Mystery Thriller Week is a celebration of the genre and its authors and readers that runs from February 12 – 22. If you’re keeping score, yes, that’s a bit longer than one calendar week. With so many genres-within-the-genre, authors, and readers, seven days just didn’t seem enough time. For more information about the event, pop over to mysterythrillerweek.com.
In conjunction with the event, I’ll be sharing Q&As with mystery and thriller authors every Monday and Wednesday through February 22.
Today I’m happy to welcome Marie Jones, author of Into the Shadows.
About the book
Arriving home from a short holiday in Dingle, Lily Crossways makes a staggering discovery – on one of her photos taken on ‘Inch Beach’, a woman’s desperate face is staring directly at her. Yet Lily knows she was alone that day on the beach. Who is she, is she even real, and why has she appeared to Lily? Unable to let the woman go, Lily makes the uncharacteristic decision to leave behind her safe world in England and return to Dingle to try and find her. Her search eventually leads her to cafe owner David Carson, this woman’s brother, who hasn’t seen his ‘missing’ sister in five years. Lily must now convince him to trust in her, taking bold steps to prove herself to him, and together track down his sister before it’s too late. Yet are either prepared for the hidden secrets they are about to uncover in their earnest desire to find her, and the impact it will have on those they love?
What would you like readers to know about your book beyond what’s in the blurb?
Into the Shadows is about one woman’s decision to trust in something she can’t physically feel or touch – a gut instinct that she has to return to Dingle and find this woman who appears on her photo. For Lily, that’s a decision that goes against her very character and natural instincts. I think at sometime in our own life we all face this moment where we are at odds with our own self, yet feel driven to pursue something or someone. Sometimes we have to put our trust in something that is not tangible or logical.
Do you start writing at the beginning of a story or to reach a future point you see in your imagination?
My story is often sparked by a photo I’ve taken. For Into The Shadows, it was on Inch Beach where a lot of the story is based. I often write down conversations between my characters in my notebook, then plot twists and turns before I start writing at the beginning of the story. I like to keep an open mind even as I’m writing it for more twists, new characters to write in, and even a different ending, if it feels right.
What are your protagonist’s best and worst qualities?
Lily’ s best qualities are her loyalty, courage and determination to help, not give up, and her capacity to love that she is just beginning to discover. Her worst qualities are her doubting, her over-thinking, and her lack of belief in herself.
What’s the most surprising or unexpected thing that happened to your characters as you were writing the story?
How fiery they would be with each other! I hadn’t planned to make Lily like that with David, but somehow it felt right – like something had been ignited within her.
What’s the first book you can remember loving? What’s the last great book you read?
Little Women by Louisa Alcott was the first book I read as a child – I cried when Beth died. I’m reading a great book at the moment – Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. I loved the TV series too.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard or been given?
Edit, edit and edit again…and don’t give up.
What did you wish I’d asked, and why?
Oh, good question! Maybe only what my next plans and dreams were – which is to finish my second book, Perfect Storm.
How can readers find out more about you and your work?
More Mystery Thriller Week Q&As: