Happy Thursday! I hope you are all having a good new year! Today I am thrilled to be joined by Holly to celebrate the paperback release day of her book Don’t Close Your Eyes.
So Holly, tell us a little about you
I’m a British author, living in Amsterdam. I have four kids, a little dog and an expensive habit of shipping over English tea.
What is Don’t Close Your Eyes about?
Don’t Close Your Eyes is a thriller wrapped in a family drama. It features twin sisters, Robin and Sarah, and follows them from childhood to their broken lives in the present.
Can you tell us about the characters in this book?
Robin is a no-BS, music obsessed guitarist who was once travelled the world with a rock band. Now she’s living in a small terraced house in Manchester, unable to leave.
Sarah is gentle, eager to please and family-oriented. But she’s been thrown out of her house and denied access to her little girl.
What is your favourite place to write?
Hotel rooms! (This is a rare experience…)
I’ve just finished sorting out my office at home and I love it but next door is doing building work on that floor and it’s so noisy that I still can’t work in there most days!
Where do you get your character inspiration from?
That’s a hard question! Sometimes, they just arrive fully formed (like Robin from Don’t Close Your Eyes and Alex Dale from Try Not to Breathe), other times they start as a vague sketch and develop as I write. Those are the times when a lot of character development happens in the editing, when I spend time adding layers to them. I think little tics I notice in other people, observations from strangers on the street, it all goes into that stage.
What are your 3 desert island books?
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle (is that a cheat? It’s about a gazillion pages but it’s all held in one book!)
- A History of Modern Britain – Andrew Marr
- A History of Western Philosophy – Bertrand Russell.
I’ve been meaning to read the last two for a long time, I reckon being stuck on a desert island without the demands of kids would give me a realistic shot at it…
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I go to the gym and lift weights. I cook. (Which is a bit contradictory.) We live in the centre of Amsterdam and there’s so much to see and do just by leaving the front door. We don’t have a car here, so I spend a lot of time walking or cycling, and going to food markets or taking the kids and dog to Vondelpark, which is a beautiful park with ponds, little woods, play areas and cafés.
Is there a book you wished you wrote?
It’s tempting to joke and say that I wish I wrote The Girl on the Train or a similar juggernaut because the money would be awesome. But I’m not sure I could handle that kind of pressure with a debut! I wish I’d written The Power by Naomi Alderman. I was also very green-eyed when I read You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood. So unique and fresh.
You have a free flight and accommodation to anywhere in the world where would you go?
I’d love to go somewhere completely different to where I live and the beach holidays I have with my family. I’d love to see Japan. I’d also really love to go to Russia, I’ve wanted to for years.
Who is your favourite author? Why?
Oh god, I don’t know! I really, really don’t know. The author I’ve read the most is Lee Child because I read Jack Reacher books every night in bed. I met him at Harrogate Crime Festival and made a complete plonker of myself plucking up the courage to ask him for a photo and then getting total jelly legs. Poor guy was trying to leave at the time.
What do you love about writing?
The freedom to explore ideas, places and lives that I would never otherwise get to know. I research to indulgent degrees sometimes.
You have a day off – no children/work/responsibilities…what do you do?
Go to a museum (I’ve got my eye on the East German museum outside Amsterdam as I’m a bit obsessed with the Cold War era) and then go and read in a café overlooking the sea. I’m not very exciting…Don't Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon
Published by Corvus on 4th January 2018
Genres: Horror/Thriller, Psychological
A gripping novel of psychological suspense centered on two sisters whose lives have taken them apart, and the shocking family secrets that bind them together.
Twin sisters Robin and Sarah haven’t spoken in years.
Robin can’t leave her house. A complete shut-in, she spends her days spying on her neighbors, subtly meddling in their lives. But she can’t keep her demons out forever. Someone from her past has returned, and is desperate to get inside.
Sarah can’t go home. Her husband has kicked her out, forcibly denying her access to their toddler. Sarah will do anything to get her daughter back, but she’s unraveling under the mounting pressure of concealing the dark secrets of her past. And her lies are catching up to her.
The novel takes readers back in time to witness the complex family dynamics that formed Robin and Sarah into the emotionally damaged, estranged young women they’ve become. As the gripping and intricate layers of their shared past are slowly peeled away, the shocks and twists will keep readers breathless long after the final page.