This week’s Author of the Week is Sabine Durrant, author of the ‘hauntingly evil’ thriller, Finders Keepers. This bestseller plays with dark themes of obsession, disorder & secrets between next door neighbours. In this chat we discuss the art of crafting a page-turning thriller, building nuanced characters that you learn to love, the beauty of Googling dead bodies & Sabine’s own next door neighbour that led inspiration within the book. If you love psychological thrillers & are just as fascinated as we are by what goes into creating twisting reads that get under your skin, this is a chat you won’t want to miss.
In this interview, we talk:
- ‘The hauntingly evil’ book about a family that moves in next door to an eccentric woman who has a penchant for collecting things. After a death from a possible poisoning, arrests on an alleged husband-murderer & many small good deeds could lead to a twisting, turning page turner that is Finders Keepers.
- Sabine on writing children: the difficulties & triumphs when an author can build a multi-layered profile of a child.
- Sabine & Imogen on Sabine’s love for words & the part they play within Finders Keepers. “I wanted a little way of marking each chapter”.
- Sabine on building plot in novels: “you do have to pin your colours to a mast”. Plus Sabine’s unique technique of plotting in real time on a calendar to construct stories, keep time of events & times.
- Imogen & Sabine on the “incredibly emotional ending”: “as long as you care about your characters enough”. Sabine playing with the sense on how much you can sympathise & like nuanced characters within a story.
- Sabine’s experience with a lost rabbit & a neighbour’s house which she visited that was in shambles & disarray. Plus the neighbours’ quote: “I’m having a clear out” that inspired the character, Verity.
- The two faces of London: house renovations & the ‘older’ generation.
- Sabine on her experience as a journalist working at The Guardian for 20 years & the skills it passes on to be a novelist. “I’ve never missed a deadline for a book.”
- The old quote: “write about what you know” versus writing a thriller. “You don’t know what a dead body looks like, but you can Google it.” says Durrant.
- Sabine on upcoming books & her newest obsession ‘Hustle’ that is ‘research’ for the next novel.