~Blog Tour~ There Was A Crooked Man by Cat Hogan #Review #Q&A

Hi all,

Today, I’ve got the lovely Cat Hogan answering some questions as part of the blog tour, and I’m also  going to be sharing my review!

 

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About the book:

Scott makes enemies everywhere. Powerful people want him dead. He’s coming back to Ireland to finish what he started. But first, he must make it out of Marrakech alive.

Jen knows Scott will come back. Every day, she waits. He almost killed her last time and, fuelled by hate and arrogance, he’s not a man to ever just move on. He will kill her and he will kill her young son. But her husband and friends believe she has spiralled into paranoia.

So she knows, when he returns, she’ll face the psychopath alone.

Published by Poolbeg, There Was A Crooked Man is out now and you can grab your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

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Cat has worked for many years in the hospitality industry training hotel management. She earned a bachelors degree in business from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology as well as an honors degree in law from Carlow Institute of Technology. When she is not bringing her imaginary friends to life, she offers a freelance writing service to business start-ups.

You can follow Cat on Twitter at @Kittycathogan

My review:

Having read and enjoyed They All Fall Down earlier this year, I was thrilled to be asked to review There Was A Crooked Man as part of the blog tour. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading it, but I was quickly hooked and ended up having it read in 24 hours!

TWACM (Yep, I’m doing that, because its a long title to keep typing, haha!) begins with a bang and the pace genuinely doesn’t let up for the rest of the book. Scott is most definitely back, and he is badder and more arsey than before, if that is even possible! The author has chosen to have chapters from Scott’s POV at the beginning and they make for tense reading. Going into the mind of a psychopath is no easy feat but these chapters are gripping.

Its a little way into TWACM before we meet the rest of the characters, but it is plain to see how the events of They All Fall Down have impacted their lives. I really like how the author tries to capture the various issues that Jen, her friends and family are all dealing with. There is more than enough drama going on within the pages to keep the reader more than a little intrigued.

TWACM is quite a different book to They All Fall Down. It is much darker, and much more of a departure for Cat Hogan than her debut. I think it was a risk worth taking though, because the reader gets a gripping and completely enthralling story with plenty of red herrings thrown around the place.

There Was A Crooked Man weaves a tangled narrative that leaves the reader questioning the characters and their motives. It is dark, compelling and thoroughly riveting.

Highly recommended!


 

If you were to cast your characters from They All Fall Down, who would you pick and why? (Add in pics if needed!)

 

 

When I was about 20 thousand words in to writing the first draft of They All Fall Down (in the spirit of dreaming big), I sat down one night to write the cast list for the Hollywood block-buster this (unwritten) book would clearly become. I’ve changed my mind a thousand times over – with one exception. Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, Queer as Folk, Love/Hate, The Dark Knight Rises, The Wire) was the only choice for my anti-hero, Scott. As I continued with the novel, it was his face I saw as I wrote the scenes for my everyone-loves-to-hate-bad boy. His voice remained in my head as I wrote the sequel, ‘There Was A Crooked Man.’

Through a series of bizarre chance encounters, I finally got to meet Aidan. I told him the back story and he agreed to read the manuscript for book two- and if he liked it, he would give me a quote for the cover. He loved it – in particular Scott’s character and I now have a brilliant quote on the cover from the man himself! Next step is the screen play so watch this space 😊  

 

 

 

How has your year been since They All Fall Down was published?

 

Since then, I haven’t had a chance to draw breath! TAFD hit the shelves in July 2016- it quickly became an Irish Times best seller and a best seller on Amazon in the UK and in the US. We were delighted with the response the novel was getting and that’s when the fun started. I had started a stand alone novel- another dark tale of death, destruction and misery but the characters from the first novel wouldn’t leave me alone. Then the readers started- and the question on everyone’s lips was ‘When is the sequel?’ Scott had to come back and so too did the rest of the characters. I started writing the first draft of ‘There Was A Crooked Man’ in late September/ early October 2016 and the pressure was on. If this one didn’t work- I had just knocked myself back by about half a year. Luckily, it did work and the novel was launched this week!

It was a fast and interesting year and a very steep learning curve. You learn fast on your feet and now I feel as though I’m getting to grips will all the different facets of this busy industry. There has been loads of high lights over the last 12 months or so. I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you balance your writing life with a young family? Do you stick to a strict routine?

 

 

I am incredibly organised and structured. I always have been. I survive on very little sleep and I’m not one for procrastinating. If I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it- end of story. I like to be busy and I like to get shit done. ( #gsd) I take my professional life very seriously and I don’t waste a minute. That said, I’m fierce and protective of my time when it comes to my children too. Nothing interferes with that. Joey is in primary school and Arthur is in Montessori. I work in the morning when they are away, I spend my afternoons after school with the boys doing the mammy thing- homework, dinner, and all the lovely normal things and when they go to bed, I go back to work. I rarely work past midnight and I’ll either go to bed with a book or wind down with a movie. It works for me (for now!)  It is so important too, to have a bit of down time- coffee/drinks with friends and the odd duvet day.

 

 

 

 

What has been your proudest writing achievement so far?

 

 

They All Fall Down was nominated for The Annie McHale Debut Novel of the Year award, shortly after publication. It got really amazing reviews and all in all, it has been flying off the shelves. Already, ‘There Was A Crooked Man’ has been getting great reviews too- and of course, was endorsed by Aidan Gillen and Jackie Hayden. It’s a big deal to have their names associated with the novel. The biggest thing for me though, was at the two back to back launches last week. It was the look on my mother’s face and the faces of my close friends. They were about to burst with pride. They are all the people who have been in my life, through thick and thin, and seeing that look on their faces is more precious to me than all the tea in China. That’s the moment of magic for me and it will never get old.

 

 

 

What kind of research do you do for your books? Have you come across anything weird or crazy while researching?

 

Researching is one of my favourite parts of writing. I’m a bit of a nerd like that- I’ll start off researching one topic and the end up going down the rabbit hole of internet searches and YouTube. I often wonder how my contemporaries did it years ago, without the monstrosity that is Google at their fingertips. A lot of my research was done through Wexford Library too- with good old-fashioned books. A couple of people have asked me about when I was in Marrakech- a good portion of ‘There Was A Crooked Man’ is set there. I’ve never been. Good research and a wild imagination can take you anywhere.

The second novel touches on the sex-industry and human trafficking. That was difficult to research. When you are looking at the darker side of human nature, it’s hard to comprehend the depths of evil sometimes.

On a lighter note though, while researching They All Fall Down, I came across an interesting fact I had never heard before….

On November 1st, 1755, a series of tsunamis lasting more than seven hours tore at the south west coast of Ireland, “wrecking fishing boats around Kinsale” and “even damaging coastal buildings as far north as Galway Bay. In Kinsale Harbour between 3 and 4 pm, the water came over the quay with such violence as to throw many people down” – Now, I’ve just taken that from a piece online but there’s very little documented evidence about the actual events. I was told this story by a local and there’s a brief reference to it in the first book. If anyone would like to furnish me with more details- get in touch!!

 

 

 

If you had to choose a different career, what would you pick and why?

 

I trained and worked for many years in the Hospitality industry and it was a career I loved, but it’s difficult to have anything outside of that career because of the long, and very anti-social hours (and the mediocre pay). But, I loved it. I’m very much a people person, always have been.

In a voluntary capacity, I’m a trained Emergency Medical Technician with the Wexford Unit of The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps. I often thought about going on and training to be a full-time Paramedic. Maybe I’ll just write a novel about being one instead. That’s the beauty of story-telling, you can be whatever you want to be!

 

 

Whats the hardest scene you’ve had to write?

 

 

I think writing all the scenes from Scott’s perspective proved interesting. He’s male, he’s a psychopathic killer and he’s a real misogynist.  A few of the scenes made me a little bit uncomfortable while writing them- but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It’s fiction for me!

In They All Fall Down, there’s a scene where Jen’s little boy is in real danger. That was hard to write as I had to put myself in her shoes and imagine if it were me and my boy, Joey. I felt the same things she felt as I walked though that scene.

In There Was A Crooked Man, one of the characters shuffles off their mortal coil (no spoilers). I cried the whole way through writing the scene. There’s a piece of music associated with that character and I played it on loudspeaker the whole time. I was a wreck at the end of it!

 

 

 

What lessons have you learned as a writer?

 

I’ve learned many lessons in the last twelve months in particular, more about the industry I’m now in, rather than the creative side of my profession. I take what I do very seriously, but I don’t particularly take myself very seriously (in a positive way). And the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to stick with the people who bring the magic out of you, and not the madness.

I’m a dreamer as well as a grafter- I’ll always keep my eyes open for signs and my ears open for good advice. If people can’t cheer for me while I’m on this journey, they can shag off and go cheer for someone else.

Roald Dahl sums up my approach to life perfectly with this quote:

 

‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’


 

Huge thanks to Cat for answering my questions, and for having me on the blog tour. Make sure to check out these other fab blogs taking part:

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Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath~ Mini Review

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About the book:

An unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own…

Published by HQ in July 2017, Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Melanie McGrath is an Essex girl, cofounder of Killer Women, and an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction. As MJ McGrath she writes the acclaimed Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries, White Heat, The Boy in the Snow and The Boneseeker, twice longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and picked as Times and Financial Times thrillers of the year. As Melanie McGrath she wrote the critically acclaimed and bestselling family memoir Silvertown. As Mel McGrath she is the author of the psychological thriller Give Me The Child.

She has been a documentary TV producer for Channel Four and presenter of Trailblazers for The Discovery Channe. She has written for The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The Mail on Sunday and The Wall Street Journal and has taught creative writing at Arvon and at UEA, Roehampton, City Universities in the UK and the University of North Carolina. She won the John Llewellyn-Rhys-Mail on Sunday award for Best British writer under 35 for her first book, Motel Nirvana.

She is a regular visitor to prisons and has run a reading and writing group for women over 45 in HMP Holloway.

The New York Times called her ‘wickedly talented.’

Melanie is an experienced journalist, broadcaster, teacher, event organizer

My thoughts:

I devoured this book when I read it. There was something very compulsive about Give Me The Child, almost like you know something bad is about to happen but you cant look away. That’s how I felt when I was reading it anyway!

Is it just me, or are kids possibly one of the creepiest plot devices in books lately?! I don’t know about you guys, but the mere mention of a quiet or distant child in a book sets of all of the warning bells in my head and I want to put the book in the freezer. I have two of my own, so it freaks me out to read about children in books these days.

Anyway, I digress. Give Me The Child is an interesting take on the psych thriller genre. The main character,  Cat, is a child psychologist researching psychopathic indicators (!!!!) in young vulnerable children, which in itself is tough enough. Add to that the arrival of Ruby Winter, tension at home and you’ve got more than enough to keep the reader interested to see where the story will go.

Highly recommended!

 

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

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About the book:

Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins. They weren't even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another.

Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she's just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can't be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…

Published by Corvus, Don't Close Your Eyes is out now and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

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Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller.

My thoughts:

Having read and loved Try Not To Breathe, I was super excited to be given a copy of Holly's latest book, Don't Close Your Eyes, to read and review. I went in blind, as I do lately, so that I have no preconceptions or echoes of the blurb running around in my head when I start reading.

Don't Close Your Eyes introduces the reader to twins Robin and Sarah, who seem to be estranged when we meet them. They lead very different lives, so I was intrigued to see how the author was going to bring them together. I was thoroughly unprepared for how it came about though, which I loved as it really added to the story.

Robin, who is extremely agoraphobic, doesn't leave her house at all. She ends up witnessing an event from her home that leaves her reeling. This in turn brings up emotions from her past that she clearly hasn't dealt with. Alongside this, Sarah is also struggling as she has been made to leave the family home after a terrible allegation is levelled against her.

These events conspire to throw the two women back into each others lives, but neither is prepared for the consequences. The past has a way of catching up on people, and in order for Robin and Sarah to move forward, they must deal with their own demons before they can go any further.

Complex, winding and completely gripping, Don't Close Your Eyes is an excellent addition to the psychological thriller genre. Taut with suspense and fraught with tension, I defy you not to love it.

Highly recommended.

Previous reviews:

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

~Blog Tour Q&A~ The Other Twin by L V Hay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the final stops (along with Tony over at Mumbling About…) on the mammoth blog tour for The Other Twin by L V Hay and I get to share a Q&A I did with Lucy recently, First though, the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

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When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth …

Published by Orenda Books, The Other Twin is available NOW, and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

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Lucy is an author and script editor, living in Devon with her husband, three children and six cats. Lucy is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015) both starring Danny Dyer. See Lucy’s IMDB page HERE and other movies and short films she’s been involved in, HERE.

In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the writing process, screenwriting, genre, careers and movitivation and much more at her blog Bang2write, one of the most-hit writing sites in the UK. Sign up for updates from B2W and receive a free, 28 page ebook (PDF) on how NOT to write female characters, HERE or click the pic on the left.

For more scriptchat, leads and links, join Lucy’s online writing group, Bang2writers. See you there!


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Hi! My name is Lucy V Hay (sometimes LV Hay!) and I’m an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I’m owner of the writing tips and networking blog www.bang2write.com, which was shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards this year, as well as named Feedspot’s number 1 screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world).

 

As a script editor, I’ve been privileged to work on a number of fab and award-winning British projects, both feature and short film. I’ve written books about screenwriting, plus I’m also a novelist – my crime debut is out now with Orenda Books and is called The Other Twin.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first ‘book’ in the middle of my Maths homework book when I was about eight. It was called DUSTCART GEORGE and it was about a girl who ran away from home and had her own dustcart sweeping up the streets in London. I did my own illustrations too! Needless to say, my Maths teacher was not very happy though she did say she enjoyed the story, so job done.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

Everywhere, both in real life and online. There’s always new perspectives and ideas and thought patterns … This is why I love social media so much. There’s always someone sharing their POV, or a snippet from their lives, or a character from history … Whilst it’s true social media can be an extended whingefest and full of people’s pictures of their dinner, I make sure I follow the ‘right’ people … By ‘right’ I mean anyone who might challenge my little bubble and make me think of something differently, rather than abject trolls!

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

 

I would call it ‘dark and lyrical’. Dark, because I am obsessed with the reasons people do and say terrible things to each other; no one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I will be as evil/careless/selfish etc as possible”. I’m also interested in notions of redemption and whether it’ possible to be ‘good’ after being ‘bad’ – and whether society will let you!

 

Lyrical, because I am also obsessed with the craft of writing, right down to what words are chosen. I want my work to be literary, but also accessible. I want to bring forth visual tales like my hero, Doris Lessing who was so skilled at ‘word pictures’. That’s the dream.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

 

Absolutely. Blog tours, tweets, author spotlights, Instagram features, Facebook Q&As, guest posts … they all work in getting a book out there to the readers. The important thing to remember is they are cumulative. In marketing, it’s said the average consumer is exposed to a product like a book four times before they buy it. Also, referrals are so important – people buy your book if they see people they like/follow endorsing it, whether that’s another author or a book blogger (preferably both). This notion you tweet a few times and get an Amazon bestseller simply doesn’t add up!  

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

 

Writing. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love as my actual job.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

 

Writing. I hate it so much! (haha). As you might guess, I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on here.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 

I would love to have had a number of bestselling books and hopefully, a movie or TV adaptation of at least one of them. I’ve also always wanted to write a dystopian series for teenagers. But really, more of what I’m doing now: writing, workshops, blogging, etc!

 

What’s next for you?

 

Book 2 for Orenda. No title yet and still working on the rewrites. Also, my latest writing book this September, WRITING DIVERSE CHARACTERS FOR FICTION, TV AND FILM, which will be published by Oldcastle Books as part of its Creative Essentials range. This will be my third in the series, but my first where I include novel writing too rather than just screenwriting.  

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I adore reading; I try to read at least one book a week. I think it’s really important writers read – I would even wager real money that the best writers (in a craft sense) are the most well-read (whatever that means). I also think the best writers are the most open-minded and challenge themselves the most in terms of what they read. It can be tough to read outside of your comfort zone, but very rewarding. For this reason, I try to set myself pledges on what to read.

 

Can you tell me your all-time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

Argh, I have so many favourites … and so many fave 5s! I suppose the book that changed my life was probably Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

So many. But I wish I had written GONE GIRL, if only to get a naked Ben Affleck in the shower.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

Spending time with the kids. Reading. Baking. Going for drive, watching movies, hanging out. Nothing earth shattering but it’ the little things I think.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

 

I like to take pictures, especially of nature and my 5 cats.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

 

I love Harlyn Bay, in Padstow. The beach is gorgeous and I love standing out on the headland there and watching the tide come in.

 

Favourite food?

 

Depends on the day! But overall, probably chocolate. All of it. Give it to me!

 

Favourite drink?

 

Booze! At the moment, gin. Though it goes through phases … Ale is a favourite, being a Devon gal.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

 

Well I was a teacher for a bit. I’ve also worked in other places like telemarketing, supermarkets,  cafes, waitressing, even marketing via sandwich boards and in a giant bear costume! Writing wins hands down over all of these.


Many thanks to Lucy V Hay, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for having me on the blog tour for The Other Twin!

Catch up on the blog tour with all of these wonderful blogs:

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~Blog Tour Q&A~ Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Hi all,

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:

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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):

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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.

 

Favourite food?

Asparagus, cheese, olives and bread and butter.

 

Favourite drink?

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:

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~ Mini Review~ Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

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*Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy!*
About the book:
WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW
In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.

 

WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW
In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT
Connection?

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?

My thoughts:
I had heard good things about Sweet Little Lies so of course I had to check it out to see what it was like.
Sweet Little Lies is the winner of the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and I can see how it won. Packed with unreliable narrators, twisty and with plenty of diffferent themes and avenues explored it definitely follows the psych thriller rules in that sense!
Caz Frear has a great writing style, and a knack for creating characters that the reader will love to hate I think. One thing that made me smile was reading about my hometown and a nightclub from the 1990’s. I love feeling a connection like that when I’m reading, and its not often that Galway gets a mention!
Sweet Little Lies is an interesting tale. It has good plot and divisive characters and it deals well in showing how relationships and secrets can destroy lives.
Recommended!
Check out Caz Frear’s guest post from the recent blog tour:

~Blog Tour Review~ Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson and I get to share my review with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

Kerry

They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

‘Z’ is all it read.

Z for Zac.

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, The Girl on the Train and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the author:

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Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.

He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read anything by Kerry Wilkinson (apart from a short story or two) so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Two Sisters. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have it read so quickly, but his writing is so pacy and addictive. Two Sisters follows Megan and Chloe in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. Ten years ago their brother went missing and his body was never recovered, so they have experienced a double tragedy in their lives.
When they return to Whitecliff, where their brother disappeared, they are there to tidy up their parents affairs. However, trouble follows them almost immediately and the story goes in a direction I didn’t anticipate. I found myself engaged in the story and I just had to keep reading to see what was going to happen.
Two Sisters is billed as a psychological thriller, but to be honest, there is a more YA-themed story going on there too. I think because the two main characters are relatively young that it felt more juvenile in terms of reactions and so on. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, it just didn’t have the adult-y feel to it!
I thoroughly enjoyed Two Sisters. It was an engrossing and twisty read.
Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

Two-Sisters-Blog-Tour