Meet the Author
Chatting to author Susan Lewis:
Best selling author of Hiding in Plain Sight, The Moment She Left, The Girl Who Came Back, No Place To Hide and many more.
How did you come up with the story idea/premise? I’m very influenced by the news – in my latest book, The Secret Keeper, – it was money-laundering as there is so much of it these days. I wanted to tell the story of what can happen to a community when it takes over their lives.
Do you have a favourite character? In most of my books my favourite character is the main character, so in this case it’s Olivia. However, Andee Lawrence plays a role in this book and she is always a favourite.
Why does Andee keep reappearing? Andee is a well known character to my regular readers. She doesn’t appear in every book set in Kesterly-on-Sea, but she is in most and I think she’s rather like an old friend for those who know her well.
Describe your writing style and genre.
I’m not sure I have a particular style – the most important thing to me is to make the book as readable as possible and to make sure each sentence, paragraph, chapter flows at the right pace to where it needs to go. The genre is hard to define, we’ve been trying to do it for years – the best we can come up with is Women’s Fiction, which rather lets down the thriller elements in some, also the crime.
Is Kesterly a real place somewhere? No, Kesterly is not real. It is loosely based on two or three towns on the west coast of England.
What do you enjoy reading? I might be wholly focused on crime for a while, then I’ll move on to thrillers, from there to historical fiction, to foreign literature (in translation)… Like most people I enjoy a really good story with strong, believable characters that I care about.
Are you influenced by other writers/genres? I’m influenced by just about everything I read, mostly in a good way, but not always. If there is a style of writing I’m not enjoying, or if I’m just not engaging with the characters I will put the book aside and move on to something else.
What is your writing process? My writing day begins around 11am and I finish around 6pm. If you’re asking do I start at the beginning, or at the end as some writer’s do, I’m definitely a sequential writer.
Any characters you didn’t enjoy writing? I can’t think of any. I usually enjoy writing them all no matter their flaws, disorders, weaknesses, strengths. It’s what keeps it interesting and challenging.
Do you always know what is going to happen in your books or do you write and decide as you go? I sometimes have an idea of how I want it to end, but it will often change as the book unfolds. I like to keep my mind open to enable the characters to take the story where it needs to go.
Will we ever find out what happened to Andee’s sister? The answer to that question is in Hiding in Plain Sight.
Do you believe in happy endings? I’d like to, but of course there is ultimately only one end.
You start many of your books with a twist or bang, which draws the reader straight in. For example Amelia’s mom drowning in The Girl Who Came back. Is this something you try incorporate in each book? I do this fairly often, but it doesn’t always work. When it does it’s amazing how much it changes the balance of the book. I get quite a thrill from that.
What’s next? Next is One Minute Later to be published in February 2019. It tells how life can change in a heartbeat, never to be the same again.