Her Last Breath
I love this authors previous books and cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into this one, but in the meantime I have the author's Q&As for you and also a guest review by Julie Williams, who beat me to reading it!!
Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
Thank you for inviting me on! I’m the author of four ‘beach noir’ novels with HarperCollins, something I now do full-time. I live just outside Milton Keynes with my husband, our sassy four year old daughter and our cheeky puppy, Bronte.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
From a very early age! I would come up with little stories, even create character scrapbooks from my mum’s catalogues. My daughter is now the same so maybe we have another novelist in the making!
What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I worked on social media at The Open University where I was involved in managing the university’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. I loved it, was such a varied role and gave me an insight into what works and what doesn’t on social media. I really love the OU and its core values, great place to work! But being an author is what I always wanted to do full-time so here I am!
How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I love to watch documentaries and am on the internet a lot doing research, social media is really useful too. I also visit places to get a sense of location. I used to edit a travel magazine so went on lots of media trips, here in the UK and abroad, and I took notes which have come in really handy. For HER LAST BREATH, I watched documentaries and YouTube videos about landslides, and also followed lots of clean eating gurus to get an insight into that world as the main character Estelle is a clean eating blogger. I even went on a ‘clean eating’ diet. It was a bit too restrictive for me, but I have carried over some tips, like healthy made-from-scratch ‘pot noodles’ and overnight oats!
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
I really enjoy working on a new idea, it’s like when you fall in love for the first time, that exciting initial burst of excitement! I find the mid-point of a draft the most difficult, when you start to lose a bit of momentum and can get into plot tangles.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I’m blessed enough to be able to write full-time. So each day, I head to my gorgeous office (one wall is dedicated to a forest scene so feels like I’m writing in a forest!) and
tend to get admin and publicity, like this article, done in the morning. After lunch, I focus on writing and don’t look up until my little girl returns from pre-school.
When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I enjoy novels set in interesting locations with thriller undertones, so love authors such as Lucy Clarke, Charity Norman and the US writer, Anita Shreve. I’m currently reading Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant and really enjoyed The Girl Before by JP Delaney.
How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
It’s fantastic for connecting with readers and other authors. The walls between authors and readers have been broken down by social media and that’s just wonderful. I have some great conversations with readers via social media.
Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
Her Last Breath is about Estelle, a food blogger whose perfect life begins to unravel after receiving a photo of a missing teenager along with a chilling note: I’m watching you. I know everything about you. It leads her back to the seaside town she once lived in which is on the brink of collapse after landslides, uncovering a web of secrets and lies.
Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
I like Aiden in Her Last Breath. He’s a rock climber and works outdoors, no ties. There’s a sense of freedom with that.
Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.
Guest review by Julie Williams
Guest review by Julie Williams
Talk about opening a can of worms – that is exactly what Estelle does when she returns to her foster parents in the coastal town of Lillysands, a place she thought she would never set foot in again.
After receiving a rather worryingly postcard and discovering that the child she put up for adoption many years ago is now missing, Estelle decides she owes it to the father to let him know about Poppy’s existence before the police do.
Soon after leaving her home in London we discover the awful childhood she endured and what her life was like with her foster parents Max and Autumn, son Aidan and Alice.
All is not as it seems with most of the characters which had me guessing throughout the book. A great gripping read that gives you plenty to think about along the way. Well done Tray on another fabulous thrilling read.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC , these are my thoughts on Her Last Breath.
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