Today I’m joining the blog tour for Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid and I have a Q&A with the author to share with you. But first here’s what the book is about.
For fans of The Girlfriend and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies as well as TV hits Doctor Foster and The Replacement.
Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.
Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.
One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.
But the evening does not go as planned.
Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.
Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…
Gripping and unputdownable, Perfect Liars tells the story of a group of friends bound by their dark pasts and their desperate need to keep their secrets hidden from the world around them. How far would you go to protect the life you’ve built?
Q&A WITH REBECCA REID
To kick things off can you tell us a little bit about your novel Perfect Liars.
Perfect Liars is a domestic thriller about a group of women who’ve been friends for years, but who are only really held together by a shared secret. I’ve taken to explaining it as being a bit like a dark, British Mean Girls, but with murder.
Was the idea for Perfect Liars brewing inside your head for some time or did you write your novel quite quickly?
I wrote the first draft of Perfect Liars in about ten days, so it was definitely a fast process. That said, I’d always had an idea at the back of my mind about a female take on Lord of the Flies, which became the spark which started the book off. I had a very strong vision on my honeymoon of a dinner party between a group of women who, at least ostensibly, didn’t like each other, and came home desperate to start writing.
I’ve heard many writers say that they are either a plotter or a panster when it comes to writing their novels. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your writing process?
I’ve heard this too and I don’t know which one I am! I know the beginning, middle and end of a story when I start, and I do a decent synopsis when I start writing. But once I get going things tend to twist and turn in their own way. I find that when I’m writing dialogue I become a bit of a channel for a conversation between the characters and I don’t have much say in what they end up talking about.
I tend to write very fast (6-8 thousand words a day) which is all totally unplanned, and then have to chop it back. I also write in a pretty linear way, starting at the beginning and working through to the end. Though if there’s an especially juicy scene I’m desperate to write I’ll let myself do that first.
Is there anything in particular that inspired your novel?
So much! When I was writing it the media was dominated by conversations about privilege – especially white male privilege. I couldn’t help thinking that the discussion was ignoring the women who stood behind this privilege. I wanted to know who they were, where they came from and what their role was in keeping the status quo.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, though originally I wanted to write plays (I really like writing dialogue). I’m a journalist for my main job, so I’ve been writing for a living since I was 22. That said, I was always doubtful about it happening, given that I’m dyslexic and can’t spell to save my life. My editor told me not to worry too much about typos because that’s what proof reading is for and honestly I almost cried.
Was there a particular part of writing Perfect Liars that you found the hardest?
I have a war with myself every morning about getting started with writing. I procrastinate more than anyone I know. As soon as I start, everything just flows, but I have to bully myself into sitting down in front of the computer. Journalism has trained me to be able to turn around writing – even if it’s not my best – under any circumstance.
Before writing Perfect Liars I’d never read a thriller, and I was half way through it before I realised that was what it was, so there was a sudden need to immerse myself in the masters of the art. I spent three days reading Liane Moriarty to try and create a sort of middle ground between them.
Did you celebrate when you finished writing your novel, and if so how?
I didn’t – if I’m totally honest I felt really numb and then quite sad. I had loved spending all those hours with my characters, and then suddenly they were gone. It was a bit of a bump back down to earth. Luckily I had a two book deal with Transworld so I could get going on the next project.
What would be the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?
Write. You can’t edit a blank page, so get something – anything – down and then go from there. Writing is a craft like anything else and you get better the more that you do it. I look back at things I wrote a year ago and wince, and probably always will.
Joining groups or going on a residential course can be a brilliant way to carve out some space to write, which is most people’s biggest struggle.
Are there any writers who you particularly admire?
So many! Liane Moriaty, Sarra Manning, Eva Rice, Dodie Smith, Charlotte Bronte, Vladamir Nabokov and Daphen Du Maurier most of all.
And finally is there anything that you can tell us about what you are writing next?
Truth Hurts is my second novel, out in August 2019. It’s about a couple who have a whirlwind romance and agree never to talk about anything that happened to them before they met. It asks the question of what’s more dangerous, a secret or a lie.
I’ve just started work on my third book, which is going to be a little bit different from the first two.
Thank you to Rebecca Reid for taking the time to answer my questions and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour. If you would like to find out more about Perfect Liars and if you would like to buy a copy, you can do so by clicking the link below.
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication date: 1st September 2018
Print length: 368 pages
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