To celebrate #HerLastSecret going on sale, I’ve asked authors to share their secrets with me, and I’ve had a fantastic time reading everyone’s confessions. But today, with just two days to go until publication day, it’s time for the spotlight to fall on me as I spill the beans…
Secret writing ritual…
The first thing I do is put music on. The type of music depends on the type of scenes I’ll be writing. For Flowers For The Dead I listened to classical music constantly, as it helped me get into Adam’s head more. When I was writing The Darkest Lies I actually mainly listened to bird song, babbling rivers, waves, and so on, as being immersed in the sounds of nature helped create the brooding landscape the book inhabits. Her Last Secret involved manic dance music and old school club classics, for some reason.
Tunes sorted, I need to have a glass of water or a pot of fruit tea beside me, then I set my timer for one hour and write. After an hour, the timer goes off, and I have a 15-minute break where I do some yoga stretches, play with my dog, and make myself another cuppa before setting the timer again.
Secret writing snack…
Anyone who spends any time following me on social media will know the answer to this is no secret. I am powered almost exclusively by cake. And hot chocolate. I also like to chew gum while writing because, for some bizarre reason, the more I chew the faster my brain works. Hey, I never said it made sense…
Secret celebration when I finish a WIP..
I like to buy a bottle of champagne and toast the book when I type The End (I never type The End until it’s ready to send to my editor). I always thought the day to celebrate would be publication day, but I’m too terrified by that stage to celebrate anything, so I like to get my champagne moment in early.
‘Guilty secret’ read…
A hangover from my days as a journalist is that I have to start my day checking all the main news websites. All of them. Even the ones people hate. Know your enemy, that’s my motto.
‘Guilty secret’ tv programme…
Heck, there are so many! I’m addicted to Hollyoaks, but someone else has already had that as their guilty secret tv, so instead I’m going to say The Santa Clarita Diet, an America horror-comedy that features a lot of gore and a lot of laughs.
Okay, this is going to sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true…I was once followed by a cloud. I was walking along on a hot summer’s day, the sun beating down on me. Then I felt a spot of rain. And a couple more. I looked around, thinking it was a sprinkler just slightly reaching me, but couldn’t find anything. I hurried on, but could still feel these drops of water. I looked all around me, but couldn’t see anyone else, or a sprinkler… Then I looked up. In a bright blue sky, there was a single small cloud right above me, being blown slowly along in the same direction I was walking. I had to stop walking and let it pass on, otherwise I’d have continued walking beneath my own, personal rain cloud!
Secret peek into your new WIP…
HER LAST SECRET is out on Friday. Yep, Friday the 13th – lucky for you, but unlucky for the Thomas family. Here’s a look at the prologue…
A lifetime can flash by in a moment. A moment can last a lifetime.
Right now, everything seemed cradled in the pause between breaths. It wasn’t so much that the world was in slow motion, more that Dominique’s senses were so heightened that she could note every detail: the look on her eldest daughter’s face; the desperation that made her husband’s voice hitch; the squeak of her youngest child when she got excited or scared. She thought of all those things, examining them. Wondering whether to smile or cry at their memory.
Dominique had spent most of her life hiding from herself, from others, from her past. Now, she felt secreted in a between-world, like the moment before waking. She needed to make a decision. Should she remain and carry on hiding, her life sliding away like water through cracks in the pavement; or should she act?
There were consequences to actions, though. Prices that must be paid.
She exhaled. Decision made.
The time had come to expose all the secrets, no matter what.
If only she had the courage to do so. If only the family was strong enough to survive it. If only she didn’t do something stupid herself.
Secret Santa… (If I could give a happy ending to any character who would it be, and what would I do?)
I’ve been really impressed with some of the answers other authors have given to this question, so do check them out. Tara Lyons even wanted to give a happy ending to one of my characters, Adam, the troubled serial killer from FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, who readers can’t seem to help themselves from feeling sorry for.
I’m going for a character from Charles Dickens’s classic, OLIVER TWIST. Poor Nancy gets beaten to death by her boyfriend, Bill Sykes, when all she is trying to do is keep Oliver safe and not drop Bill in it. Instead, I’d like to a rich, handsome, kind relative of Oliver’s to spot Nancy, and fall for her good heart. He’d marry her, transform her life, and treat her like a queen. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Of course, it would ruin a huge part of the book…
What character would you love to give a happy ending to? I’d love to hear!
Some secrets you can never tell.
Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family: grand London house, gorgeous kids.
They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.
They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.
They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.
But someone knows all their secrets.
Can the lies that bind them destroy them all?
This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.
See what readers are saying about Her Last Secret:
‘OH MY WORD! This is a fantastic read!… I was totally immersed in the Thomas family’s story… Outstanding, I highly recommend!’ Chat About Books
‘Absolutely superb, she’s only gone and done it again – did NOT want to put this book down!!’ Donna’s Book Blog
‘I absolutely loved this well-written emotional rollercoaster, the twists in the story keep you hooked, trying to work out what happened that night. Highly recommended.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime
‘Wow what a fantastic book, totally thrilling and captivating! A tangled web of lies and secrets is masterfully woven in this psychological thriller…I was hooked right from page one…a big fat 5 stars from me, I totally recommend this book.’ Bonnie’s Book Talk
‘This is one hell of an engaging read…I am blown away. I cannot recommend this enough; it is without a doubt a must-read book. Giving it a massive 5 stars.’ Chelle’s Book Reviews
Praise for Barbara Copperthwaite:
‘It grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. A tense, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting ride’Robert Bryndza, author of The Girl in the Ice and Cold Blood
‘Vividly written and absolutely gripping. I couldn’t put it down!’ The Genre Reader (5 stars)
‘There are plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing, leading all the way to a jaw-dropping ending that left me spinning.’ Novel Deelights (5 stars)
‘Gripping and shocking. Had me completely enthralled in the action…a story that got under my skin.’ Rachel’s Random Reads (5 stars)
‘A dark, compelling and unforgettable read that had me hooked. The final paragraph haunted me, long after I had finished reading.’ Brew and Books review (5 stars)
‘Addictive, Thrilling, Captivating! I could not put this book down, it captures your interest from the very first page until the very last.’ Book Reviews by Nicole (5 stars)
‘It really did make for some very emotional reading…There was a twist which totally rocked me.’ By The Letter Book Reviews
‘Plenty of red herrings and twists…If you like psychological thrillers, you’ll love it.’ Consumer reviewer (5 stars)