Challenge Participant


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Dorothy Koomson Blog Tour

Dorothy Koomson's latest book, The Woman He Loved Before, was released in paperback last Thursday (4 August 2011) and I am delighted to be asked to take part in the blog tour (complete tour can be seen here) set up by the publishers, Little Brown.  I reviewed this book when it was released in hardback, and my review is here.

I, along with many other readers, was first introduced to your books via the Richard and Judy Book club, where My Best Friends Girl was included in the list. Were you surprised by the surge in sales following this and the republishing of your back catalogue?

It was a HUGE honour to have my book included as a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2006. I never really expected that to happen. To be honest, the biggest surprise was that thousands of people had been buying my book and that it’d been in the top 30 even before it was included as a Summer Read! Everything from then onwards was an amazingly wonderful bonus. It was nice to see The Cupid Effect and The Chocolate Run re-jacketed and sent out into the world again. It was like my first-born children finally being given some nice new shoes to go to school in having done without for years, if that makes sense?

Your last two books, ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ and ‘The Woman he Loved Before’ seem to have a slightly different writing style. The Ice Cream Girls is a book of intrigue, a whodunit style book and The Woman he Loved Before was another book of intrigue. Both books have a twist at the end, which the reader is not expecting. Was this a conscious change to your books or did it just happen when writing it.

The Ice Cream Girls and The Woman He Loved Before are natural progressions in my writing, I think, there wasn’t a conscious decision to change the types of stories I tell. I’m now writing what I’ve decided to call ‘Emotional Thrillers’ in that there is a crime element to the book but the main focus is on the relationships and emotions in the book rather than the crime. It was necessary for there to be a crime in The Ice Cream Girls to tell the story, and also in The Woman He Loved Before, so I suppose on some level I must have known that I wanted to write emotionally-driven crime stories. I do like watching a good crime drama myself, but I’m not a fan of how women are very often gratuitously brutalised on them. I hope my stories redress the balance by making the victims of the crime human whether they are male or female.

I read ‘The Woman he Loved Before’ when it was released in hardback and I think this is your best book so far. When you started writing the book, did you know how it was going to end, or did it just happen during the writing process?

I usually have a vague idea of how my books are going to end, but that often changes in the telling of the story when research tells me something is going to be impossible or the characters do strange things that change the story and the ending. With The Woman He Loved Before, I knew what was going to happen, although how it happened changed because the characters didn’t do what I had planned for them to do. As I got to know Libby, Jack and Eve, the things I thought were going to happen were just unrealistic for who they’d become.

Looking back at your previous books, you have covered some hard hitting and emotive subjects. How do you choose what subject to cover in your books and how do you go about researching the subject – do you research both sides of the subject (e.g. the domestic violence covered in The Ice Cream Girls, did you speak to both victims and the perpetrator?)?

I researched both sides of the subject in that the survivors of domestic violence almost universally have the same types of stories to tell. It’s actually very unsettling to realise that those who commit domestic violence – physical, emotional and sexual – all seem to do the same things, say the same things, and believe the same things. The abused people almost always say the same things about what they endured. The stories may be different, but the underlying behaviours and treatment are almost identical.

My final question is to ask about your next book. How are you getting on with it? Can you give us any clues as to the subject covered in the book, or any general clues?

I’ve got the basic premise of the story but I haven’t really got to the major storyline, yet, so sorry, you’ll have to bear with me while I try to work it out.

Thank you so much Dorothy for being my first author interview and good luck with the paperback release of The Woman he Loved Before. I am sure it will be soaring high up the charts very quickly.

Thanks for the interview, it was very interesting. Dorothy x

Thank you Dorothy for the interview and I know I will be looking forward to finding out more about your next novel when they are released!

I hope you all enjoyed the first author interview on my blog and I would be interested to know if my followers would like to see more of these on my blog in the future. Please let me know via the comments feature.

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