This month we’re celebrating all things literary in conjunction with the launch of our spellbinding new Autumn Winter collection. So, who better to star in this month’s Sunday Girl feature than some wonderful wordsmiths?
We sat down with four different authors to discuss everything from grammar to glamour, bestsellers to the best literary heroines to take inspiration from.
First up is Caz Frear, author of the crime thriller Sweet Little Lies. We got to chatting about paperback vs Kindle, writerly ambitions and which book title best describes her personality!
Kindle or paperback? Be honest…
Definitely paperback – I’m a traditionalist!
That was a toughy, sorry! The next question’s a little easier. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I even used to do extra English homework – if I went to a concert, I’d write a review and hand it in to my English teacher! I kept diaries, wrote terrible pop songs, short stories etc. I was always a voracious reader too – all authors are – and eventually I had a ‘maybe I could do this moment.’ The first novel I wrote didn’t go anywhere but just the fact that I finished a 100,000 word manuscript gave me the confidence to try again.
So, Sweet Little Lies – tell us a little about the story…
Sweet Little Lies tells the story of Cat Kinsella, a young DC with the Met Police, who starts to suspect that her father may be involved in the murder she’s investigating and the disappearance of a teenage girl in 1998. It’s very much a police procedural at heart but with strong domestic/family noir overtones.
And what was your inspiration behind the book?
It’s hard to pinpoint my exact inspiration, I just knew I wanted to write a police procedural and I knew I also wanted to explore a toxic relationship between a father and daughter (the mother-daughter dynamic has been explored a lot within crime fiction but I think the father-daughter bond is actually more complex!)
How long did it take to complete – did you have to lock yourself away?
In total, it took me about a year to write the novel, maybe a bit more. The idea had been bouncing around my head for a good few years before that though! As Sweet Little Lies was the winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition, I was given quite strict deadlines for getting the novel finished – this turned out to be a godsend because it can be tempting to keep tweaking and tweaking. Having a deadline is no bad thing!
You’re quite the wordsmith, so do you often find yourself correcting people’s grammar?
Ha! I don’t outwardly correct people’s grammar but I certainly think ‘arrrrgh’ sometimes when I see a misplaced apostrophe or a ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’. That said authors get to work with great editors and proof-readers so we shouldn’t be too harsh!
We loved spending the day with our authors! What was your favourite item from the shoot?
Definitely the khaki trousers. I’ve been showcasing them around San Francisco on holiday 😁
Which literary heroine do you admire?
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Apart from the fact that the books are flawless, I just LOVE how she uses her ‘sweet old lady’ status to infiltrate murder investigations – no one ever suspects that this frail, softly spoken ‘old dear’ will be their ultimate nemesis!
If you had to pick a book title to sum up your personality, what would it be?
I asked my husband and he said The Tempest. I don’t like to think of myself as a violent storm (!) but I think he meant that I can be a bit of a whirlwind – always on the go and making plans!
And finally… text speak – yay or nay?
Nay! Although I am a bit of an emoji fiend…
Have you fallen for Caz’s lady in red look? Shop her dress and browse the rest of our spelling binding Autumn Winter collection here.