Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I was a secondary school English teacher before writing my first novel, but I just knew I had to take a chance and leave the profession to focus on my writing. It was a huge risk but I was lucky enough to find my agent quickly. However, after being unable to find a publisher for my first novel, we ended up self-publishing it on Amazon. Thankfully, it did well and after self-publishing my second book, I was offered a book deal with Bookouture.
If you had to give an elevator pitch for While You Were Sleeping, what would it be?
A woman wakes up next to the dead body of her neighbour but has no recollection of how she got there.
He is not your husband. This is not your bed.
Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.
But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour, Lee Jacobs’ bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.
Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her own life knows what really happened that night. And when the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out.
But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?
Where did the inspiration for While You Were Sleeping come from?
The idea came to me from a poem I used to teach about a woman who wakes up to find a head on the pillow next to her. She knows she is responsible for this, but I was intrigued by the idea of someone now knowing how they have woken up next to a dead body.
Which came first, the characters or the plot?
The plot was the first thing I thought of, then I developed the characters to work into it.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Before I had my baby I would write in the morning until I’d reached my word count for the day (usually 1000-2000 words) but now, as he’s only 11 months old, I can only write once he’s in bed at night.
If you get a block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it?
I just keep thinking about it and try to find ways around the problem, even if it takes a while. Writing notes helps.
What essentials do you need to have close to hand when you are in writing mode?
Something to write ideas down on (note pad or phone!)
Now that you have five books under your belt, what words of wisdom would you give to anyone who is thinking of writing a novel?
The best advice I can give is to plan it out carefully and know exactly how it will end. Set yourself a small word count for each day and then it won’t seem so daunting.
Do you treat yourself to anything special to celebrate publishing your books?
Only after my first book: I bought myself a lovely necklace with a book pendant.
Finally what can we expect from you next?
I’m currently planning book six, and I hope to keep writing as I have a few more ideas up my sleeve!