1. What is your inspiration to write this story line?
I had a friendship a little like Sally and Olivia’s when I was at college. It was an incredible, exhilarating roller coaster. I felt like my Sally knew me better than anyone - we laughed harder, we cried harder, we crashed harder. When we fell out, the friendship perhaps too intense to sustain, I was lost. When you lose a lover, you know what the rules are. You grieve, your friends neatly divide, eventually you meet someone else and so does he. Hopefully you might even be friends. When a female friendship disintegrates, there are no rules. People take sides, you feel painfully aware that they know your most tender secrets. I was haunted for years by the end of that friendship.
I also wanted to write about the complications of dating later. When you date in your 30s and 40s, you both know there are significant relationships that have gone before. How do you avoid feeling haunted by the graveyard of exes? I call this ‘Rebecca Syndrome’ after the Daphne Du Maurier tale of a young wife, haunted by her distant husband’s dead wife. How can she ever match up to the charismatic and beautiful Rebecca?
Obviously this dilemma is particularly acute for Livvy, as William’s ex is her ex best friend. She finds herself asking if she still knows Sally better than anyone, even in death. That’s why she gets drawn into investigating the circumstances that led up to the fatal car crash.
2. What are the three books you would bring if you are stuck in an isolated island for an indeterminate amount of time?
I love Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, as you’ve probably worked out! That’s going in my rucksack.
I love Melissa Bank’s The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, and her second one, The Wonder Spot. She’s so funny and warm and profound. She writes about love like it matters more than anything, which it does. Not just romantic love too, she writes family so well.
I’d probably take The Time Traveller’s Wife - what a clever concept. Again, she writes a love affair that you will to work out, even though it can’t. If I take it, I’ll have to also take a HUGE box of Kleenex!
3. What is your favorite quote(s) from your novel?
God, I don’t know. I’d feel a bit pompous to answer that!
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Ends April 15, 2014.