Thursday, 30 April 2015

Runaway and Interview with Laura Salters

What They Say

“Ignorance is bliss...until there’s blood involved”

Drenched in blood and sitting in the sweltering interview room of a Thai police station, Kayla Finch knows that Sam, the love of her life, is dead. It doesn't matter that there's no body. All that blood can only mean one thing.

It isn't the first time Kayla's had blood on her hands. After finding her brother dead by his own hand, she tried to outrun her grief by escaping to Thailand. Heart-broken, the last thing she expected was to find love on the smoggy streets of Bangkok. But everyone Kayla loves seems to wind up dead. 

Returning home to England, Kayla is left with a barely-functioning family, a string of gruesome nightmares and the niggling feeling that nothing is as it seems. And as she confronts her brother's suicide, she starts to suspect that something is very wrong.

Three months. Two tragedies. One connection: there's more to both cases than anyone is willing to admit. And Kayla’s determined to uncover the truth…no matter what the cost.

Interview with Laura Salters

Can you tell us about Run AWAY?
Sure! When Kayla’s brother commits suicide, she books onto a gap year scheme to Thailand to escape her grief—and to find herself. While she’s out there, she meets a funny, charming guy called Sam and pretty soon they fall in love. But three months later, he vanishes, and she collapses in a pool of his blood. She returns to England suffering from crippling nightmares and the niggling feeling that nothing is as it seems, and the narrative flits between past and present as the reader tries to figure out what happened alongside Kayla. 

It’s equal parts fun romance and dark suspense, with exotic locations, drunken antics and plenty of red herrings thrown in for good measure!

Can you tell us about your inspiration for the story?
I was intrigued by the up-and-coming New Adult genre (college age characters and mature themes) but most of what I was reading was contemporary romance. Which is awesome, but I wanted something a little different. So I thought, what if we could combine this sexy romance with something darker and more suspenseful? 

How old were you when you started writing?
I was around seven or eight when I started “writing” stories about magical caves and the like. But I was 22 when I decided to properly try my hand at fiction writing—that’s when RUN AWAY was born. I was 23 when I signed with my agent, and I’m 24 now, so it’s all happened pretty quickly!

Can you share with us who designs the gorgeous covers for your books?
The ultra talented team at HarperCollins!

Can you tell us about your writing process?
I used to just wing it and see where it ended up, but after RUN AWAY required some SERIOUS structural edits (the pacing was all over the place), I knew I needed more of a plan for the future. At the moment I’m using Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering format, and fleshing out the key scenes and plot lines before I start. It’s helped so much—I recently finished my first 95k word fantasy novel in three weeks.

What advice would you give to someone considering writing his or her debut novel?
Just. Finish. I’m serious. Finishing is the hardest part. Don’t talk yourself out of it when it gets hard 20,000 words in!

What is the worst advice you have ever received?
You should wait until you’re older and have more life experience to draw on when you’re writing. (No thanks.)

What items are on your desk/where you write?
A Jo Malone candle in Green Tomato Leaf (it’s amazing), fake sunflowers, cheesy inspirational quotes, COFFEE, a space heater because I’m always cold, and usually some form of chocolate.

Do you have a routine for your writing?  
Okay, I sleep a lot. So I’ll wake up around half eight after sleeping for about ten hours (yes, really), eat breakfast, drink coffee then get to work. On a writing day I shoot for 5,000 words (I’m a trained journalist so I’m naturally speedy), but in that time I try to get outside for some fresh air and a jog, or see a friend, or just go for a wander. I also run a query critique service, so I’ll spend a few hours a day on client work too. I’m usually writing on and off all day until about 10pm, but that’s just because I love it so much, not out of obligation or anything. What can I say—I love my job!

Do you like quiet when you are writing or do you need background noise? 
I love having instrumental music on in the background—8tracks is my favourite website for finding awesome playlists! But I can just as easily write in silence, or with the TV on. I wrote RUN AWAY while binge-watching Greys Anatomy. Not even kidding.

If one of your books was made into a film/TV series, who would you like as the leading lady/man?
I’d love Ellen Page as Kayla!

About The Author

Laura Salters is a YA/NA suspense author (represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media Inc) from Berwick-upon-Tweed, the northernmost town in England. Her debut novel, RUN AWAY, will be published by HarperCollins (Witness Impulse) on 05/05/15. When Laura isn't writing, reading or thinking about writing or reading, she's a music lover (and terrible singer), pet cuddler, beach-goer, runner (*cough* jogger), passionate foodie, caffeine addict, tennis player, lipstick wearer, Harry Potter fangirl (yes, still), housework dodger and relentless chatterbox. 

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