What drew you to the world of crime?
The echoes of tragedy and loss that surround the lake in my book meant a crime was almost a requisite. When I set out to tell the story of how the lake impacted on the Casey family, the characters themselves took me firmly by the hand and brought me to the spot where the story begins – a shallow grave on the lakeshore.
What author (besides yourself) do you think that everyone should read?
Kevin Barry’s short stories and his novel City of Bohane for something truly different, and Seamus Heaney to know you are not alone in this world.
When it comes to fiction, I usually keep my allegiances for the books themselves, rather than the authors, so I don’t get disappointed when the authors go astray, as they inevitably will at sometime.
Tell us about your new book.
You could say it’s a character-driven, crime fiction novel with a subtly drawn, suspenseful plot.
Or you could say it’s the story of how people can sometimes get stuck living lives they don’t want to be living, and how that rarely ends well.
Is there a lot of research that goes in to your books?
When it comes to crime, I’m less interested in writing about the police procedures and more interested in unravelling the mysteries that surround those affected by the crime.
I also like to incorporate unusual settings in my books, so although the characters are usually very relatable, their circumstances make for less usual occurrences.
Therefore, I spend my research time delving into these settings, reading whatever I can on the subject and talking to people with firsthand experience of it. In the case of THE LAKE, I spent a lot of time walking around manmade lakes in Ireland, photographing them, trying to understand what living next to one might be like. I also read newspapers and watched television from September 1975 so that I might have some sense of what Peggy and her siblings would have been thinking over the course of the weekend in question. My aim is for my research to percolate naturally through into my stories as a feeling, or an ambiance, rather reproducing it as scientific data somewhere in the text.
Do you think you could pull off the ‘perfect murder’?
Possibly, only because I am normally so well-behaved, that no one would for a moment think it might have been me J As a child, I was very impressed by the idea of someone using a block of ice as a murder weapon, so if I was pushed to, I’d use that.
Although, probably best I don’t do that now.
What’s your poison?
A slight obsession with Penny Vincenzi and Jilly Cooper books in my twenties gave me a penchant for a glass of champagne before dinner, but I rarely get to indulge it.
I do like a nice glass of Domaine des Anges red, though.
The Lake is available for digital download March 19th.
You can pre-order it now to make sure you get it first
thing on the day!