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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

ONE LITTLE LIE Cover Reveal!

Yesterday, Avon revealed the fabulous cover for my third psychological thriller, ONE LITTLE LIE.

The response was tremendous - thank you so much for all the support - whether you Tweeted, shared on Facebook, commented, messaged or pre-ordered - I'm extremely grateful!
I really, really LOVE this cover:
It's available for pre-order now from the following places:



Google Play


Although One Little Lie can be read as a standalone, psychologist Connie Summers returns alongside DI Wade and DS Mack ...but this story really belongs to Alice ...

‘My name is Alice. And my son is a murderer.’

Deborah’s son was killed four years ago. Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.
Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.
Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…
They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?
A twisty and unnerving thriller about the price of motherhood and the unthinkable things we do to protect our children. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Laura Marshall.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Debut Author Spotlight

Debut Author Spotlight – 20 Questions

I'm delighted to welcome Sarah Simpson, author of HER GREATEST MISTAKE, to my blog on her publication day!

Sarah Simpson has a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has worked in a neuro-psychology department at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital. She lives in Cornwall with her husband and three children, and runs her own practice at the Duchy Hospital in Truro. Her Greatest Mistake is her first novel.

I asked Sarah my 20 Questions and here's what she had to say:

1)      Congratulations, IT’S PUBLICATION DAY! Tell us in three words how you’re feeling right now:
Fortunate, emotional, joyful

2)      Describe your novel in ONE sentence:
Can I rely on a recent review? ‘A chilling, heart-string pulling psychological thriller.’

3)      How are you celebrating publication day?
      It’s Easter Sunday – so a family day for me. A walk on the beach and lots of lovely food and chocolate.

4)      Why/When did you decide to write your first novel?
I decided to write Her Greatest Mistake in 2006, but I didn’t begin to write it until 2016! It then felt like the right time in my life, we’d been through many changes including relocating to Cornwall. For me, it was the missing piece of the jigsaw.

5)      How long was it from the first submission of your completed manuscript to agents, to this day?
I think I first submitted it at the beginning of 2017 before realising – I shouldn’t have because my novel wasn’t ready! I then submitted again in April time of 2017. I was taken on by the lovely Broo Doherty (and I still thank my lucky stars). I think we first put Her Greatest Mistake out on submission to the first round of publishers in September. At the beginning of November 2017, I was delighted and little scared to be offered a three book deal by Aria, Head of Zeus. Since then, it has been pretty full on with the editing process, cover design et cetera. So exciting though. Everything seemed to suddenly happen so very quickly.

6)      So far, what has been the biggest surprise/shock about becoming a published author?
Genuinely, that I have written something people want to read!

7)      What are you most looking forward to as a published author?
To being able to write more and more, perhaps to be able to give up my day job with a licence to wander nonchalantly around my imagination, building stories I can share.

Ok, let’s get down to the writing process
8)      Which authors inspired your writing?
I have to go back to my childhood, to the wonderful Enid Blyton, I devoured her books, slinking away into her lands of fantasy at every given opportunity. Later on, it was the brilliant Agatha Christie, for the mystery, the fragrant atmosphere and vibrant characters she always created. More recently, it would be too difficult to say, so many brilliant authors out there, I really wouldn’t want to specify.

9)      How long did it take you to write ‘Her Greatest Mistake’?
Around twelve months, because I kept picking it up, putting it down, picking it back up. Convincing myself I couldn’t write and then thinking, maybe I can… Then after the twelve months, I ripped it apart completely and re-wrote it all over.

10)   What was your first draft like? 
From time to time, I look back at my first draft, then I realise I’m holding my breath whilst blushing. Wondering how I ever thought that one day I might be published. It is almost unrecognisable to the draft today (which is probably more like the 12th draft). The theme running through and the bones of the story are essentially the same, it’s more – how I voiced the story. I think I literally deleted 60,000 words during my re-writes. I was learning all the time though and it was a huge learning curve.

11)   How did you find the editing process a - before you had an editor?
I love the editing process! I am someone (forgetting that first draft) who edits as I go along too. I can’t seem to resist it. Some days I think, I’m not going to edit today I’m only going to re-fresh myself on this chapter, but I can’t help myself. I find the process almost therapeutic and I also find while I am editing - the story begins to come alive and take me places I hadn’t considered before.
                                                                   b - and now you do?
The editors are simply brilliant. Copy editors are like forensic experts seeking out the inconsistencies and discovering blunders seemingly invisible to the normal eye, but so obvious when it is pointed out! I confess, I love this process too!

12)    When you write do you need music, or silence?
I rarely work in silence. I am quite used to working within the usual realms of a full house, barking dogs and caught between two entirely dissimilar tastes of music echoing from my children’s rooms. Whilst I was completing my book ready for submission, we had not long suffered a flood of the entire ground floor, so I also had the noise of floors being ripped up and replaced too. When I am alone in the house, I always have a background noise of some form. Though, I find that music can make me feel quite emotional, then my writing tends to become deeper and darker.

13)    What is your guilty pleasure when writing? 
Peanut butter. I love peanut butter, on toast, on crisp breads, or simply from a spoon! I make numerous cups of tea and coffee to throw away an hour later when stone cold. So I always keep a bottle of water with me, else I think I would become pretty dehydrated by the end of the process.

14)    What is your favourite part of the writing process? Least favourite?
Tough one, because it depends on what mood I am in. I do love writing the opening chapter and the final chapter. I’ve often written the final chapter quite early on in the process, before I really know what will happen along the way. I also love building characters in my mind. By the time I’d finished writing Her Greatest Mistake, and because Eve – the main protagonist was in the first person, I almost found it difficult to stop thinking as she would. Being able to step inside your character’s mind, I love! This is why I like to write in the first person.
My least favourite part is possibly the dialogue. I worry, not wanting to sound wooden or too manufactured. Which is unusual given I love to be inside the characters’ mind, I find it so easy to write about inner thoughts and feelings and yet more difficult to represent open dialogue. Strange?

15)    Did you need to conduct any research for your novel? How did you approach it?
Much of the material in Her Greatest Mistake came from my own professional experiences, certainly the psychological elements and the issues surrounding mental health conditions. My background is in mental health and I have also worked within the family court system alongside family solicitors, so all of this helped a great deal. I also chose to set the book in geographical areas I knew well, although I did visit certain stretches of featured coastline from time to time for inspiration. Money laundering is the only topic I needed to research and to do this, I accessed numerous case studies, newspaper articles and also several legal papers I found online.

16)    Now you have a book deal – with deadlines (!) – how has that affected your writing process?
It’s strange because it really does feel different. Perhaps because before I was writing with hope and now I am writing with a certain weight of expectation. I try not to think too much about the deadlines, though they are very much there. I think perhaps the biggest difference is the guilt element. Before, I often felt guilty spending my time writing, it felt a little indulgent, worrying over having so many other things needing my attention. And now, when I’m having to deal with the other things – I feel guilty for not getting to my writing!

17)   What do you do in your ‘spare’ time? 
At the moment, these times are few and far between! However, the beauty of having a huge dog is that he needs exercise, so I walk miles with him during my breaks. I love the simple things in life, walks on the beach, I love to be near the sea, it helps me gain a perspective on life. I also love to cook, creating dishes and watching my family enjoy them. Of course, I read as much as I can, I don’t ever want reading to be part of my work, I always want to savour and enjoy it. Especially now I understand just how much blood, sweat and tears has been shed for each piece of work. My children are older now but I love spending time with them and my husband, again - just doing the simple things.

18)   What’s coming next?
Book two is now complete, I am about to commence on the editing process with a deadline looming at the end of April. It will be available sometime at the end of Summer/ Autumn. I have some strong ideas for book three but I am simply allowing them to float around in my head for a little longer before I write anything down.

19)   Where can readers find you? 
You can find me here:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahrsimpson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahsimpsoncornwall/
Instagram: sarahsimpsonauthor

20)   All importantly, where can readers buy your fabulous debut novel? 
click on the following:


Here is the blurb for Her Greatest Mistake, published by Aria on 1st April -


Eve and Gregg were the perfect couple, with the perfect marriage... which has become the perfect lie. Gone is the charming, attentive Gregg - instead Eve wakes up each morning beside a manipulative and sinister man who controls his wife's every move.
So Eve flees her immaculate marital home to keep herself, and young son Jack safe. Yet no matter how careful she has been, she knows Gregg will be relentless in his pursuit of his missing family. And that one day, when she's least expecting it, he will find them...
What was Eve's greatest mistake?
Marrying Gregg? Leaving him? Or leaving him alive...?
HER GREATEST MISTAKE is the gripping debut which will keep you guessing until the very last page. B.A. Paris meets Liane Moriarty in this electrifying thriller.

Huge thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Sarah - and enjoy your publication day!