splashesintobooks

Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

#Interview with Shauna Bickley, author of The Worst Lie #CrimeThriller #MurderMystery #BlogTour

I’m very pleased to share this post with you today as author, Sharon Bickley, has kindly answered my questions. Read on to find out more about her and her latest novel, The Worst Lie….

Hello and thanks for inviting me on your blog.

What inspired you to write?

Like most authors I’ve always loved reading. As a child (and still as an adult) a good book can transport me from my everyday reality to another place and/or time. Books have made me think, see things from a new perspective, and, at times, made me cry. Each time I write it’s with the hope that people will read and enjoy the book and that it will spark some emotion for them.

What is your writing process?

I like to go out for a walk first thing and then start writing soon after I get back. I find the exercise time useful for reflection on how the story is going and what might happen next. I try and write most days and my goal is for at least 2,000 words a day. Sometimes it flows and my word count is more than that, other times it’s difficult if not impossible to reach that target. We also have a large garden (about 1.5 acres) with lots of fruit trees and plants to look after and so part of my day involves getting out and doing whatever needs to be done there. That is also useful thinking time and a lot of my plot twists or characters come while I’m working outside. Later in the day when I’m not feeling so creative I spend time on emails and social media. I’m not one of those authors who can fit in writing in ten or fifteen minute gaps and I need at least an hour set aside, but preferably two to three hours to get those words down.

Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?

Mostly I write using my laptop and a large monitor in a corner of the office I share with my husband. Occasionally, especially if I’m stuck on something, I’ll go somewhere else around the house or garden with a notebook and paper and start writing the scene that way. I find the change of location and writing medium generally kick-starts the creative process. The biggest problem is trying to read my handwriting!

Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?

In the Lexie Wyatt novels my favourite character is Tilly, Lexie’s oldest daughter. She is seven in the first book and around eight in The Worst Lie. Lexie doesn’t realise it at first, but Tilly is very like her in character and temperament so they clashed quite a bit in the first book. I love the way children take things adults say quite literally, and also their wonderful imagination which allows Tilly to come out with some fabulous questions and statements. These are crime novels and so there is a lot of tension, but I like to relieve that (just a little) with an amusing interaction or watch Lexie squirm while she tries to answer one of Tilly’s awkward questions.

If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?

I’m not sure I’d like to be any of my characters. The job of an author is to take their characters and put them into difficult, distressing, and potentially dangerous situations.

I like the quiet life. 

How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?

Choosing character names is very important to me and I take some time over it and have been known to change a name if it wasn’t working for me. I like Lexie’s name as its quite short with no frills, rather like her. Her full name is Alexandra although she rarely uses it. There is a place in the first book, Still Death, where she introduces herself as Alexandra, showing how insecure and out of place she is feeling in her life at that time.

As I mentioned in an earlier question, Tilly is my favourite character and she is named after my mother.

Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?

I find going for a walk helps with creativity. I live on the outskirts of a small town so there are plenty of countryside walks all around and we’re only a ten-minute drive from the beach. I like to start my day with a walk but on occasions when I’ve been stuck on a plot I have deliberately gone out to get away from the screen and give my brain space to be more creative. It usually works.

Do you think a short story gives something to the reader that a full-length novel doesn’t? Have the changes in the publishing world affected the short story market?  Have eReaders made a difference?

While I love getting into a good novel and spending time with the characters I also enjoy reading short stories and I feel they offer something different to a reader. From a writer’s perspective one of the joys of writing a short story is the opportunity to write in a different form or style to how you usually write. I’ve written two short stories using second person point of view, ‘you’ rather than ‘I’ or ‘he’ or ‘she’. For both those stories second person worked really well, but I might not be so keen on reading a novel written in that way.

Changes in the publishing world have definitely affected the short story market in a good way with e-readers making a big difference to the amount of short story collections now available. The costs associated for traditional publishing meant that most publishers weren’t interested in publishing collections of short stories, but eReaders have changed that immensely.

Many thanks again and happy reading to you and your followers, Shauna xx

Thank you, Shauna – I love reading your answers and hope to get to read your novels soon!

 

​Title: The Worst Lie

Genre: Crime / murder mystery

Publication Date: December 2019

Estimated Page Count – 300

Standalone Second Book in a Series

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0829DMZN3/

 

 

Synopsis:

Madelaine had everything she wanted.

Friends, a successful film career, and a loving boyfriend.

Then she was dead.

When Lexie Wyatt’s close friend Helen is frightened by an unexpected visit from an ex-university flatmate, Lexie is determined to help. She contrives an invitation to a weekend reunion of the group at one of England’s ancient stone circles. While there one of them admits they believe their long-dead friend was murdered.

Digging into the flatmates’ secrets, Lexie discovers they have lied. Have they also committed murder?

There is another death at the stone circles, and Lexie uncovers information that may connect the two crimes… and implicate her good friend.

Is someone targeting the former students, or is the killer one of the group?

About Shauna Bickley

Shauna writes mysteries featuring characters who aren’t afraid to go looking for murderers and generally get themselves in all sorts of danger. In real life, Shauna doesn’t do any of those things.

When she can’t come up with a murderous plot, she also likes to write about ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations. Underneath all that criminal intrigue is a true romantic who likes to see the magic and mystery in everyday life.

When she isn’t writing (or surfing the internet pretending she’s researching), you can find her reading, running (or more likely walking), coming up with excuses not to attend Zumba, and trying to find new ways to use the excess fruit from the trees in the garden.

Shauna’s latest release is a crime thriller, The Worst Lie, featuring Lexie Wyatt from the novel Still Death.

Currently she’s working on a sequel to Writing the Stars, but if discovered staring out of the window she’s probably contemplating new ways to kill people for a third Lexie Wyatt novel.

Shauna is always happy to hear from people, but only if they’re friendly and don’t ask hard questions. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and via her website or through good old-fashioned email.

Social Media Links

Website: www.shaunabickley.com

  • Shauna Bickley Twitter
  • Shauna Bickley Pinterest

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of and to Sharon Bickley for kindly answering my questions!

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