NEXT BIG THING…
Thanks to Rebecca Giltrow (rebeccahgiltrow.blogspot.co.uk), fellow Suffolk author, for tagging me in the NEXT BIG THING. This is basically a literary pyramid scheme, except instead of having to send a chocoloate bar or a pair of knickers (anyone else remember that one?) you simply have to answer some questions on your blog. So I shall do so, in the hope that someone will still send me a bar of chocolate…(don’t worry about the knickers. That one always struck me as a bit odd.)
What is the working title of your book? My Sister & Other Liars.
Where did the idea come from for the book? As always with my writing, it is inspired by a real event. Several years ago I was watching a TV programme about a young girl whose sister had been attacked, and left brain damaged. The girl was told that the police had no idea who had attacked her sister and they were closing the case.
My novel starts at exactly that point, fictionally working through what a girl in that position would feel and think and – most importantly – do.
What genre does your book fall under? It’s a crime thriller. I’m hoping it will appeal to young adults, as well as older readers, as Sam is just sixteen years old when she receives this devastating news. She decides that, if the police can’t bring her sister’s attacker to justice, then she will. The story takes place over the following 2 weeks, culminating on her 17th birthday, which is also the anniversary of the attack.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I really love the actress, Jennifer Lawrence, from Winter’s Bone & The Hunger Games. In fact, I’m going to see her tonight in Silver Linings Playbook. I think she’d sensitively show the dark aspect to Sam, but also her vulnerability. However, at 21 she’s too old, so I’d go for an unknown British actress who no one’s heard of in the hope that she would bring an authentic vibe with her debut performance. I like the idea of taking a chance on a newcomer, because that’s what Legend Press did with me.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? “In two weeks I’m going to be 17, I’m also going to be a killer.”
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m represented by Clare Conville at Conville & Walsh so I’m very, very fortunate.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Months. Years. Who’s counting? It’s not a race, and the reader doesn’t care how long it took, just so long as it’s a damn good read!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’m interested in Gillian Flynn’s writing as she also explores family dramas through the crime lens. I also like Laura Kasischke and Anita Shreve.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? It’s the story in the brain that won’t be silenced. I’m attracted to stories that raise my anxiety, those newspaper headlines that linger long after the paper has been binned. Writing is my way of working through it.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Sam has anorexia, and I’ve done so much research on the subject that I’m pretty sure I could tube someone if they needed me to. It’s a horrible, obsessive, pervasive sickness and I hope I’ve portrayed it authentically.