This week, my featured Friday Read is the gripping new thriller, The Cruise, by the Sunday Times bestselling author Catherine Cooper, who has dropped by to answer some questions for us. So grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy, and let’s find out a bit more about the book then get chatting to Catherine.
A glamorous ship
During a New Year’s Eve party on a large, luxurious cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, goes missing.
Everyone on board has something to hide
Two weeks later, the ship is out of service, laid up far from land with no more than a skeleton crew on board. And then more people start disappearing…
No one is safe
Why are the crew being harmed? Who is responsible? And who will be next?
Find out in the twisty new thriller from the queen of glamorous crime, Catherine Cooper.
Order here: smarturl.it/TheCruisePB
Welcome to my Friday Reads blog, Catherine. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I’ve always written stories. As a child I read a series of books by an author called Althea who wrote about Desmond the Dinosaur. I wrote my own story, sent it to her and was totally thrilled to get a lovely letter back.
Has any author inspired you?
Many – Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier spring to mind – and re contemporary authors I’d say Erin Kelly and Louise Candlish. In some ways almost anything I read can be inspiring in some ways though.
What do you like writing most?
Descriptions of lavish meals and luxury suites. I love that they can include anything I want. The Immanis, the luxury cruise ship in The Cruise, has a Michelin-starred restaurant which revolves 😊
Do you have a special place for writing?
Depends where I’m at with the book – if I’m doing straight writing, I tend to work on my laptop either on the sofa or on the terrace outside when the weather is good. If I’m at more of a ‘moving things around’ stage, I prefer my study because I have two screens and it’s easier to keep track of what I’m doing.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Total pantser. I have a vague idea where things might go but quite often I don’t even know who is going to die or who the murderer is when I start writing.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
Yes and no. Quite loosely, maybe. Of the books, probably The Chateau the most, in that it’s about a British family who move to France, and the character of Sorrel has some characteristics inspired by my son when he was a toddler (he is now grown up!) The *spoiler* measles storyline was also inspired by my son catching measles as a child, (he was too young to be vaccinated at the time), but thankfully it all had a happier outcome than in the book. I am nothing like Aura and my husband nothing like Nick though (also thankfully) and everything that happens is obviously made up.
What are you writing at the moment?
With a working title of The Press Trip which will probably change, it’s set between a luxurious resort in the Maldives and the home counties with a split time line.
Ooh, that sounds interesting! What inspired you to write this book?
During covid many cruise ships were moored up off the south coast of England. I was fascinated by the fact that they have to maintain a skeleton crew – these things are enormous, so I figured it would be quite spooky on board. I also find it both intriguing and sad that several people go missing from cruise ships every year and often no one know what happens to them.
What time of the day do you write best?
It varies, but I tend to get other work and admin out of the way first and write in the afternoon.
What are your hobbies?
Skiing and reading.
Finally, what advice would you give to other writers?
Read a lot, and write a lot. I’m very much a believer of it doesn’t count for anything if it’s not on the page. It doesn’t have to be brilliant but if you haven’t got anything on the page, there’s nothing to edit!
Very sound advice, Catherine. It’s been lovely to chat to you today, I hope your book soars.
Catherine Cooper is a Sunday Times Bestseller and author of The Chalet, The Chateau and The Cruise.