I am thrilled to be on the blog tour for Watching Edie by Camilla Way because although I finished this book a few weeks back ow it is one of those books that still play on your mind long after.
I finished reading Watching Edie two weeks ago now and I found it so addictive and yet very disturbing and the storyline still plays on my mind now. Where did the inspiration for this plot come from?
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it, though ‘enjoyed’ might not be the right word! The inspiration came from a news story about a horrific case of teenage bullying that had really dire consequences. I’ve always been interested in the themes of culpability, guilt and redemption, the idea that a mistake in our past can have terrible repercussions in our future. Can one wrong turn ever be forgiven or is it destined to define us forever more? I like writing about teenagers because it’s a time when almost anything can happen – we are on the brink of becoming the people we will be as adults yet the relative freedom we have (compared to the predictability of our adult lives) means we are more open to a variety of experiences and people and can find ourselves in situations we might not have the maturity to cope with.
Were you able to easily let go of your characters at the end of the book?
It took a while! They’re under your skin for such a long time, you’re constantly thinking about their motivation and thought processes, how they might react in certain situations, it’s hard to suddenly just drop them because they become so real to you. I’m in the process of writing a new book and at first I often called my main protagonist Edie by mistake, but as I’m getting further along with it, the new characters are becoming stronger and Edie and Heather have begun to fade.
Tell us a little about your writing process
I tend to have an idea of the beginning middle and end and certain key scenes (I had the idea for the rooftop scene with Edie and Maya and Heather long before I started writing, though I had no idea what was going to lead them to that point), but I don’t plot meticulously. I tend to work on three or four chapters at a time because I find this helps with pace – if a chapter starts to drag I’ll chop out a scene and insert it in a different chapter further along, Once those four chapters are finished and the pace is fast enough, they’ll go into the novel and I’ll begin on the next four. I also have various documents open on my desktop while I’m writing, labeled things like ‘Random Thoughts’ and ‘Future Scenes’ which I’ll add to as the ideas occur to me and plunder as I go along. I also have a physical notebook that I use to brainstorm characters, adding things like personality traits, physical descriptions until they become well rounded enough to take on a life of their own.
Which authors inspire you?
So many! Thriller wise I love Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith. I also like literary novels with a thriller element, such as Harriet Lane’s Alys Always, Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and Zoe Heller’s Notes On A Scandal and my favourite book of all time is Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square. I read constantly while I’m writing, but tend to steer clear of contemporary psychological thrillers (I devour those when I’m between novels), I find it more inspiring to read outside my own genre when I’m writing (I’ve just finished Stoner by John Williams – so beautiful). If I ever get blocked, and feel like my writing’s starting to get dull and stilted, I like to read poetry, it somehow seems to unlock something in me and loosens up my own prose I really love TS Eliot and Philip Larkin.
Would you write a book in a different genre?
Never say never, but I don’t think so (although my sons are always asking when I’m going to write a children’s book!). Writing thrillers is too much fun. I find the psychology behind a crime so fascinating, I like to start with the crime and try to work out how a person could get to that point, dissecting the psychology and motivation behind it. I don’t think I could write a straight novel without getting bored and wanting to kill someone off!
Are you currently working on book 2 and if so is there anything you can tease us with?
Another psychological thriller, this time about the dark secrets that can lurk behind even the most perfect-seeming families – and how past sins can cast very long shadows. It’s about 29 year old Clara whose boyfriend goes missing one night, and her search to uncover the truth of what happened to him. There are a LOT of twists along the way!
You are deserted on a beautiful and peaceful Island what three things would you take with you?
My iPhone so I can listen to music and audio books, something I’m addicted to – I’m a chronic insomniac so often listen to books through the night. I could use the notes function to jot down story ideas (until the battery runs out!). An extremely large bottle of gin and a photo of my little boys, Albert and Sid (I’m assuming I’m not allowed to take them with me!)
Thank you so much for stopping by and talking to us Camilla....
If you missed my review for Watching Edie then just click HERE to view.
Be sure to stop by the other blogs on the tour and grab your copy because Watching Edie is out now.