On 8th May A Dark And Twisted Tide, the latest in the Lacey Flint series by Sharon Bolton, was published.
According to Goodreads Sharon Bolton is my most-read author so I am of course delighted to be part of her blog tour, and Sharon’s been kind enough to answer a few questions:
One of the things I enjoy about the Lacey Flint books is the depth of research that has gone into them – can you tell us a bit about your research for A Dark And Twisted Tide?
My latest novel features women being trafficked from South East Asia for a purpose not disclosed until quite late in the book. The stories they tell are all based on the lives of real women from that part of the world; nearly all of them harrowing, but not the worst I came across by any means. As usual, I did quite a lot of medical research too, but to talk about that would involve some massive spoilers. Possibly the best fun I had, though, was finding out all about Deptford Creek, one of the largest urban tributaries of the river Thames. Its history dates back to the time of Henry V111, when it was the site of the royal dockyard, and although it’s played a major role in commercial London ever since, it’s largely been forgotten in recent times. It’s a hidden-away, desolate but strangely beautiful place and one well worth a visit, but only as part of the guided walks. The mud is deep and the tide comes in fast and strong.
Do you already have in mind what will happen to Lacey, Joesbury etc in future books, or do you plot the character development for each story as you come to it?
Generally, I take each story as it comes. My characters are like toys in a box. They don’t exist until I pull them out and start to play. I’m not planning to write any more Lacey books for a while, so I guess I’ll be storing that box in the attic for the foreseeable future.
Do you have any plans for more standalone books?
Absolutely. I’m just finishing off my eighth book, which is most definitely a stand alone. (Famous last words) It’s a bit of a new departure for me: character rather than action led, and set in a very distant part of the world.
Can you describe how you feel when you see your books “in the wild” and has this diminished since your first book was published?
I’m very much a glass-half-empty person. I see a shop without my books and get cross that they’re not stocking my stuff. On the other hand, if there is stock, I worry that it hasn’t sold. (My husband and son are a complete embarrassment in bookshops, continually rearranging the shelves so that my books are most prominent.) What I am very much looking forward to, I admit, is seeing a stranger reading one of my books for the first time.
What sort of “vital jobs” do you find yourself doing when you should be writing?
Filing my nails, making tea, talking to the dog, fantasizing about clothes I have no opportunity to wear, taking naps, checking emails, lurking on Twitter, feeling guilty for not exercising, insulting family members on Facebook, eating chocolate, opening the fridge door, closing it again, dead-heading orchids … you really want me to go on with this?
Best 3 books you’ve read in the past 12 months?
(Give me a minute while I check my Goodreads page) I review most books that I read (hugely helpful in jogging an aging memory) so can say with certainty that my favourite books of the last 12 months were: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty (needed therapy after this) I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (had to keep putting it down towards the end I was genuinely afraid I might hyperventilate) and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (a pure delight, and probably a new American classic.)
On my bedside table, slowly making their way to the top of the pile, are Wake by Anna Hope, described as ‘a moving and original glimpse into the haunted peace after the Great War’, Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly, the second novel by this new writer of psychological crime and The Farm by Tom Rob Smith. (Tom and I debuted the same year and I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t read one of his, supposedly, excellent books.)
A big “Thank You” to Sharon for taking the time to answer those questions.
My mini-review of A Dark And Twisted Tide can be found here.