The Visitor’s Book
by Sophie Hannah
on Tour November 1 – December 17, 2016
A collection of spine-tingling ghost stories from one of today’s most acclaimed suspense novelists. In this small but perfectly formed collection of supernatural short stories, bestselling author, Sophie Hannah, takes the comforting scenes of everyday life and imbues them with a frisson of fear. Why is a young woman so unnerved by the presence of a visitors book in her boyfriend’s inner-city home? And whose spidery handwriting is it that fills the pages? Who is the strangely courteous boy still lingering at a child’s tenth birthday party when all the parents have gathered their children and left? And why does the presence of a perfectly ordinary woman in a post office queue leave another customer pallid and quaking with fear?
Genre: Short Stories, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Number of Pages: 120
ISBN: 0062562126 (ISBN13: 9780062562128)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 Barnes & Noble 🔗 Goodreads 🔗
Sophie Hannah is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous psychological thrillers, which have been published in 27 countries and adapted for television, as well as The Monogram Murders, the first Hercule Poirot novel authorized by the estate of Agatha Christie.
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
I do draw from real life, all the time — especially personal experiences. These two short story collections contain my experiences of betrayal, obsession, annoyance at the parents of my children’s friends, the horror of hosting a birthday party for an 8-year-old… Writing is a form of therapy for me. It’s how I deal with difficult things from real life!
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
It’s one or the other. Either I think of an intriguing starting point that will hook the reader, and then work out where it will lead, or I come up with a surprising, hopefully unguessable solution, and then I work forwards or backwards.
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
Lots! But as someone once said about someone else (I can’t remember who!) ‘If he didn’t want to end up in a book, he should have behaved better.’ No one ever recognises themselves anyway – we always imagine we’re wonderful and not particularly grotty, so when we read a grotty character, we don’t see ourselves, and think they’re nothing like us!
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I plan a lot and obsessively. I write in the afternoon — because I’m too tired in the morning — and late at night. Often I finish a book at Lucy Cavendish College in Cambridge, where I’m a Fellow Commoner. There’s a lovely room there with an ace garden. It’s peaceful, and unlike my home there is no dog with a ball to distract me!
Tell us why we should read this book.
Because it contains all the weird dysfunctionality of real life – a lot of fiction tries to improve and tidy up real people and make them more lovely and normal. These stories don’t do that.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Agatha Christie, Tana French, Ruth Rendell, Iris Murdoch and Edna St Vincent Millay.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading a new British crime novel called The Taken by Alice Clark-Platts. So far, it’s very interesting. The leader of a church, who is said to have been able to perform miracles, has been murdered… and the detective investigating the crime senses that his wife and daughter aren’t exactly distraught to be rid of him.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working on a standalone thriller set in Arizona, provisionally titled Did You See Melody? It will be published in Summer 2017. Here’s the blurb:
She’s the most famous murder victim in America. What if she isn’t dead?
Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows flees her home, husband and children. Fifteen hours later, she’s checking into a five star spa resort in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, Arizona. All she wants is space to think, far away from everyone and everything she knows. Instead, she gets a shock in the middle of the night after being given the key card for a room that’s already occupied – apparently by a father and daughter…
Philadelphia’s most famous murder victim, Melody Chapa, has been dead seven years. Her parents, Naldo and Annette Chapa, are serving ‘natural life’ sentences for killing their seven-year-old daughter, after a successful campaign by former-prosecutor Bonnie Juno whose TV show ‘Justice With Bonnie’ brought to light crucial facts missed by detectives. But if Melody’s dead – as the evidence suggests she is – then how can a guest at a spa resort in Arizona have seen her?
Putting Annette and Naldo Chapa behind bars is the greatest achievement of Bonnie Juno’s life. When she learns what’s happening in Arizona, she laughs it off…until she discovers that the sightings of Melody are starting to stack up. At first it was just one uncertain English woman who walked into the wrong room in the middle of the night, easily dismissed as exhausted and not thinking straight after her long journey – but it turns out that Cara Burrows is not the only guest at the resort claiming to have seen Melody.
Feeling as if she has no choice, Bonnie heads for Arizona – but by the time she gets there, Cara Burrows has disappeared…
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Normal people from real life. The thing about famous actors that people have heard of is that everyone knows them already! I’d find new actors who had never been in anything before. And my dog, Brewster, would have to get a starring role!
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I love swimming, and walking my Welsh terrier, Brewster.
Assorted dim sum from any brilliant Chinese restaurant.
Catch Up with Sophie Hannah on her Website 🔗 & Twitter 🔗!