Today I am pleased to welcome Andrea Mara on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some interesting answers!
What’s your favourite thing about writing books?
I love that something doesn’t exist, and then you write it, and it does exist. It’s fiction for sure, but once it’s written down on a page, it seems real in my head. Yet an hour earlier, there was literally no such thing as the scene in question.
The other thing I like is plotting fictional revenge on real-life enemies. Hypothetically of course, because I have no enemies, and all my characters are definitely fictional. Definitely.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
I like Kate in my book because she’s who I aspire to be – she doesn’t care a whole lot what people think of her and she’s not afraid of confrontation. I’m not sure I’d like to be her all the time though – I might just borrow some of her attitude when I need it.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Coffee for sure, but there’s nothing like a bit of wine-infused writing on a Friday night – as long as I remember to edit on Saturday morning. Sometimes the inhibitions go and I’m delighted with what I find. More often, there’s a lot of Saturday morning editing required.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
I suspect my main bad habit is one lots of people have – drifting on to Twitter. Sometimes I tell myself it’s for “inspiration”. Once, I’m nearly sure I solved a plotting problem by going on to Facebook, and I did find an expert to answer some research questions by switching on the radio one morning, so procrastination occasionally pays off.
How do you research your books?
Apart from the above-mentioned procrastination on Twitter, I research with Google, Google maps and seeking out kindly experts who will answer my questions. I think Google maps is amazing for research – you can scroll through the streets of Brooklyn at the click of a mouse. I have three kids and only write during the morning when they’re at school or at night when they’re in bed, so scrolling through Brooklyn is infinitely easier than strolling through Brooklyn.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter all the way. I have to know what’s going to happen, and couldn’t start a book if I didn’t know the ending. Having said that, my books are psychological thrillers so the ending is critical!
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose, and why?
When I was a kid in the 80s, I used to rush home from school every Friday to watch the Famous Five on TV (and couldn’t understand how Julian, Dick, George and Anne could get from their school to the TV studio more quickly than I could get from my school to my living room – the 1970s fashion obviously went over my head.) I got my hair cut short in order to look like George when I played Famous Five with my friends. And I read every single one of the books, over and over, wishing I could go to Mystery Moor or Smuggler’s Top just once. So while I might not want to stay there, I’d certainly love to visit that fictional world for a while and solve some mysteries with my old friends.
If you could befriend any fictional character, which one and why?
I was asked recently to recommend a book that’s not heartbreakingly sad, not romance, and has no dead bodies, and The Help came to mind – it’s one of my favourite books (and the film is great too). So I think I’ll choose Skeeter from The Help. Sometimes “feisty” characters can be irritating, and as the college graduate who wants to be a writer rather than get married, there was always a risk she’d end up in the ranks of the feisty-irritants, but she doesn’t – she’s wonderful, I’d quite like to be her friend.
About the Book
When Sylvia looks out her bedroom window at night and sees a child face down in the pond next door, she races into her neighbour’s garden. But the pond is empty, and no-one is answering the door.
Wondering if night feeds and sleep deprivation are getting to her, she hurriedly retreats. Besides, the fact that a local child has gone missing must be preying on her mind. Then, a week later, she hears the sound of a man crying through her bedroom wall.
The man living next door, Sam, has recently moved in. His wife and children are away for the summer and he joins them at weekends. Sylvia finds him friendly and helpful, yet she becomes increasingly uneasy about him.
Then Sylvia’s little daughter wakes one night, screaming that there’s a man in her room. This is followed by a series of bizarre disturbances in the house.
Sylvia’s husband insists it’s all in her mind, but she is certain it’s not – there’s something very wrong on the other side of the wall.
About the Author
Andrea Mara is a freelance writer, author, and blogger, who lives in Dublin with her husband and three young children. She writes lifestyle features for Irish newspapers, magazines and websites, and has won a number of awards for blogging. She attempts – often badly – to balance work, family and writing, then lets off steam on her blog, OfficeMum.ie.
Her first book, a psychological thriller called The Other Side of the Wall and was published by Poolbeg Press in summer 2017. It’s available now in bookshops, and on Amazon.