Thanks to Clodagh Murphy for tagging me with this meme about my most recent book. It's been a while since I blogged so it's a good excuse to put fingers to keyboard!
What is the working title of your next book?
I'm actually planning book 4 at the moment but it's at such an early stage I'm going to talk about book 3 instead (working title AN END TO SILENCE).
Where did the idea come from for the book?
In 2011 the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) ran a competition (the Elizabeth Goudge award) to write a 1,000 word novel opening on the theme of 'keeping a secret'. I had no idea what I was going to write about but then a couple of lines popped into my head (spoken by a very softly spoken woman) when I was walking back from the supermarket one day and they were so intriguing I scribbled them down as soon as I got home. By the end of the day I had my 1,000 words down and a couple of months later I was handed the trophy and told I'd won the competition!
That was in the summer of 2011 but the story, and the woman - Susan - who'd whispered those first few lines wouldn't leave me alone so in March this year I started writing. I was on maternity leave with my son at the time and, although severely sleep deprived, the creative urge was too great and I'd write during his 1.5 hour lunchtime naps and whatever time I could grab at the weekend.
What genre does your book fall under?
It's psychological suspense. I know, not what you'd expect from a chick lit author but there have always been two sides to my writing personality - the light fluffy side (HEAVEN CAN WAIT, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS and my womag stories) and the dark side (AN END TO SILENCE and pretty much all the short stories I've had published in literary magazines) and I loved this idea so much I just had to write it. And I had so much fun that book 4 is going to be psychological suspense too! That doesn't mean I'll never write another chick lit book of course...
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I don't really have any in mind if but I'd love to see it come to life. To be honest I see it more of a 3 part TV serial than a film. Susan's 43 so it would be great to see one of our really talented British character actresses step into her shoes.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Can Susan discover the dark secret that caused her 15 year old daughter to deliberately step in front of a bus before it destroys both their lives?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My agent Madeleine Milburn has already sold the rights to Germany and Italy at the Frankfurt Book Fair and it's being read by British editors we speak... *crosses fingers*
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
'Before I Go to Sleep', 'Into the Darkest Corner' and 'Cuckoo'.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to explore the legacy of abusive relationships, the secrets that exist within families and the lengths mothers will go to to protect their children.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's a mystery - why did Charlotte write 'keeping this secret is killing me?' in her diary? - a thriller - who is sending Susan disturbing parcels? - a relationship tale - is Brian the loving husband Sue thinks he is? - and, hopefully, one hell of a page turner!
My five writers for next Wednesday are:
Anyone who volunteers! I'd love to read your responses.
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