Author of the Week: Lisa Jewell

For this week’s Author of the Week, we are joined by veteran bestselling author, Lisa Jewell. Lisa is one of those incredible writers whose writing career has spanned across genres from romantic comedy, family dramas to thrillers & after this interview, you may get the impression that it is her innate curiosity, creativity & ‘nosiness’ that can be attributed to her success. In this chat we talk about Lisa’s book, ‘The Family Upstairs’, a dark thriller set in a mansion in Chelsea with cults & mystery that you can’t put down. A book inspired by a fleeting 5 second image of a woman that stuck with Lisa forever, you will be just as intrigued as we were after this chat.

  • Lisa shares her lucky position as one of the few Authors who is benefiting from lockdown as her paperback launched in Dec 2020.
  • Lisa shares the premise of the book: A 25 year old woman inherits a mansion in Chelsea, although she was found as an orphan in this mansion 25 years ago, alongside 3 decaying corpses in black robes, with two of her birth parents. And so begins the story of Libby, a can’t-put-downable thriller. 
  • The book was written from three different authors, Henry, Lucy & Libby. Lisa shares the experience diving into each perspective. 
  • Lisa shares the moment she witnessed in the south of France on holiday as a woman smuggled her children into a members only beachfront shower block. Appearing as though her life had not gone the way she planned, this image of the woman stuck with Lisa forever & inspired the whole story. 
  • Lisa on the fantasy & sense of ‘nosiness’ that leads her to create stories of people, homes & innate sense of curiosity. 
  • Lisa on writing about cults, child abuse & the ‘beefy’ subjects that she tends to write about. Hint: documentaries, newspapers & a great imagination.
  • Lisa on her interest in the charismatic, master manipulator behind cults. 
  • Cheyne Walk: The street in Chelsea that inspired Lisa’s character Lucy running in the dead of night in bare feet & a nightdress. 
  • Lisa on the Google Image of Number 6, that inspired the mansion behind ‘The Family Upstairs’.
  • Lisa on her ability to ‘channel a higher being’ when creating plots for her novels. 
  • “I finish writing after writing a thousand words”. The fast paced nature that Lisa works as she is writing. “I write on a wing and a prayer”.
  • Lisa on her 19 books & which book was her favourite book across each genre between Romantic Comedy, Family Drama & Thrillers.
  • Lisa on the moment when her friend helped & encouraged her in her writing journey over & incentivised her through dinners. 
  • “I didn’t think people wrote books when they were 25”: Lisa on her ‘fairytale’ journey from being a PA to a bestselling writer & the many reinventions she experienced during her career.
  • Structure, reading, working & juggling motherhood during lockdown. 
  • Lisa’s new book that is coming out August 6th in the UK: Invisible Girl. Plus another spooky abandoned house story coming soon ‘Dark Place’.
Buy ‘The Family Upstairs’ from your local Bookseller:

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