Q&A with B A Paris
I honestly didn’t have any expectations at all for Behind Closed Doors, all I wanted was to be able to see it on the shelves in a bookshop somewhere. So everything that’s happened this last year has been a wonderful and unexpected surprise. The best thing about its success is that it has bought me the freedom to write, in that I’ve been able to give up most of my teaching. Writing has now become my job.
2) What’s been your best moment as an author so far?
Being told that HQ/Harper Collins would be publishing my book was a huge moment. Hitting the New York Times bestseller list and receiving the Neilsen Bestseller Award in January for having sold 500,000 copies of Behind Closed Doors were pretty amazing too. But without my lovely agent Camilla Wray none of the others would have happened, so the moment she said she wanted to represent me was definitely the best moment ever.
3) What can fans of Behind Closed Doors expect from The Breakdown? In what ways are they similar or different?
They are similar in that they are both psychological thrillers with a young woman who is going through a traumatic experience as the main character. They are different in that in Behind Closed Doors we know what is happening to Grace, whereas in The Breakdown, even Cass doesn’t know what is happening to her!
4) What sparked the idea behind The Breakdown?
I was travelling home one afternoon through some woods when the sky suddenly became dark, the skies opened and I found myself in the middle of a huge storm, complete with flash-flooding. It was quite scary and I began to wonder what I would do if it was the middle of the night and I saw someone who had broken down at the side of the road. Would I stop and help them? Or afraid for my own safety, would I drive on? I thought it was an interesting dilemma and The Breakdown was born.
5) Was writing a second novel harder or easier than writing the first?
Much harder. With Behind Closed Doors I had nothing to prove and had no particular reader in mind. With The Breakdown, I had everything to prove and had the readers who had enjoyed Behind Closed Doors in mind. I didn’t want to let them down, so the pressure was huge.
6) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up. Each time I received a rejection letter it made me determined to write a better novel. I allowed myself to feel dejected for about two minutes, then it was back to the drawing board, with a new idea and the conviction that I could do it.
7) What books would you recommend to fans looking for similar stories to your own?
Any novel by Mary Kubica. She has a fourth novel coming out this year and it’s brilliant.
8) Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on next?
It’s another psychological thriller but I don’t want to say too much about the plot just yet.
9) And finally, what three words best describe The Breakdown?
A gripping read – I hope!
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