Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of Sharon Bolton's
Little Black Lies Blog Tour
29th June - 10th July
Sharon ~ A huge welcome to Jaffareadstoo and thanks for inviting us to be part of this exciting blog tour....
Where did you get the first flash of inspiration for Little Black Lies?
Books can be years in the making, and Little Black Lies was no exception. I can probably trace back its conception several years to a number of events: a dreadful car accident on the outskirts of Oxford in which several children were killed. Meeting a woman in my village who’d never recovered from the loss of her husband and children, also in a RTA, a couple of decades earlier. And then a random thought as I was out walking the dog one day: could three people, credibly, confess to the same crime?
Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about the story?
When a small child goes missing, the people of the Falkland Islands want to believe it a terrible accident. But this is the third child to vanish in as many years. And then a fourth…Three islanders, Catrin, her ex lover, Callum and former best friend Rachel are drawn into the hunt for the missing boys. But each of the three is hiding secrets. None of them can be trusted.
The stark beauty of the Falkland Islands has a central role in Little Black Lies. What made you choose this location and how did you research the island?
A tight-knit, preferably closed, community was essential to make this story work and islands, especially remote ones, are perfect. I was looking for an island setting that hadn’t been used before and, to the best of my knowledge, the Falkland Islands hasn’t. Researching the islands was a lot easier than it would have been a decade ago, because the Falklanders have embraced social media and there are lots of blogs, websites and Twitter accounts that I could follow. As well as the more usual reading, of course.
Whilst you are writing you must live with your characters. How do you feel about them when the book is finished? Are they who you expected them to be?
I tend not to have a very strong picture of my characters when I set out. I let them be defined by the story – in how they react to events, how they interact with each other. I enjoy the freedom of this approach, especially as characters rarely turn out exactly as I intended. Often, they are quite different, and as a result, so is the story.
What do you enjoy most about writing stories and do you write for yourself, or other people?
Both, in that I write the sort of stories I would most love to read, if anyone else were writing them; to that extent, I’m writing primarily for myself. But a huge amount of effort, mine and that of others, goes into a finished book. I wouldn’t put myself through that if I didn’t think a few other people would read and enjoy it.
Can you tell us what you are writing next?
A very dark love story, about a true-crime author, and a convicted murderer.
More about Sharon can be found on her website
Follow her on Twitter @authorsjbolton
My thanks to Alison Barrow and Becky Hunter at Transworld for their generous invitation to be part of this exciting blog tour. And of course, to Sharon for giving so generously of her time.
Please take a look at the other blogs taking part in this tour for more exciting blog tour content
Taught. Tight. Tremendous.
These are the three little words that summarise, for me, Little Black Lies.
Taught, a lesson in the capriciousness of human nature. It's about how we can be taught lessons about life and that no matter how well we think we know ourselves, fate can easily overwhelm us, leaving us floundering in a dark place of despair. We can be consumed by grief and isolated in our loneliness, or we can rise above it and look to the future.
Tight, because the narrative is well controlled and purposeful. There are no superfluous words, no wasted moments, no unnecessary dialogue and no reason to put down the book once you start reading. The story is both bright and shiny as a new penny and dark as the pits of hell. It shows the both the best and the worst of people in the saddest of circumstances and gives us characters who are so realistic they really could be people you know. They are all superbly flawed, quite delicately drawn and ultimately, as you will discover, they are all going to be entirely responsible for their own actions.
Tremendous, storytelling from beginning to end. The Falkland Island comes alive in such glorious detail that I feel like I have steered a boat through the sheltered waters of Port William, travelled the island’s rough terrain with Callum and ridden my horse to the cliff edge with Rachel. I’ve stopped for coffee at Bob-Cats and listened to Rob Duncan on Falkland Island radio. But more than any other thing I have walked every step of the story in Catrin’s shoes. Her story draws you in and she reaches out to you. She is both enticing as a kitten and as fierce as a snared animal. You hurt with her. You feel with her, and ultimately, you believe in her so much, that you really don’t want the story to end.