Welcome to my Friday Reads blog. My featured book this week is the compelling psychological thriller, The Other Girlfriend by author Alex Stone. Grab yourself a cuppa, get cosy and let’s take a closer look at the book and have a chat to Alex.
She loves him…
Lizzie Green once loved Tom Murphy with a passion that bordered on obsession. All she wanted was his love to be returned. Then one night something terrible happened and Tom left Lizzie broken-hearted. She swore she would never let him hurt her again….
She loves him not.
Now, ten years later, Tom turns up on Lizzie’s doorstep still as charming as ever. Lizzie knows he still has the power to break her heart and destroy her life again. But Lizzie can’t say no to him….
Has any author inspired you?
One of the most pivotal sources of inspiration for me has been Gillian McAllister. My first novels were in a variety of different genres. They received positive feedback from publishers and agents, but they just weren’t quite there. Then I read Gillian’s ‘Everything but the Truth’, a fantastic character-lead psychological suspense. It’s where my love for writing unreliable narrators stems from, and I felt like I’d found my style. My voice.
What do you like writing most?
I love writing unreliable narrators where the reader, and sometimes even myself, doesn’t quite know who to trust. My novels are slow burn psychological thrillers, which delve deeply into the character’s thoughts and emotions. The main character in my books has usually experienced a trauma in the past, which has shaped the course of their life. People are like icebergs, you only really see a small portion of their character, but below the surface there is so much more to them. Psychology and mental health form important aspects of my novels. One of the best things, with both The Perfect Daughter and The Other Girlfriend, are the messages I have received from readers with whom the stories resonated. Anxiety and agoraphobia are so isolating, and to be able to reach a reader and make them feel a little less alone, and maybe even a little more hopeful, is just the most incredible experience.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I’m so fortunate to have moved to Bournemouth in 2018. It’s the source of inspiration and setting for my psychological thrillers and there is nothing better than walking along Bournemouth beach to figure out a particularly tricky plot twist.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I’m somewhere in between. I like to have a general outline worked out. Very often I will know who my characters are, the beginning of the story, and the end, but I don’t always know how they are going to get there. Chapters will very often be moved around. And sometimes the characters will take the story in an unexpected direction.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m currently working on my third novel for Boldwood Books. This is another character led, slow burn psychological thriller set in Dorset. This time it focuses on Lauren who thinks she has left the trauma of her past behind her. But has she?
What inspired you to write this book?
One of the characters in this new book is inspired by a close friend and something that really happened. He had always said that I should write this story one day, and I promised him I would. He has been an avid supporter of my writing journey, and I’m so thrilled to be able to keep that promise and tell a story that means a lot to both of us. Of course, it has been fictionalised for the book, and put into a different situation and circumstances, but at its heart he and I will always know where that inspiration came from and that’s really special.
What advice would you give to other writers?
My advice is simply; never give up. There were so many times that I thought I would never really achieve my dream and be a published author, but fortunately I have amazing writing friends who had already been there and remembered that feeling themselves. Thanks to them, my awesome friend and beta reader, Ellie Henshaw and my incredibly supportive boyfriend and family, I kept going. Every unsuccessful submission is just another step on this journey. You learn from each one, about your book, and about yourself.
Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us. Alex. And congratulations on the success of your new book.
Alex Stone is an accountant from the West Midlands, who uprooted her life to pursue her dream of living by the sea and becoming a writer. She is proof that if you stick at it, anything is possible, and is now a psychological thriller author based in Dorset. This beautiful and dramatic coast is the inspiration and setting for her novels.
Alex has a keen interest in psychology, and her novels examine how situations in the past can shape a person for the better and the worst.
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