Today I am super pleased to be taking part in Jane Corry's blog tour for her absolutely astounding debut psychological thriller My Husband's Wife. It's a cracking read, trust me, and I'm very chuffed to share a Q&A with the lady herself!
Great to chat, Leah! I don’t want to tell you everything or it will spoil the surprises! But I can say it’s about how fibs in a marriage can spiral out of control. Especially the little ones......
2. The tag line for My Husband's Wife is "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes murder." That's what made me want to read the book, but who came up with it? Who gets all the pats on the back for such a fabulous, escalating tag line?
Hand on heart? It was my amazing Penguin team. But if I was the devious Carla, one of my characters, I might try to take the credit herself......
3. There are SO many plots to the book, how hard (or easy) was it to write so many different things? To jump forward 12 years? Did you have it all mapped out before you started writing, or do you just write and see where the mood takes you?
I love twists. My second husband says I’m a nightmare to watch a psychological drama with because I usually ‘get it’ early on. I put it down to my journalist background when I interviewed people in all kinds of situations. I also love novels that jump forwards or backwards. It allows you to completely change the situation – and also show how characters have altered too. I usually have the opening scene in my mind and then the ideas come to me as the characters take on a life of their own.
4. I confess now: I liked Joe. If liked is the right word. He intrigued me. Did any part of you want to give him a proper narrative? I honestly was fascinated by him, I would have loved more of him, and that's so wrong to say. He's just the kind of character, I feel, that steals the scenes he's in, would you agree?
I’m so glad you like him. Me too – even though I knew I shouldn’t. I didn’t give him a viewpoint of his own because I wanted him to shine through Lily and Carla’s perception of him. Especially Lily’s. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the twists because the reader would have been in on Joe’s secrets.
5. You wrote the book from both the first-person and third-person perspective, how hard was it to switch between the two? Did you alternate chapters as you wrote or did you write all of Lily's first-person, then the third-person?
I enjoyed switching between the two. It helped me see aspects of each character that I might not have got otherwise. I alternated, by the way! Lily one day. Carla the next. And so on.
6. If the internet is telling me correctly, you are also Sophie King, Jane Bidder and Janey Fraser. How does it feel to have worn so many different hats and, tough question, coming, which genre do you prefer writing (if you don't mind me asking)?
I’ve had various pennames because I was writing in different genres. Sometimes it takes time for a writer to find the ‘voice’ they feel comfortable with. Life experiences can also change that – which is what happened with ‘My Husband’s Wife.’ Not only did I work in a prison but I also became involved with the Koestler Trust for criminals and – crucially – I got married again. Corry is my married name. It feels good to use it. Many of my previous books were romantic comedies but there was always a dark streak in them. Perhaps that side of me had always been lurking but was too scared to come out until now. I love writing psychological twists because it combines that domestic noir with a black humour.
7. Haven mostly written women's fiction (again, that's if the internet is telling the truth), what made you decide to write a psychological thriller?
I’ve always loved twists and strong characters. And I also wanted to write something that was completely different from anything I’d done before.
8. My Husband's Wife is published by the fabulous folks over at Penguin Random House, can you tell us about the call, when you heard they would be publishing My Husband's Wife?
I was packing for a family party in London and running behind time. When my agent called, I had the mobile propped between my ear and shoulder as I was trying to decide which clothes to wear. (My second husband says I’m never knowingly under packed!). My agent said Penguin was ‘interested’ and wanted to meet me. As I was going to London that night, we arranged to meet at the hotel where we were staying. It all happened very fast. In fact, it was surreal. I don’t think it sank in until a few days later when I went to Penguin’s offices and saw all the books I’ve always loved in a showcase in its amazing reception. DH Lawrence. Beatrix Potter. The author of Janet and John. Now I was a Penguin author too! I had to pinch myself.
9. Finally, please tell me there's a second book in the pipeline? I need more of your amazing psych thrillers. I was hooked from beginning to end, and I didn't WANT it to end (but oh what an ending, it was insane and it was a proper ending so thank you for that. A lot of psych thrillers just end and leave so many questions and yours didn't so my eternal gratitude for that).
Thank you once more! Again, because I was a journalist, I can’t bear unanswered questions or plot holes. Yes, there is a second book. It’s called Blood Sisters and it’s nearly finished. I’m fascinated by family ties and how they can all go so horribly wrong....