~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:

TOT.jpg

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:

Lucy Hay author photo

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:

Other twin blog tour poster.jpg

 

Outside Looking In by Michael Wood *Blog Tour*

 

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! It’s finally my turn and I’m lucky enough to be the last stop on the blog tour for Michael Wood’s second novel, Outside Looking In.

Now, in case you didn’t know, I’m a huge fan of Michael’s DCI Matilda Darke novels. I read and loved his first book, For Reasons Unknown and you can catch my review for that by clicking HERE.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the blog tour for Outside Looking In from the start, because we’re doing something a little different to close the tour. It’s sort of a reflection post, with a few questions and I’ll throw in my review at the end for good measure 😉

First things first though…

About Michael Wood:

Michael is a freelance journalist and proofreader living in Sheffield. As a journalist he has covered many crime stories throughout Sheffield, gaining first-hand knowledge of police procedure. He also reviews books for CrimeSquad, a website dedicated to crime fiction.

About Outside Looking In:

When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead.

The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker – both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end.

The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there’s a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it’s going to take all Matilda’s wits to catch him, before he strikes again.
Some random questions from me to Michael:


You write fiction, so what’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?

I can’t answer that question just in case the person I told the big lie to reads it. 😉

If you could be a superhero, who would you choose and why? 

It would definitely be Batman. He’s my favourite superhero as he doesn’t have any actual powers. He has money and uses it to create things needed to fight crime. Very civil of him.

What literary character are you most like?

I’m not sure. I don’t think I’ve ever identified myself with a literary character. When I was young and first read Great Expectations I always wanted to be Pip and taken away from my life and shown a better one. It never happened. The older I get I think I’m more like a male version of Miss Havisham. 😂

Have you any secret talents?

None whatsoever I’m afraid.


Have you seen someone looking at/reading your books in public yet? Would you approach someone if you did and tell them you’re the author?

No I haven’t. I keep looking though. I did see a man pick my book up in my local Waterstones but he didn’t buy it. Fool. I’m not sure if I would approach them. Anyone could claim to be the author of a novel unless the writer’s photo appears on the cover.

When you edit do you leave anything big out? And does that something try to sneak back in?

You have to be ruthless in editing. It’s for the good of the story so whatever changes my editor suggests I know they’re only made to improve the story. With my first novel, For Reasons Unknown, there was an extra chapter towards the end in which a character died. My editor suggested leaving it out. At first I didn’t agree but when I came to writing book two I realised it was the best idea. Two heads are definitely better than one.

What are the best and worst things about being an author?

I love writing. I love my characters. I love researching and creating stories. I love hearing from readers saying how much they enjoy my books and characters. There’s very little I dislike about being an author. I’m still very new to this so I’m enjoying every aspect.

What would be your specialist subject in a quiz?

The comedy Red Dwarf. I’ve loved it from the beginning and it’s always my go to programme when I’m feeling blue and need cheering up. Series two takes me back to a time in my childhood that gives me comfort.

Top 5 movies/ books/ bands? 

Films:

1. Misery

2. Scream

3. Psycho

4. Back to the Future

5. L A Confidential


Books:

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker

3. Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson

4. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

5. On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill


Bands:

1. The Killers

2. Aqualung

3. Stereophonics

4. Coldplay

5. The Feeling

 
Best and worst subjects in school?

Best was English. Worst was art (I cannot draw at all).

Have you ever won any awards?
None. Thanks for reminding me. 😞
Do you have a signature dish?

I have a few salmon recipes that I’m particular good at cooking. I love salmon.
What’s your favourite place on earth? 

As my novels are set in Sheffield I should realistically say Sheffield. Although I don’t think I’ve been to my favourite place yet.
Who is your hero?

Good question. I don’t think I have any heroes but there are a couple of people who I greatly admire for either what they’ve overcome or the way they’ve shaped my life. Obviously, my mum and a good friend who shall remain nameless for fear of giving him a big head. 😂

Most influential authors to your work? 
This could be a long list. However I shall stick to three: Minette Walters (first crime novel I ever read was written by her). Val McDermid (consistently writes at a high standard). Reginald Hill (he was more of a craftsman than a writer when it came to storytelling).

Would you give away your last Jaffa cake?

Absolutely not.

Where do you see your career going? 
Onwards and upwards I hope. I’d like Matilda to be a long running series but I have idea for a couple of standalone novels too (one of which I’ve already written) and I have a great idea for a serial killer story that wouldn’t feature the police much at all (that’s still at the notes stage).

And after all that fun, here’s my review and make sure to read to the end for the last questions! 😉
My initial reaction on Goodreads:

I have just finished this book and I have so many feelings!!!! I am in bereft because I’ve devoured this book in one day after months of anticipation!

Michael Wood is an exceptional crime writer. He gives nods to other crime writers in this book, without realising he gives the same pleasure to readers of his books!

Outside Looking In is a brilliantly written, thoroughly engaging read.

From the opening pages (of which I started immediately once I got the book at midnight!!!) to the very last line, I was completely hooked.

I experienced a range of emotions reading this book, and I wasn’t expecting that at all!
The characters in Michael Wood’s books are so well thought out. I love his style of writing, and Matilda Darke is a brilliantly flawed protagonist. It’s not difficult to feel for her, to root for her and her team during the course of their investigations.

I’m always worried that after reading an authors debut that the follow up may not live up to its predecessor. With Outside Looking In, Michael Wood need not worry! A well plotted, thrilling and fast paced read, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

My final questions…..

How do you feel now that you are a few weeks on from the publication of Outside Looking In and the blog tour has come to an end? Are you happy with the reception for the book? Would you change anything? What’s next for Michael Wood? 

 
I am thrilled with the reception Outside Looking In has received. I already had the story in place when For Reasons Unknown was accepted by HarperCollins. As soon as I knew book one was to be published I started writing book two and it was finished (more or less) before book one was published.
People have been saying that Outside Looking In is better than the first which is wonderful to hear. For Reasons Unknown will always be special to me as it’s my first published novel. However, there is always pressure for the second to be just as good (or better) than the first. It’s a huge relief the fans of book one have enjoyed book two and taken Matilda and her team into their hearts so quickly.
My blog tour this time was twenty dates long (For Reasons Unknown was only ten dates), and it’s been fairly mixed. For the most part I’ve had some excellent bloggers. If I do another tour for book three I may go back to ten or maybe twelve and spread the dates out rather than have consecutive dates. What I’ve enjoyed doing this time around is taking quotes from various blogs and posting them on Twitter. They seem to have been received very well.
What’s next for Michael Wood? Well it’s quite an exciting time at present as I’m almost finished writing the third Matilda Darke novel. Hopefully it will be published early next year. I was surprised how people said Outside Looking In was unexpectedly darker than book one. I hope readers like their fiction dark as book three goes pitch black in places. I’m also working on something else featuring Matilda and her team. I’d love to give more news but I’m not allowed. As soon as I am able I’ll shout it from the rooftops.
I would like to take this opportunity, if I may, to thank all the bloggers who have taken part in my tour. They’ve written some wonderful reviews and I’m pleased you all seem to like Matilda as much as I do. Now, time to raid Sian’s snack drawer then get on with writing book three.
So, there you have it. I’d like to say a big thank you to Michael Wood for letting me close the tour, and answering my random messages with silly questions. It’s been a pleasure, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you would like to purchase Michael’s books, click on the relevant links below! 
Happy reading! 🙂