Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m really excited to be posting an exclusive interview with Lisa Stone! Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I love Stone’s books, so I was delighted that she agreed to answer some questions for me! You can find my review for ‘The Darkness Within’ here and ‘Stalker’ here. Thanks so much to Lisa for answering my questions! So, here goes…
About the Author
Lisa Stone has previously written 28 novels under the pseudonym Cathy Glass, in which she writes about children in the foster care system who have had difficult upbringings. In 2017, she adopted the pseudonym of Stone to write psychological thrillers. She has worked in foster care for over twenty five years, and lives in England with her three children.
1) How would you describe your psychological thriller novels in one sentence (The Darkness Within, Stalker)?
‘The Darkness Within’ – Inexplicable changes in Jacob lead to his parents to confront their worst nightmare; has their son become a monster or is something else to blame?
‘Stalker’ – Shows how easy it is for someone to spy on you in your own home through the internet.
2) Could you tell us a bit about your latest book, Stalker, and the inspiration behind it?
I’d visited a friend who’d just had C.C.T.V. installed in her house. She proudly showed me how she could access her cameras online. All very well, I thought, but what would happen if somebody hacked into her system. They would be able to see exactly what was going on in and around her house. Once home I started researching and found it was already happening, and after that the story just flowed.
3) There’s a big market out there currently for Crime/Thriller novels. What made you want to write within this growing genre?
I love reading thriller books and I’d had a few ideas about writing in this genre for a while. I started with a small fact – something I’d read in the newspaper – and asked myself what if? What if this happened instead of that? The story just flowed and I couldn’t write fast enough.
4) Why do you think that the thriller genre is so popular at the moment?
I think there are a number of reasons, probably escapism tops the list. While we are reading we are absorbed in another world, where there are hurdles to overcome, characters to identify with, plots to be solved, and a grand finale that is anticipated but never guessed. A good thriller can offer distraction from our own reality as we lose ourselves in the story.
5) I’ve read some of your Cathy Glass novels in the past, and now I’m reading your Lisa Stone novels! How different are these two approaches to writing?
I find I naturally write in a fast-paced episodic narrative style which is ideal for the thriller genre. The biggest difference was the point of view. I chose third person for my thrillers books so I could have an omniscient perspective.
6) Could you tell us a bit about your writing journey?
I have always been a writer. In my teens I began writing short stories, a few radio plays and novels. Like many writers it was a hobby – something I did almost furtively in my spare time, while working, and then having a family and fostering. In 2007, I had my first international bestseller published under the pseudonym Cathy Glass. Since then I have written a further 30 books many of which have become bestsellers. I appreciate how lucky I am to be a successful author; it was the right story to the right literary agent at the right time.
7) How much research do you do before starting your first draft?
A lot. I think it is essential for a thriller to be grounded in reality otherwise the reader won’t engage with the characters or the plot. I’ve read some books that contain obvious inaccuracies and I feel disappointed that the author didn’t bother to check the details. All my crime thrillers are based on fact. As I write a thriller I often have sleepless nights because I have researched the topic thoroughly and understand what is out there and just what people are capable of given the right circumstances.
8) What have you been working on recently?
I am working on a third thriller, Wake Up Dead. A doctor will stop at nothing to find a way to live for ever and delves into the dark world of preserving bodies after death to be brought back later.
9) Which books have you read recently that you’d recommend to others?
I’ve just bought books by Liane Moriarty and Mark Edwards. I love discovering new authors and if I like a book I devour everything they’ve written. My taste in reading has certainly changed over the years. In my twenties I read James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. Now if a book doesn’t grab my attention within the first fifty pages I give up and send it to the charity shop.
10) And finally, what writing tips would you give to other budding authors?
I think my advice to anyone wishing to write thrillers is the same as anyone wanting start writing – do your homework and read, read, read in the genre you are interested in.
Don’t lose heart if your work isn’t published straightway and don’t give up, but never let it become an obsession. Many successful authors went unnoticed for years. One last word, writing won’t make you rich, we write because we want to, need to, and love writing.
Happy reading 🙂