I’m delighted to have the lovely Claire Douglas on the blog today to talk about her debut release, The Sisters. I’ve heard fabulous things about this book on Twitter and it’s getting rave reviews. I can’t wait to get stuck into my copy!
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
The Sisters is a tense and unsettling psychological thriller about a desperate young woman who weaves herself into the lives of a set of twins after her own identical twin sister is killed.
Who is your favourite character and why?
This is very difficult because – hopefully like the reader – I keep changing my mind. On one hand it’s Abi, despite the fact that she’s needy, obsessive and a bit of a stalker. She’s been through such a terrible time – the loss of her twin sister, and as a result her identity – that I can’t help but feel sorry for her even if I don’t agree with the things that she does. On the other hand it’s Bea. She’s bubbly and fun, but she’s also manipulative, possessive and is harbouring a dark secret that she’ll do anything to protect.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
So many. I’ve always loved a good mystery, so as a child it was Enid Blyton, particularly the Secret Seven books and then, as I got older, Agatha Christie. Recently I would say I’m influenced by authors who write what’s been termed “domestic noir” like Harriet Lane, Louise Millar, Mark Edwards and Lizzie Forbes but I also really admire Kate Morton, Donna Tartt, Maggie O’Farrell, Margaret Atwood and Kate Atkinson.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
I’m not the most organised so I have to write straight onto a laptop instead of having notebooks (otherwise there really would be paper flying everywhere, which I’d probably end up losing). I use my phone to jot down ideas, which is useful when I’m out and about. Things are calm and ordered if I stick to electronics!
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)Ooh I’d say chocolate, definitely, preferably with a cup of tea to dip it into!
Please share your blurb with us.One lied. One died.
When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive
After a tragic accident, still haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets siblings Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.
When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs
As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention?
When the truth outs, will either sister survive?
Thanks, Claire. Sounds intriguing! You can buy The Sisters here.
Claire Douglas has worked as a journalist for fifteen years writing features for women’s magazines and national newspapers, but she’s dreamed of being a novelist since the age of seven. She finally got her wish after winning the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award, with her first novel, THE SISTERS. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children.