Continuing in our grand Pink tradition, we have a guest on the blog today. I’m very excited to welcome Simone St. James to The Bubble Bath Reader!
I won an ARC of Simone’s 2014 release, Silence for the Dead, from a giveaway on Lauren Willig’s website last year. I had already read Simone’s other two novels, and I’ve really enjoyed them all. I remember I checked out The Haunting of Maddy Clare from the library after I saw it mentioned on one of Lauren’s If You Like posts. I am a little squeamish about reading books or watching movies that might be too scary (I always tell people I can’t watch shows like Game of Thrones because “I don’t do stabby”), but Simone’s books great! She has a talent for creating fear and suspense in the style of Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. She won two RITAs and the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Book for The Haunting of Maddy Clare, and I definitely understand why! Simone has kindly agreed to spend some time with us today answering a few questions about herself and her writing – let’s get to it!
Simone, what are five of your favorite things?
Thunderstorms, coffee, the smell of books, Rebecca, chocolate chip cookies.
If you stopped writing books (please don’t), what would you do for a living?
Ugh! Well, I worked behind the scenes in the television business before I became a writer, so I’d probably go do that. Though maybe I’d set up shop and become a detective, even though I have no training whatsoever, just so I could have a legitimate reason to poke into people’s private business. I’d become a ghost hunter, but they seem to work nights a lot, and I’d probably be scared out of my mind.
If I took a sneak peek into your writing space, what would I find?
A mess! I am currently sorting through boxes of my old books, trying to pare them down, so I am surrounded by messy piles of books. Though being surrounded by books is helpful when writing, it really is an eyesore. However, you’d also find my spiral notebooks full of story ideas, my reference books, my noise-canceling headphones, and my two RITA awards, sitting on a high shelf and looking down at me, cracking the whip as I write every day.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading two books right now: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon, which is a contemporary ghost story suspense (it’s terrific), and Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt, one of those awesome old gothics with a girl in her nightgown on the cover (also terrific.)
What sparked your interest in writing ghost stories?
I’ve always loved ghost stories, and I couldn’t find exactly the book I wanted—a spooky ghost story that also had a satisfying romance in it. I kept reading ghost stories and thinking, “This would be better if it had a romance in it.” Eventually I had to write the book I really wanted to read. I’m not kidding!
My favorite of your heroines so far is Kitty Weekes. If you have a favorite, who is it and why?
Thank you! Kitty is a strong character—she came into my mind already complete and demanding a story. I don’t have a favorite, but I also love Jillian Leigh from An Inquiry Into Love and Death, because when I created her I consciously tried to make a heroine I’d like to personally be friends with.
What is an interesting fact or subject you’ve come across in your research that you haven’t yet included in your books?
When researching Silence for the Dead, I came across a newspaper account of the time describing a cricket match between two hospitals for shell-shocked veterans. I so dearly wanted to add something like that to the book, but couldn’t find a reason for it.
What are you working on now?
The Other Side of Midnight releases April 7, and I’m currently writing Lost Among the Living, which will be released in April 2016. It’s about a woman whose husband vanished during the war. When she takes a job as paid companion to her husband’s aunt, she discovers that there was much more to her husband than she ever knew, including a mysterious death in his family’s past.
If readers would like to learn more about you and your work, how would they do that?
My website: www.simonestjames.com
Simone, thank you so much for sharing your time with us! And there is a seriously awesome prize up for grabs today – Simone has agreed to give away a signed ARC of The Other Side of Midnight to a commenter on today’s post! You have until midnight EST on January 22 to enter, and you can enter up to three times. Here’s how:
- Leave a comment below.
- Follow the blog! If you are already a follower, just mention that in your comment. There are links in the top right corner of this page to become a follower.
- Post a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Again, you can just let me know in your comment that you’ve done this. I trust you.
On Friday, I will use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner. Good luck!