It’s lovely to welcome Katharine Johnson to my blog today as part of my occasional Meet the Author series. Katharine is a journalist with a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and a madcap spaniel. When not writing she plays netball badly and is a National Trust room guide. Her latest novel, The Silence, has been festooned with 5 star reviews since its publication this summer.
This is the blurb for The Silence, which I’m dying to read:
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
Sounds like incredibly gripping stuff! I always love knowing more about the authors I enjoy reading, and I’m assuming you’re the same, so I’ve had a little sit-down with Katy and asked her lots of questions on your behalf:
Who is your favourite crime writer?
That’s a hard question. I think I will say Barbara Vine.
What is your favourite film?
The Talented Mr Ripley – it’s a fantastic book anyway but the cast and locations used, the way Ripley’s character develops and the addition of Meredith who adds to the tension make it a perfect film for me
My mum’s coffee and walnut cake
Favourite fictional villain
Oh dear, I want to say Tom Ripley but as I’ve already chosen that as my favourite film, I’ll go with Mrs Danvers in Rebecca – what a nasty piece of work!
If you could change the ending to any book, which book would it be and why?
I would love to give The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas a happy ending, but I know that would make it a less powerful and realistic story
If you could be any fictional detective who would you be?
I’d enjoy being Miss Marple, making my observations while being overlooked as a daft old woman!
If your book was made into a TV series who would you cast in the main role?
Again very difficult because I have a clear image of all my characters in my head, but I think Jodie Whittaker would be great as the adult Abby!
What made you write this book?
It was the sort of book I like to read – a psychological suspense/coming of age story. I love books where someone’s past is threatening to destroy their carefully reconstructed life and where an outsider comes into a group of people and changes the dynamics
I wanted a beautiful backdrop to contrast with the events, which are quite dark, and I wanted the backstory to take place over a summer somewhere hot, so that the soaring heat would add to the rising tension. The Tuscan landscape, with fast growing vegetation and isolated old houses, also lends itself well to the concealing of a crime, and yet the trend for buying up and restoring old houses makes it likely that the crime will eventually be uncovered
You can buy The Silence here http://mybook.to/TheSilence