Okay, I think my new favorite thing now is being able to interview authors! This one was a lot of fun! Getting a glimpse at their passion and what makes them so great at writing is awe-inspiring!
Don’t Wake Up was just released in the United States this week and Liz was welcoming enough to share some background with me! In the meantime, add this book to your must-read list this Winter. It’s phenomenal! Thank you Harper Books for my free copy!
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
I think nursing must have influenced me to one day pick up a pen and start writing. I think years of witnessing grief and loss, hope and joy banked a lot of memories inside my head and writing was kind of a catharsis. A place to lay the memories. It’s strange the things that stay in your mind, the small things you witness that make your heart ache. The old man who sits beside the bed of the old lady and he combs her thin hair so gently. He then takes the wisps of her hair from the comb and places them in his handkerchief, tucks it in his breast pocket and pats his chest as if feeling her there.
2. What is the hardest thing about being a writer? Easiest thing?
I hit writing as if I’m going to run out of time, mostly from around 07:00 in the morning, and then wonder when I’m jerked awake at the end of the day, because my husband has done that hand on your shoulder shake-thing to see if I’m conscious (he works in a hospital) why he’s at the ready to resuscitate me. But mental exhaustion is not the hardest thing. It is fear that the book is finished; it is now out of your hands and it will be read.
The easiest thing has to be beginning a new day fresh and motivated to do it all over again.
3. What inspired you to write Don’t Wake Up?
I suspect many things I heard or read or even experienced as nurse stored a place for dark things and a hospital setting was the surrounding where I always saw Alex. And while what happened to Alex is imagination, bullying and cruelty does happen in hospitals, care homes and in all places where people are vulnerable and defenceless in the hands of the wicked. Often when we hear of a place being shut down because of mental or physical cruelty we ask, how could that happen? And the saddest answer is – because it can.
4. If Don’t Wake Up turned into a movie, who would you want to play Alex? Laura? Greg? (any other characters)?
Ooh what a lovely question! I feel like I’ve just walked into a sweet shop and can pick and choose. There are many greats to choose from but I think Amanda Seyfried would make for an interesting Alex and Rosamund Pike for Laura. Benedict Cumberbatch could prove a good fit for Greg!
5. What do you hope readers take away from reading Don’t Wake Up?
Not being believed when you are telling the truth is an awful thing to happen. Not being believed when you’ve be assaulted or raped would be horrendous to bear. Many of the characters during the story had something bad happen to them or behaved in a way that was wrong. If they’d been less quiet, less afraid, not let their life be defined by resentment and jealousy, as in the case of some, they would have seen they were better or stronger people than the ones they let themselves become.
6. Can you tell me a little about other books you’ve written?
My second novel I’ll Find You has just been published in the UK and it’s a story about loss and how far one is driven to find or make safe the one they love, so I’m biting on my nails at the moment what with that, and with Don’t Wake Up now out in the United States. Fingers crossed!
7. What has been your favorite book you’ve read this year?
It’s now February and it’s been slow reading with getting ready for publication day, but I’m halfway through The Tattooist of Auschwitz and it has me gripped!