Gilly Macmillan grew up in Wiltshire, and was pleasantly surprised when her family moved to California when she was a teenager. She studied History of Art at Bristol University before doing an MA in Modern British Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her career path has included working at the Burlington Magazine, the Hayward Gallery and teaching photography at a sixth-form college in Swindon. Her favourite job was working in a café opposite Kepler’s bookshop in Menlo Park, CA. She currently lives in Bristol with her husband Julian and their three children.
Gilly is currently working on her first novel, Burnt Paper Sky. Ben Finch is eight years old. One Sunday afternoon, while walking in the woods with his mother, he disappears. This is Ben’s mother’s story. As a hunt for him is launched, she must endure the pain of his loss and the suspicions of others. Waiting for news, her dilemma is whether to rely passively on the official investigation to find him, or to believe in her own instincts and fight for what she believes to be the truth about his disappearance. Burnt Paper Sky is a story about the power of motherhood, family, and the difficulty of holding onto those you love when nothing is certain.
Emma Beswetherick at Piatkus bought World English rights in the novel and it will be published as a Piatkus superlead in August 2015. The title has been sold in the Portuguese language with French and German rights sold at auction as well as receiving Dutch and Serbian pre-empts with further territories sold that include Brazil, Taiwan, Poland and Sweden. In total the title has been sold in 16 countries.
On the day that Rachel Jenner’s eight-year-old son Ben goes missing, the bottom falls out of her world. Desperate to find her boy, she’s completely unprepared for how quickly her personal hell is thrust into the media spotlight. She let Ben out of her sight, and now he’s gone – so of course the nation thinks she is to blame.
But what really happened that afternoon? Caught between the tragedy of losing her son, a frenetic police investigation and a public who have turned against her, Rachel must now face the awful truth – that everything she knew about herself and the people around her is a lie. And there is nobody left, not even her family, who she can trust.
In this emotional and wholeheartedly captivating psychological thriller, we see how a mother’s single mistake can cause nationwide fury. The clock is ticking to find Ben alive. But this is a trial by public opinion. Whose side are you on?
Release date: 27th August 2015.