Today I have an interview feature as part of the Perdition’s Child book tour.
Perdition’s Child by Anne Coates
“Taut, pacy and simply unputdownable.” Jane Issac
The new book in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series! Dulwich Library is the scene of a grisly murder, followed swiftly by another in Manchester, the victims linked by nothing other than their Australian nationality. Police dismiss the idea of a serial killer, but journalist Hannah Weybridge isn’t convinced. She is drawn into an investigation in which more Australian men are killed as they try to trace their British families. Her research reveals past horrors and present sadness, and loss linked to children who went missing after the Second World War. Have those children returned now?
Once again Hannah finds herself embroiled in a deadly mystery, a mystery complicated by the murder of Harry Peters; the brother of Lucy, one of the residents of Cardboard City she had become friendly with. It soon becomes clear Lucy is protecting secrets of her own.
What is Lucy’s link to the murders and can Hannah discover the truth before the killer strikes again?
Anne Coates’ gripping thriller is the perfect read for fans of Emma Tallon, K.L.Slater and Laura Marshall.
ABOUT ANNE COATES
For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both. Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, she has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books. Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind and Death’s Silent Judgement began with a real event followed by a ‘what if …’. That is also the case with the two prize-winning 99Fiction.net stories: Codewords and Eternal Love.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
It’s been a long one. I’ve worked in publishing and as a journalist and editor all my life. On the fiction front I began by writing short stories which were published in women’s magazines. My very first novel is still lingering in a file somewhere and the second one joined it for some years before I rewrote it and it was accepted by Urbane Publications. In between I wrote seven non-fiction books for various publishers. Since publication of Dancers in the Wind in 2016 I’ve had three more Hannah Weybridge books published. I had written the first three chapters of book two so when Matthew Smith suggested a trilogy I was delighted. The addition of Perdition’s Child has made it a series.
How do you decide who to dedicate your books to?
Sadly my parents were both dead by the time first novel was published. My mother taught me to read and I think she would have loved the Hannah Weybridge series. So the first three books are dedicated to my daughter and granddaughter who play an enormous part in my life. For Perdition’s Child which deals with loss of children I wanted to honour parents whose offspring have died or have been taken away from them.
What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
I used to abridge books for Reader’s Digest and one non-fiction narrative was written by a man who had been sent to Australia as part of the Child Migration Scheme. Years later he discovered he had, in fact, not been an orphan as he had been told and he came back to the UK to trace his family. His plight stayed percolating in my mind for many years. Then I asked “What if…” and that eventually became Perdition’s Child.
Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
Oh yes, and that’s one of the joys of writing a series – assuming a character hasn’t died you can bring them back, give them a bigger role and so on. Every character, however minor, has their story waiting to be told. My protagonist, Hannah Weybridge lives in London in the 1990s. Some of her friends (she doesn’t have many) appear to a greater or lesser extent in each book and some of them I have become rather fond of. Sometimes they surprise me by doing something very different just when I thought I knew them well!
What was your favourite read of 2019?
That’s like asking a parent of more than one child who their favourite is. Usually there is a preferred one but no mother of father in their right mind would divulge which one. I read a lot of crime and psychological thrillers especially by authors I know so it wouldn’t be politic to name one. I read other genres and sometimes I’m disappointed by all the hype surrounding a particular author or book. However I reread Zola’s Thérèse Raquin and loved it all over again.
Who is your favourite author?
Probably Dickens – apart from his amazing output he led such a fascinating life and I loved the letters he wrote to his sister about his readings and how much alcohol he drank. At school, David Copperfield was my introduction to his novels and I recently reread A Christmas Carol before going to see a producton at The Old Vic.
Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, if so which one?
No but there was one that nearly did the opposite. In my early teens, when I was recovering from double pneumonia and pleurisy, I started reading my mother’s copy of Gone With the Wind. Everyone seemed to be dying of pneumonia and I had had no idea how very ill I had been. Not a book to aid recuperation.
Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
I am grateful to so many friends who’ve been supportive in numerous ways from reading early drafts, to mopping up my tears, hosting a launch day meal or providing bottles of bubbles to celebrate. Not to forget my daughter for her book cupcakes.
If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
If I had that kind of superpower I think I’d like to be able to give the book that would be perfect for each individual. No one book would do for everyone.
What are you working on now?
I’m toying with several ideas for the fifth book in the Hannah Weybridge series and have written some try-out scenes plus I am writing a standalone psychological thriller inspired by a short story I wrote some time ago.
Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
I’d love to know their opinions about some of the characters. Were they surprised by some of the revelations? Who do they relate to and why?