#Interview with Debbie Viggiano, author of The Watchful Neighbour
I am very happy to share Debbie Viggiano’s answers to my questions today! Read on to find out how she responded and to find out more about her and her novel, The Watchful Neighbour…
Hello, and thank you SO MUCH for having me on your blog and asking me such brilliant questions.Right, here goes!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book? Blimey, that’s a toughie to answer because I actually started The Watchful Neighbour four YEARS ago!Right, let me rewind the memory.Back.Back a bit more.Got it!A lot of romcom writers were abandoning the ‘sparkles and glitter’ and going over to ‘the dark side’ – successfully too.Now I love a challenge, and wondered if I had it in me to do likewise.This resulted in drafting 35,000 words.However, the project was put aside because the fabulous Bookouture got in touch asking me to write… romantic comedies!Then along came 2020 which, as we all know, has been a ‘dark’ year.Maybe that is why it felt the right time to finish that abandoned project.
What is your writing process?
To be as disciplined as possible!I always plot an outline.The very process of doing that has characters popping up like jack-in-the-boxes, and their names are hastily scribbled down along with where they work, who they’re married to, if they’re likeable or rather a waste of space!Usually this sparks sub-plots which are frenziedly recorded along with chunks of text being dumped over there, then another paragraph hacked about and put over there, followed by an idea to do such-and-such which is mixed in with the bit above, and suddenly there’s a beginning-middle-and-end six-page summary of a new novel!
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I prefer a computer with subscription to the Cloud where everything is backed up.Yes, I learnt the hard way!The Watchful Neighbour would never have been written if my handwritten draft hadn’t been returned to me.Jade Ferguson was ‘born’ while holidaying on the island of Kolocep.I didn’t want to get sand all over my laptop, so opted for a thick A4 notepad and a pack of biros… and promptly dropped the notebook on the beach when running for cover after the heavens opened!A kind tourist picked it up and returned it.The pages were soggy and welded together.It took ages to fully dry, by which time the notebook had ‘exploded’ to three times its original size!
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?Oooh, that’s a difficult question because I’ve loved them all.However, I am very fond of Morag who featured in Stockings and Cellulite.She was utterly outrageous but a true friend to newly single Cass who was reeling after finding her hubby in bed with the new neighbour.But that’s another story…
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
Hmm, let me see.I think… yes, I’ll go with Hattie who features in The Man You Meet in Heaven.Her love interest was Josh, a Bradley Cooper lookalike… and I LURVE Bradley Cooper!Apart from anything else, Josh taught Hattie some important life lessons which Hattie, in turn, taught me.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters? I choose names that resonate with me in how I see a character.That said, they often change.What Holly’s Husband Did, Lucy’s Last Straw, and Willow’s Wedding Vows all saw characters’ names changing because the titles were to have alliteration, therefore the name needed to fit in the word play.All good fun!It was a little different for The Watchful Neighbour.I liked the name Jade but then wasn’t sure about her surname.I asked Mr V and he said, ‘Ferguson, after the greatest football manager ever.’(I’m rolling my eyes here!)But somehow Jade Ferguson clicked.So there you go.A story within a story!
The Watchful Neighbour
When Jade Ferguson’s affair with a married man abruptly ends, she’s devastated.
There is no quick fix for a broken heart.A fresh start is required.
New job. New home. New neighbours.
The residents of Gresham Terrace seem pleasant enough.
Except for one…
An absolutely gripping debut psychological thriller.
Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate. Tweet @DebbieViggiano or follow her on Facebook!