In conversation with Vikki Patis – @VikkiPatis @bookouture #AuthorInterview

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Today we have Vikki Patis stopping by to talk about her book The Girl Across the Street. Published by the team at Bookouture and out now in all the usual formats. Thanks for taking part today Vikki, please come back soon.

The Girl Across the Street

You’re hiding a secret that only she can see.

Her name is Beth. She came into my life when I needed her the most. We lead very different lives, but she’s the only person who understands me.

She was the only other witness to the terrible accident on the street between our homes. The only person who saw the cracks in my perfect life before I had the chance to cover them up.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a friend. Someone to talk to, to listen to, to laugh and dream with.

Beth would never do anything to hurt me.

She only wants what’s best for me, for my marriage.

Doesn’t she?

An unputdownable psychological suspense thriller that will grip you until the very last page. Perfect for fans of Gone GirlThe Girl on the Train and The Couple Next Door.

In Conversation with Vikki Patis

Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

The Girl Across the Street is the story of two women, who, on the surface, appear to be very different. They are brought together after witnessing a hit-and-run, and are slowly drawn together in the weeks thereafter. But something is bubbling beneath the surface; both of these women have secrets, and they soon learn that they’re not so different after all. Beth, frustrated with her dead-end job and lazy boyfriend, befriends Isla, a “desperate housewife” living with an abusive husband. Beth is the only one who understands Isla, who hasn’t had a friend in years, but does she have an ulterior motive?

Who would your book be perfect for?

Anyone who enjoys a character-driven novel, one which also explores deeper societal themes.

Did you have a favourite character to write?

Both of the main characters, Beth and Isla, were brilliant to write in their own way. While Beth is outwardly tough, Isla has that inner strength that so many women possess, particularly those who live through ordeals such as domestic violence.  

What inspired you to the write the book?

I have a personal connection to Isla’s situation, having grown up in an abusive household, and so I wanted to explore that. I always find writing cathartic, and use it to work through any issues I may be having. The setting is inspired by where I live – a B road runs between my estate and another, and the two sides are very different. One day while leaving for work, I saw that a tree had been knocked down on that road, and I wondered what had happened. From there came the idea of the hit-and-run, and then Beth and Isla made themselves known to me. I wanted to include two characters who appear to be very different – their homes, their careers, their lifestyles – but actually, when you scratch the surface, they’re more alike than first thought.  

What has been your proudest bookish moment?

It has to be when I played a snippet of the audiobook version of The Diary at my book launch. I was sat at my author table, feeling so very British and uncomfortable, but at the end, everyone clapped for what felt like ages, and it was just the most amazing experience. It was the first time I felt like a “proper author”!

Do you have any questions for your readers?

I’d love to know what my readers think of the female relationships in my books. From Lauren and Hannah in The Diary, and now Beth and Isla in The Girl Across the Street, I’m fascinated by the friendships we build with other women, the deep connection we can have when we meet someone who truly understands us.

What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?

Oh, I hate this question! There are too many amazing books to choose from. If I had to pick, I’d say The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. It’s just such a rich, multi-layered novel that explores the Victorian era, prostitution, and female empowerment. I’ve re-read it several times, and watched the BBC adaptation, and I feel like I get something new out of it every time.

What are you working on now?

I have a few ideas up my sleeve! I’m hoping to move over to crime fiction, utilising my degree in policing & criminology, which is new and very exciting for me.

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