Today is my stop on the blog tour for Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill and I get to share a Q&A with the author today!
About the book:
An American Gothic thriller of deception and obsession, slicked in sweat and set in the swamps of Louisiana.
It’s a psychological mystery where the female protagonist stumbles into a deserted shack with no memory but a gun in her hand. There she meets an apparent stranger, Red, and the two find themselves isolated and under attack from unseen assailants.
Barricaded inside for a sweltering night, cabin fever sets in and brings her flashes of insight which might be memory or vision as the swamp sighs and moans around her.
Exploring in the dark she finds hidden keys that seem to reveal her identity and that of her mysterious host, but which are the more dangerous – the lies he’s told her, or the ones she’s told herself?
Published by Urbane Publications, Nemesister is out now and you can get your copy by clicking HERE!
About the author (Bio from Urbane’s website):
I’ve always written and told stories, for as long as I can remember. My first self published work at the age of seven, fully illustrated in felt pen and crayon. I continued with a series of insightful ‘When I grow up I want to be an author’, essays, and an attempt at a ‘Bonk-buster’ series of supernatural thrillers written from a position of utter ignorance on all topics, until I was distracted by Art college. A never ending, or never finished, fantasy epic kept me going through my twenties, but it was motherhood in my thirties which concentrated my mind enough to actually finish a novel. It’s amazing what a bit of life experience and the sudden curtailing of your free time can do to concentrate the mind.
After that I began giving myself permission to take my writing seriously enough to spend time on it and actually listen to critiques. The writing festival in York proved invaluable, and time and disappointment got me to the point of producing something readable, which I was lucky enough to have read by Urbane publications.
If you make or write anything, the number one question you get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ In answer to that question, it’s an easy process which combines working on your craft every hour you can for as long as possible – hard graft – reading as much as you can of everyone else’s work – stealing – and inspiration, which is just one of those things that just happens. The inspiration for ‘Nemesister’ comes from a dark episode of family history, and a moment from a dream; an image of a man standing in the doorway of what I knew was an abandoned shack, which was gone as soon as it came and yet lingered, the way some dreams do.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Ok, I’m an artist/crafts person most of the time, and lead workshops with Kent Adult Education, when I’m not looking after my lovely family. of all the things I’ve done, writing, burlesque,blacksmithing, dressmaking and corsetry, the one thing that impresses the most people is that I was once awarded hand knitter of the year – go figure!
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Oh yes, I was writing books when I was five or six, admittedly quite small ones, but books never the less. I was torn between art and English at University, but my annoying ability to draw got in the way of writing and so I did the Art thing, but it was 50-50.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I rip off all the good ideas everyone else has, which is both true and and not true – all good artists beg, borrow and steal, but in doing so they change what they started off with into something new and exciting. After all, Jean Rhys (whom I would never compare myself too by the way) would never have written the amazing ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ without ‘Jane Eyre,’ which is what I mean. Of course, most of this stealing happens without malice of forethought – you just find an idea someone else once had playing on your mind until you’ve made it yours, have a weird dream about it and then start wondering what if, and before you know it, there’s an idea for a book.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
There’s always a mystery, something which is impacting the present, and someone both trying to unpick it and cover it up at the same time. They’re like puzzle boxes with a sense of humour.
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
Yes, of course, getting the word out person to person is the only way for an Indie author to get out there, and social media gives us the chance to get round the big publishing houses with all their money – it’s empowering for the little guys like us, and it’s a way real book lovers can find something which goes against the publishing grain.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Can I say writing? That’s too trite – I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the best thing – for good or for ill, just the idea that someone might be enjoying my words and getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, is what it’s all about.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the worst thing – just the idea that someone might not be enjoying my words and not getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, that’s the fear which keeps me up at night.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I hope to just be writing and publishing and getting more readers. If I ever make it to a radio four program about books, either in person or printed form, then I will have reached my own personal zenith!
What’s next for you?
I’ll be working on the sequel to Nemesister, which is written but will no doubt need a good polish and rewrite, and I’ve three or four others on the go too. That and a workshop on how to up-cycle desk drawers.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I do read, but as I have a baby and work with my hands all the time, I am addicted to audio books. I don’t drive, so everyday I walk round the town to do my job, search for materials in charity shops, walk the dog and get buses and trains to work, so I always have my head phones on and a book playing.
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
I never remember them all, but just in my last years worth of read I loved The Power by Naomi Alderman, and Leon by Kit De Waal, and I enjoyed Dark Place by Gillian Flynn, which I preferred to Gone Girl.
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Totally Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, the most stunning book and an incredible Grand Guignol main character, who you love but would not like to be in a lift with.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I make stuff all the time, it’s almost a compulsion – needle felting, pom-pom crafts, embroidery, painting, decoupage and collecting weird stuff to put in bottles. I bake and cook a lot, and I love my garden, and very, very occasionally still go clubbing with my friends!
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I suppose all of them are, as books are my sort of job, but I guess see the question above!
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I dream of one day going to Japan in the spring to see the gardens in full blossom, and then all the street fashions in Tokyo, as I love clothes and creating outfits.
Asparagus, cheese, olives and bread and butter.
Tea, tea and especially Chai Tea!
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Luck, both good and bad.
Huge thanks to Sophie for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Abby for having me on the blog tour!
Make sure to check out the tour: