would be if combined with a love story. The character of Joel came into my mind fairly fully-formed. I never imagined it would be Callie to have the psychic ability – to me, it was always Joel.
Q: Do you believe it is possible to live a happy life if you are able to see the future?
A: I think it is possible, but I think it would be hard. Unfortunately, the only way I can see of making it happen would be to live a fairly solitary life, which is of course what Joel is doing when we first meet him. To be able to predict the future is so at odds with how most people live and how the world functions – I think it would be incredibly tough.
Q: If you had the power Joel had, would you tell people or keep it secret like he did?
A: I’d definitely be tempted to keep it secret! I guess in life you choose how much you reveal to other people about who you really are – even your loved ones. Joel is sensitive about being judged, and he also doesn’t want to burden other people with the many dilemmas that accompany his ability. Revealing something like that about yourself might come to wholly define you in the eyes of others, so I can completely sympathise with Joel’s decision to keep it under wraps as far as possible.
Q: Why did you choose for Callie to refuse to hear about Joel’s dream?
A: Callie refusing to hear about Joel’s dream is the big turning point of the book, the moment that threatens to divide them for ever. It’s not the dream itself that does that as much as their differing views on it, which is crucial to how things pan out for them after that.
Q: Big congratulations to you, I read this book was optioned for a movie! In the movie version, who would you like to see play Callie and Joel?
A: Thank you! Wow, that’s a good question. If British actors were being cast, then Gemma Arterton for Callie – I think she’s phenomenal. Joel’s a tougher choice, but I’d probably cast Rafe Spall in his role – I think he could depict Joel’s understated demeanour beautifully.
Q: What is your writing process? Do you do an outline? Did you do any research?
A: I’m a big planner when I write – I never used to be, but I’ve discovered that when I don’t plan, I write myself into corners I can’t get out of! So now I’m a militant planner – I like to have a full chapter outline and character biographies in place before I write. If I know exactly where the story’s going and who my characters are, I find it so much easier (and more fun) to then just get the words down on the page. For The Sight Of You, I did a lot of research into Callie’s work, and then quite a bit for some of her final chapters, too. It was important to me to get the details of their lives as accurate as possible, especially as Joel’s gift requires the reader to suspend some disbelief. Therefore I wanted to make the rest of the book as realistic and true-to-life as I could.
Q: Did you know what Joel’s dream about Callie was going to be before you started writing the book?
A: Yes – this was all clear in my mind, even before I started planning. Some of the events surrounding the dream came later – and parts of the book went through a substantial rewrite at the editing stage, once I had my publishing deal – but Joel’s dream about Callie never really changed, as it forms the heart of the book.
Q: Did you know how it was going to end?
A: Without giving too much away, I knew the basics of the ending – but the chapters leading up to it changed a lot from the first draft to the final version. There’s a lot of tension and heartbreak there, and it was so important to get it just right – but early feedback from readers suggests I (hopefully) have!
Q: What books have you recently read that you recommend?
A: I absolutely loved In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – it was just a masterclass in writing. And I’ve read an early proof of All About Us by Tom Ellen, which was a beautifully romantic, heartwarming read. It’s not out until later this year, but my prediction is that it’s going to be huge.
About the Author
Holly Miller works as a copywriter and lives in Norfolk, England. The Sight of You is her American debut.