London based Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives. As our Author of the Day, Ezzard gives us a peek behind the scenes on what it took to write her latest novel, I Know Your Every Move.
Please give us a short introduction to what I Know Your Every Move is about.
It tells the story of Sophie Brown, an attractive vulnerable young girl from Manchester. Sophie is trying to build a new life, working as a counsellor in a women’s centre. She receives several menacing phone calls and wonders if her past is coming back to haunt her. She forms a close relationship with Cassie, one of her clients and tries to help her escape from the clutches of a violent boyfriend. At the same time, she is being tormented in her own life. She believes she is being followed and the more she delves, the closer she gets to danger. Her life is turned upside down after a series of disturbing events. Can she revisit her dark past before it is too late?
What inspired you to write this book?
I was encouraged by a writer’s group I attended. It came about when I put three of my short stories together and the storyline developed from there. I have worked as a counsellor in a women’s centre, women’s hostel and a drug and alcohol rehab so could tap into my own personal knowledge and experience on some of the storylines and the issues raised.
Why psychological thrillers? What drew you to the genre?
I love reading psychological thrillers and watching TV dramas and films in that genre, so it was a no-brainer really.
Tell us more about Sophie Brown. What makes her tick?
Sophie has many insecurities and flaws. She can be too caring and gullible for her own good sometimes. The bad choices she has made in her life have impacted on her. Because of her own failings, she will now go to any lengths to help others. She has always been envious of her elder sister who she feels has made better life choices. Even though Sophie is intelligent, she doesn’t always use her common sense. She always focuses on the problems of others, that way she doesn’t have to look at her own.
Readers say that you have a knack for creating very believable characters. What is your secret?
I think it is because I have been able to tap into my own experiences and draw on characters that I have known or have read about.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I have always been a creative person, so I enjoy art and painting. I used to make handmade chocolates. I enjoy lots of crafts such as making candles, jewellery. I also once developed my own skincare range using natural products.
The book contains some major twists. Did you plan them out before you started writing or did some of them just "happen" along the way?
I tend to start of with a general idea of where I want my novel to go but I have to admit that this changes once I start writing. I find it exciting sometimes that I don’t know where the words are going to take me. I enjoy creating situations and dilemmas then trying to figure out how they came about and how the characters can get out of them.
The story jumps around a bit between "Then" and "Now" - why did you take this approach?
I wanted it to feel like this was where Sophie’s mind was going as she considered who could be behind the events that were happening to her.
What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
I received a lovely email recently from a reader who felt inspired by my novel to write her own experience of stalking and domestic violence and addiction. I hope the book highlights some of these issues.
Readers said they couldn't put the book down - how did you manage to maintain an atmosphere of suspense throughout?
I have studied how to bring suspense into a story in some detail. By editing and looking for ways to keep the suspense up, I hope I was able to keep the story being a page turner.
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you
I originate from the same place as Sophie — Bury in Manchester, England.
I have been a massive Manchester United football fan since being a teenager.
I have met Lee Child. This was at a writer’s conference and it was really interesting to hear how he writes.
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
I don’t always. I keep a file where I am continually adding new ideas for projects. While writing what was going to be Book 4 in the Sophie Brown series, I felt stuck so put it down and started a whole different project which I completed first.
What are you working on right now?
I am at the final edit stage of “The Sinister Gathering.” This is Book 3 in the Sophie Brown series. In it, Sophie goes to a retreat in Scotland hoping to find herself, but instead finds a dead body. It is due for release on October 3rd.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?