The CRA: Please tell us a little about yourself and the books you write.
The Beach is my debut novel. It is a psychological suspense set in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Yorkshire Dales. I like to travel and the places I have visited provide inspiration for my writing. I have a travel blog where I have also posted short stories set in Italy and Vietnam, and my second novel, which I am currently writing, includes scenes set in Bangkok and Tokyo.
The CRA: Tell us about what you are doing during lockdown/while social distancing?
I am working on my second novel and just about to start the fourth draft. I’ve found it quite difficult to write creatively during lockdown, but I have been doing some internet research and editing. I work as a Communications Manager for a housing association in Yorkshire, so work is extremely busy at the moment. I am working from home. It’s not ideal and I really miss the interaction with my colleagues.
Just before lockdown, we got our first puppy, a Miniature Schnauzer, and I am enjoying taking her out for a daily walk. I am trying to be quite mindful during our walks looking at flowers, street names and old buildings; things I perhaps wouldn’t normally notice.
The CRA: How does the above differ from your usual routine?
I normally have a two hour commute every day, so it’s quite nice to have a lie in! Usually, I don’t have much time to write during the week and I tend to take myself off to the library or a café to write at weekends. Although I have more time now, I don’t feel like I am being more productive, and it’s quite frustrating not being able to visit places for research and relying on the internet. That said, there is a lot of support from the writing community on social media.
The CRA: Tell us about your most recent/forthcoming book.
The Beach is a psychological thriller. It’s the story of a primary school teacher living and working in the Yorkshire Dales. Five years earlier, she went backpacking around South-East Asia with her friends from University. But among the sun, sea and sand, something went horribly wrong… Holly starts receiving anonymous messages, showing photos that she was sure she destroyed years ago. Someone clearly knows the truth about what really happened. The only question is, how far will they go to get revenge?
The CRA: Why will it appeal to lovers of crime fiction?
This is a fast-paced thriller with plenty of action and exotic scenery. Hopefully it will offer a bit of escapism while we’re stuck at home. We might not be able to travel in real life, but we can go anywhere with our imagination!
The CRA: What CWA member writers are you reading during NCRM?
I have just read an advance copy of Roz Watkins’ forthcoming novel, Cut to the Bone, which was excellent. If you haven’t read her earlier books, I would highly recommend them. I also recently read Nell Pattison’s debut novel, The Silent House, which has an intriguing plot involving the death of a child in a Deaf household. It is set within the Deaf community and a lot of the characters use British Sign Language which adds a whole new dimension to the police procedural novel. I’m looking forward to the sequel. I have quite a few books on my TBR pile so I might eventually get to the bottom of it during lockdown!
The CRA: What one thing are you planning to do once lockdown is over?
See my friends and family! I am desperate to see them and give them a hug. I really miss them. And go to Caffe Nero for a flat white coffee. My attempts to recreate them at home have been dreadful!
You can find out more about Sarah Linley and her books on the CRA website.