Friday, 29 June 2018

The Death of Mrs Westaway Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on The Death of Mrs Westaway blog tour! The Death of Mrs Westaway is one of my favourite reads of 2018. If you like bleak family dramas with an Agatha Christie style mystery running through it then you are going to love this book! Today I've had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Ruth Ware for my stop on the tour and I'm also giving one of you lucky lot the chance to win a signed copy of The Death of Mrs Westaway and a special set of signed tarot cards to go with it!

Hi Ruth, welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little bit about The Death of Mrs Westaway and what sparked the idea behind it? 
The Death of Mrs Westaway is about a tarot reader, Hal Westaway, who receives a letter telling her that she has inherited a substantial bequest from her grandmother Hester. There is just one problem - Hal’s grandparents died many years ago, and this woman is a total stranger to her. However she sets out to collect the bequest anyway.

I’m not sure where exactly the idea for the novel came from, but the character of Hal is easier to pin down - having written three books where the main character was someone who stumbles into events through no fault of their own, I wanted to do something very different for my fourth. So I came up with the idea of a girl who sets out to commit a crime, and in doing so sets the whole complicated mechanism of the plot in motion.

What can fans of your previous books expect from this one?
I hope they’ll find some similar pleasures - a twisty plot, an atmospheric setting, and a dogged and determined main character. But it’s a little bit different too. It’s a little bit darker, a little bit more gothic than some of my previous books. And although my love of Christie is still there, students of literature will probably be able to see a strong influence from Daphne du Maurier in the settings and some of the characters.

Tarot cards play a huge role in The Death of Mrs Westaway, have you ever had a tarot card reading?
I have now - but I only went for one about halfway through writing the book. Prior to that I’d never had a tarot reading, and before I started researching for the book, I knew almost nothing about the meaning of the cards. I am not sure why I’d never tried it - I’m not a very superstitious person, and I suppose I was worried about being sucked into something embarrassing or some kind of con. Actually it was very entertaining!

Your books are constantly compared to Agatha Christie's work, does she influence your writing style?
Not my writing style, I don’t think. But definitely my plotting. I strive to do what she does so well - arm the reader with all the information they need to solve the plot, but still surprise them.

What’s been your best moment as an author so far?
Oh wow, gosh. There are so many! Probably finding out that Reese Witherspoon had read and loved my first book.

What does your typical writing day look like?
I have school age kids so I get up, get them ready for school and walk the little one to class. Then I get home about 9.30 and (try to) write until I leave to pick them up around 3. I say “try to” because I have good days and bad days. Some days I sit right down and write all the way through until pick up. Other days there’s an awful lot of dallying on social media…

Do you have any advice for aspiring thriller/mystery writers?
Just read lots in the genre I think, and pay attention to what you enjoy and how the writers pull the wool over your eyes.

What books would you recommend to fans looking for stories similar to your own? 
I love Erin Kelly, Megan Abbott, Sarah Vaughan, AJ Finn, SJ Watson, Lisa Jewell…

Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on next? 
Book five, obviously!

And lastly, what three words best describe The Death of Mrs Westaway
Dark, gothic, twisty!

If you'd like the chance to win a signed copy of The Death of Mrs Westaway and tarot cards head on over to Twitter to enter! 

 Don't miss the rest of the blog tour

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