Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Guest Author - Kathryn Croft

Time for another Guest Post and a very warm welcome to Kathryn Croft, who has given me this exclusive interview about her new psychological thriller, The Stranger Within...

About the Author

Kathryn is always seeking new challenges and has had a wide and varied career before writing her first novel. After gaining a BA Honours Degree in Media Arts with English Literature, she worked in human resources and management training. But it wasn’t long before her passion for literature led her to train as a teacher and study for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She then spent six years teaching secondary school English; a job she believes was invaluable to her writing career. In December 2013, her debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, was published and reached number one in the Amazon psychological thrillers chart. Kathryn now devotes all her time to writing and is currently working on her fourth novel.

Here's the Story:
Be careful what you wish for.

On the surface, Callie Harwell has it all. Newly married to James, she finally gets the family she has longed for and becomes a mother to his two sons.

So why is she arrested for murder?

Things are not as Callie hoped they would be and she struggles to be accepted as part of James’ family, and to keep hidden the secrets that could destroy her future.

As her life spirals out of control, setting in motion a chain of events with devastating consequences, Callie is forced to question how well we ever really know ourselves.

Now over to Kathryn:

Who is your favourite character in The Stranger Within and why?

This is a difficult question! I really enjoyed writing from Callie’s perspective and seeing
how she deals with all the issues she’s facing.

How did you settle on the title for The Stranger Within?

Initially I had written a completely different version of the book, which was told from the
alternating perspectives of Callie and James. But once I’d finished it, it occurred to me
that I could create even more intrigue and suspense if I only told the story from Callie’s
point of view. So I set about doing this and it meant the plot had to change significantly. It was quite daunting rewriting the whole thing as it meant a huge delay in publication, but I trusted my instinct and I’m pleased with the new version! Anyway, the old version was called A Stranger Beside Me, so I just adapted it slightly to fit the new story.

What's the nicest thing anyone has said about the book?

It’s still early days but it was great to hear from a reviewer that they finished the book in
two sittings!

What alternative title did you consider?

I was lucky that this title actually came to me quite easily. However, this hasn’t been the
case with my third book, and even though it’s with my agent now, I’m still trying to think
of a darker title for it!

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I’m a planner, so I don’t start writing until I’ve planned each chapter, but it’s really exciting when the characters or plot do something unexpected, enhancing
the story. In fact, it’s not often that my novels turn out exactly as I have planned them!
I also love being able to create different worlds, situations and lives, and hopefully
entertain people in the process.

Which novel do you wish you’d written?

What a great question! I would have to say The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It’s
so hard to pick an all-time favourite book because there are so many amazing novels and authors out there, but if I had to pick one this would be it.

Can you list 3 of your favourite reads, this year?

I have read so many fantastic thrillers this year but three that stick in my mind are The Lie of You by Jane Lythell, The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah and The Book of You by Claire Kendal. I love the atmosphere and style of these well-written books.

In the reviews and feedback you’ve had for the book – what has surprised you most?

For this book it’s hard to say yet as it’s only just been published, but one thing that sticks in my mind from my first book, Behind Closed Doors, is an email I had from a reader. She explained how the book really touched and affected her and she could relate strongly to Olivia. It surprised me that this reader had taken the time out to write such a personal email and it meant a lot to me.

Which authors would you invite over for dinner to get to know better?

Another superb question! I would definitely invite Stephen King, Paulo Coelho, Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling and hope that some of their greatness would rub off on me!

Which one question would you want to make sure you asked them?

I would ask them the question I’m waiting to ask myself: when did you get to the stage where you truly felt that you were a ‘real’ author?!

A big thanks to Kathryn for sharing her thoughts with us!
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AJ Waines is the author of Psychological Thrillers:  The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.

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