Today it's my pleasure to welcome author M K Boers to the blog to talk about her psychological thriller Sleep, welcome Miranda.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I’m British, but have been living in the Netherlands for over 17 years. In some form I’ve been writing all my life: poems through teenage, and then what was later known as flash. Then a friend picked up one of my pieces and liked it, and told me they wanted more. So that is where I began to write a novel back at the beginning of the 90s.
In terms of a career I started out wanting to be a film director and studied theatre at college, but after working back stage in a West End theatre and knowing it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing, I took a job as a secretary and basically stayed in that profession. However, writing never left me, I used to write when it was quiet at work. And then when I moved to Holland (where my husband is from) and had children, I started working as a freelance editor from home and too my writing more seriously, making it a priority. And so here I am.
If you had to give an elevator pitch for Sleep, what would it be?
What drives a woman to murder? Incensed by the noise of them ‘at it’ in her bed, Lizzy Dyson murders her husband & his mistress. She’d thought he’d loved her & their marriage could have been saved, but as her trial unfolds, she confronts the truth behind the abuse, betrayals & the man she loved. A whydunnit, rather than a whodunnit, Sleep is told through a series of flashbacks and testimony, revealing the struggles that Lizzy Dyson faced, including multiple miscarriages and depression.
Which comes first for you, characters or the plot?
Characters. They start talking in my head and I listen in and then the story starts to build around what they are saying. They have also been known to derail many a story or cause major diversions. I’m only the writer, just a conduit, I’m not in control.
What was the inspiration behind Lizzy’s story?
I wanted to explore what drives a woman to murder. Having experienced anger & frustration in my own relationships, I wanted to explore what could possible push someone that far, especially someone who still loved their spouse so much. For women it can be hard juggling: work and running a home, and then if they choose to have children it’s even more. If they start to feel unsupported by their partner it can really tip the balance. I wanted the reader to understand and even feel sympathy for her.
Why did you use the topic of miscarriages as one of the factors?
Having children isn't always that straightforward, although many men and women think it is. A large majority of women suffer miscarriages but you only find this out when you experience one yourself, as I did between my two children. Mine was early on but it was still an emotional ride, but I have many friends over the years who have had multiple losses & some quite late on. It can destroy a person and a marriage. It's a subject that isn't talked about very often, if at all. And although I only touched on it lightly with Tony's character, it affects men too. I considered his affair to be in some ways his way of dealing with that loss and what was happening to his wife.
Lizzy clearly suffered a breakdown; did you find that difficult to write?
I didn't, it sort of wrote itself. From the opening it is clear that Lizzy has had a break from reality and lost it completely. I have spent time in therapy myself, both in my early 20s and early 40s due to a traumatic childhood, so I understand the process of analysing and taking yourself apart and putting yourself back together. I knew what a therapist would say, and how they would direct her to help her gain clarity. In some ways they were the easiest parts of the book for me.
This is your first Psychological Thriller, do you plan to write more?
I don't tend to write within genre lines. I didn't really know what this book was until another writer friend read it and defined it. I always tend towards darker stories, even horror, particularly in terms of people's minds - my flash fiction collection, Mostly Dark, contains many of them. But I also like exploring science fiction and am currently working on a sequel to my novella, The Game (found in my short story collection, Slipping Through). In this story a dark villain is playing mind games with his victims forcing them to chase him through different parallels universes to get back to their own time. What can I say, a sick mind intrigues me.
Who was the most difficult character to write in Sleep & why?
Tony was actually quite hard because I liked him. He had a good heart and really loved Lizzy. I found it hard to turn him into a bad guy. For a while I wasn't sure he was coming across bad enough until my early readers expressed a hatred of him. I think maybe because Lizzy is the main point of view and she still loved him that it was hard for me as the writer not to as well.
Author website: https://mirandakateboersauthor.weebly.com
FB Author Page: Miranda Kate Author
Why kill the man you love?
Lizzy was struggling, everyone knew that.
He shouldn't have done those things.
He shouldn't have pushed her so hard.
And now, her children, her marriage, her hope - gone.
It was all her fault, she knew that, but was there a chance of redemption?
Lizzy Dyson’s on trial for her life. She knows she must pay for what she did, even if it wasn’t planned, but will the jury believe her?
(Sleep will be on offer over Christmas, 23rd to 27th of December, for 99p)
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