Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary blog tour @Sarah_Hilary

I’m really excited to be welcoming the brilliant Sarah Hilary onto my blog, as part of the blog tour, to share her Road to Publication. I have been a huge fan of Sarah’s writing since I read the first DI Marnie Rome book (how are we on book four already?) and whenever she has a new book out it always goes straight to the top of my reading pile and I am never disappointed.


It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it’s personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.



Sarah Hilary

  • Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?

Like all writers, I can’t afford to wait for inspiration to strike, so I tend to track it down. I often find it lurking near water. Val McDermid tells me it’s the same for her, so that’s my top tip – try and walk by water every day.

  • What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?

Notebook first, as a rule, but when a voice or an idea is especially strong, I will start typing a small scene and see how it grows from there. I do find that the act of typing helps the ideas to come – muscle memory in my fingers, perhaps!

  • How long does your first draft usually take to write?

Between four and six months. I write that first draft swiftly as it gives me the momentum I need (I don’t plot beforehand).

  • Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?

I’m chary about celebrating, as there’s always more work to be done. But I try to mark the milestones, so I may raise a glass to the moment.

  • Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?

All the advice says we should leave our work to ‘rest’ for six months or so, but I’m always editing. I have to force myself to stop once the book is being printed; even then it’s hard.

  • How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over the printers?

Between myself and the tremendous team at my publishers, this would be around three months in total. I will always read out loud to myself just before I send the first and subsequent drafts to my editor. That’s my favourite stage in many ways, as I feel I’m seeing the book properly for the first time.

  • At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

I’ve trained myself not to think too much about the stages which are outside my control. Otherwise I’d be a nervous wreck all year round. These days, I’m probably most nervous as I sit down to start writing something brand new, but those are good nerves.

  • How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

Exciting, and just a little odd. No matter how many books I write it always feels a bit surprising to realise the world at large is reading my words.

  • How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?

An hour, maybe? In all seriousness, I am always writing the next book, even if it’s only in the deepest recesses of my subconscious.

  • And finally how do you celebrate publication day?

On publication day, I’m usually to be found online, thanking the lovely readers, reviewers and bloggers who have helped me to launch another book into the wild. Thank you!

Thank you so much Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions and to Katie Brown at Headline for organising the blog tour.

To find out more about Sarah and her writing you can visit her website: www.sarah-crawl-space.blogspot.co.uk

Follow Sarah on Twitter at: @Sarah_Hilary