SJ Watson answers your questions
2 June 2012 / 0 Comments
We asked you to ask SJ Watson, author of bestselling Before I Go to Sleep, some questions - here they are and here are his responses:
Jaki Spencer 1) What inspires you start your story/book and what do you draw upon to write the plots?
I'm always looking for ideas, and jotting them down in a notebook or on a scrap of paper. Some ideas seem to be 'magnetic' - they attract further ideas and if I'm lucky turn into something I think I might be able to turn into a story. Before I Go to Sleep began with a simple image - a woman looking in a mirror and seeing a much older version of herself than the one she was expecting - and from that seed the whole book began to grow.
As for creating the plot - I draw on all kinds of things, but mostly the desire not to be boring!
2) Whose writing style would you compare yourself to or do you feel quite unique in your style therefore no comparison?
That's a tough question! I think a writer's 'voice' is a combination of all their influences, with a little bit of something new, something that makes them unique, thrown in as well. I think I'm no different.
3) What in your opinion gives your writing the edge over other crime thriller writers?
I don't think I have an 'edge' necessarily! I don't see writing as a competition - I just hope the work I do can bring something else to the table, and entertain people.
4) Are you always satisfied with what you write or do you strive to create more intriguing stories?
I'm always pushing myself in everything I do, really. Writing's no different. I like to try and create stories unlike ones I've read before - but that's really difficult!
Marjorie Lacy Do you write something every day? How long for?
When I'm in the middle of a project I try to, and I try to get at least a thousand words done. On a good day that takes me a little over an hour and so I keep going. On a bad day I can be at it for hours, and stop when the word count hits one thousand and one!
Sarah Davis Who are your favourite authors?
There are so many, and they change all the time! I love Patricia Highsmith and Ira Levin, and at the moment I'm enjoying revisiting John Irving. Ask me next week and you'll probably get a totally different answer, though...!
Lyn Hodgkins I was wondering now that the film rights to Before I go to Sleep have been acquired, if you have any thoughts on who would be good actors to take the roles (appreciate it won't be up to you though!)
You're right, in that it's not up to me! I'm incredibly excited at the thought of seeing the story on the big screen, though, and to see what other people make of the story. Nicole Kidman, who has signed up to play Christine, is an amazing actress, and I couldn't be happier!
Jane Mathieson You have had huge success with your first novel and are in great demand now for events, workshops etc. Has this made it easier or more difficult to keep writing with confidence?
It's made it harder to find the time to write, believe it or not, but I don't think it's really affected my confidence. I'm just really delighted that so many people are interested in what I'm going to come up with!
Sandy Mahal What is the best experience you've had with fans? And how did you celebrate the success of getting to number 1?
I love meeting people who've read the book - it's always fun to hear what they thought and their ideas about the story. I particularly liked the event I did in Birmingham, believe it or not - it felt like a homecoming, and I was asked some very interesting questions!
I heard the book was number 1 on the same day that, coincidentally, my publisher had arranged a dinner for me and everyone who'd been involved in the book. It was really lovely to share the success with them as they've been such a big part of it - I think there may have been more than a few glasses of champagne that night!
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SJ Watson judged our Galaxy Book Awards video review competition watch the winner here.
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Like to ask Nell Loyshon, author of just published The Colour of Milk, a question? Find out more here.