Today is my turn on the blog tour for John Marrs new book, The Good Samaritan, you can read my review HERE. Also featuring today on the tour is the lovely Emma R from Screen Wipe, TV, MOVIE and BOOK review blog, stop by for a visit here! You can see the rest of the blog tour below, be sure to have a nosey as everyone will be sharing different content/reviews/features.
John very kindly took time out of his vacation to answer some questions for us, much appreciated and I hope the rest of the holiday was fabulous.
Wow, the character Laura, just wow. How hard or easy did you find writing her?
She was so complex, one minute I hated her and the next I felt sympathetic towards her. I loved writing her bitchy comments and having listened to the audiobook recently and seeing how well they worked, I wish I’d made her a little funnier. But her dark side gave me sleepless nights. And making her an unreliable narrator enabled me to wrong foot the reader more than once. She is the most complex character I’ve written since Simon in When You Disappeared.
The book is very dark, for many reasons, did you find this more difficult than your previous books?
Yes. It took it out for me for a few reasons. It was the first book I wrote under contract and to a deadline, and writing in first person is always tougher than third person. I felt there was a lot of pressure on me but most of that came from myself. Then there’s the subject matter. Getting into the head of someone so alien to me, like Laura, was hard. And then trying to imagine how I’d feel if I lost a loved one to suicide was difficult. But I wanted both perspectives - to understand what drives people to do it and how those who are left behind try and deal with the aftermath. It is awful for all concerned and my heart goes out to anyone in that situation.
How much research did you have to undertake for the book? Did you enjoy it?
I interviewed my friend’s partner quite extensively about his volunteer work for a helpline charity and the dos and donts when speaking to someone. I also researched depression and having had friends that have suffered badly from it, they gave me an insight into their thinking. I also looked at websites dedicated to informing people how to end their lives. I found that the most shocking, it had never dawned on me that such places existed. So no, I didn’t enjoy the research process.
Now the book is complete, does any of it or the characters stay with you?
No, once I’m done with a book, it’s over for me. I tend to start thinking about the next one. I have to be careful not to take any character’s characteristics over to my next story though. I don’t want to keep repeating myself in each book.
I found the book kept me on my toes with so much unexpected turns, how hard is it to keep a story fresh and surprising?
It just happens when I’m writing. I’ll have a basic plot and storyline in mind but once I get started it can veer all over the place. When I read a book, I want to be kept on my toes. And I like to try and do that with the books I write. It’s a fine line though between keeping things a surprise and not making them sound unbelievable.
Some authors say they start with an ending and work from there, some know the whole story, how do you write?
I generally go in all directions with a story. I never write methodically. I do chapters here, there and everywhere, back to front and front to back. Then I’ll tie it all together. The thought of writing 110,000 words in order horrifies me.
For anyone who doesn’t know who she is lol, tell us about the woman behind your character “the masculine looking” Tracy Fenton
Ha! Tracy is a well-known reviewer and founder of THE book club on Facebook which has more than 7000 avid reader members. She messaged me on Goodreads after my first book came out and was key in introducing me to a whole new audience. Since then, we have become friends and she has popped up in my books as a lawyer and a talent show host. She’s like Where’s Wally? in my books now.
Do you think there will be another book revisiting any of the characters from this book?
I don’t have any plans to write a sequel. There are characters from all of my books that can dip in and out of future stories as guest appearances. But I’ve put so much effort into a book that once the last draft is over, that is generally it for me.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a story about two British detective is on the hunt for a killer in London. While it is not necessarily crime procedural, there are prime procedural elements to it. It’s the first time I’ve attempted a story like this. It won’t be out until next autumn.
11. Where do you prefer chatting with your fans?
Website John Marrs author.com
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