Wednesday 15 June 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ Willow Walk by SJI Holliday

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Willow Walk which is Susi's second novel in The Banktoun Trilogy. I am thrilled be taking part in this wonderful Blog Tour and delighted to welcome author Susi to my blog with a Q&A session and a BIG thanks to Laura Nicol from Black & White Publishing Books for allowing me this opportunity to take part with some other fab book bloggers too. 
You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below.

So without further ado, here it is............

What inspired you to write Willow Walk?
There are so many books about toxic marriages and friends you wish you’d never met, and although these are brilliant and will never grow old, I wanted to write about a different kind of relationship. I can’t really say what it is without spoilers, but I hope I’ve managed to capture it sensitively. I also wanted to have it partly set in a fairground, because I always imagined a big wheel on the cover. Fairgrounds are spooky, and the perfect place for one of my big reveals to take place.
What books have most influenced your life?
I’m not sure I really have any books that have influenced my life, as such, but the idea for writing three books set in the fictional town of Banktoun came from Belinda Bauer’s Shipcott based novels: Blacklands, Finders Keepers and Dark Side. It’s the small town setting that I loved the most, and the fact that there were so many dark secrets buried there. So actually, these did influence my life – because they made me want to write Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your book to life?
Interesting question! Research  was mostly done on the internet, but I also talked to a few people who had personal experience of some of the themes I tackle in the book. Psychological – well I creeped myself out. That can only be a good thing. Logistical – I was lucky with work – I wrote the first part of the book over a few months, but then because of the way my projects work, I ended up with time off just at the right time, and after a bit of outlining, I wrote the second part of the book pretty quickly. The story came easily for this one, and I always knew the ending.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?  
It wasn’t so much writing this book that was hard, it was that I started about six others and abandoned them before I started writing it. Second books are hard! I had lots of ideas, but none of them felt right. Eventually, Willow Walk pushed itself to the front of my brain and fell out.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
Nope. I just would’ve written it sooner so I could’ve got on with the next one before work got silly again! It’s very hard juggling the day job with writing. 
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

Loads. I used to read a lot of series stuff, but now I love reading standalones and discovering new authors. Not completely new, but early in their careers: I love Sarah Hilary, Eva Dolan, Amanda Jennings, Steve Cavanagh… and Ruth Ware & Clare Mackintosh are setting the world alight with their fab psychological thrillers. There are so many great writers out there at the moment. I’m really looking forward to Mark Hill’s debut (The Two O'Clock Boy) later this year.

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