Today I’m really excited to have Lisa Hall pop but The Book Review Café. Lisa is the author of Between You And Me, it’s the book with the “mother of all Twists”, and social media went absolutely crazy discussing and debating it! With over 1,600 reviews on Amazon alone, its one of the most read psychological thrillers released this year. If you haven’t read it yet I suggest you pop over to Amazon and get yourself a copy right now ( well perhaps read my interview with Lisa first!)
Hi Lisa, Welcome to The Book Review Café Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Originally from Southampton, I moved to Kent in 1999 and spent the last few years raising kids and looking after a whole host of animals on our little plot of land. Writing was always something I wanted to do, but life got in the way a bit (along with some sheep, horses, goats etc!) Once the children were a bit older the timing was right!
For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book Between You And Me (although I’m sure everyone has read or heard about it, but just in case) can you provide us with an introduction?
Between You and Me focuses on the idea that none of us really know what happens when people close the door behind them at night. On the surface they may appear to have the perfect marriage, the perfect life, but reality can sometimes be very different.
Where did the idea Between You And Me come from?
Good question! The “twist” was what came to me first, so then I worked backwards to figure out who the characters were and how they got themselves in this situation.
How did you come up with the title?
You can thank my mum for the title! She’s terrible for telling me stuff that she’s not supposed to, so she’ll ring me and say, “Oh, and between you and me….” That phrase for me is associated with secrets, which is a large part of the novel.
How did you research material for Between You And Me?
The research was really hard – I spoke to people who had gone through the situation that Sal is in, and I read a lot of stories of domestic abuse, some of it really harrowing.
Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?
Not really strange, but I do need lots of tea! Although it might just be the act of making the tea means a four minute procrastination exercise!
How long did it take to get Between You And Me published?
It was surprisingly quick (in fact, I’m still waiting for them to knock on the door and tell me they were only joking!) I submitted to my publisher in September and a couple of weeks later my now editor contacted me to say that she wanted to see the full manuscript. A week later I was offered a two book deal.
Were you surprised by how much of a talking point “the twist” in Between You And Me created on social media?
Definitely. The idea started with the twist, but as I got further and further into writing the book it became more about the characters and the journey they were on than the twist for me, so by the time it was polished and ready for publication the twist, for me, wasn’t the major part of the story.
Who was your favourite character to write about?
I really love Sal, but I also loved writing Laura. I’ve had lots of comments about how much people love Sal and hate Charlie, but Laura seems to get a little bit forgotten, and she is BRILLIANT. I was so pleased when a reader contacted me to say how much she loved her!
How much time does social media take up of your busy writing life and how important a part do you think it plays?
Social media is SO important, and I don’t know how well the book would have done without it. I love hearing from readers and Twitter is very handy for that! It can take up a huge amount of time though, so I do now put my phone on do not disturb from about 7pm so my family actually get to see me!
Who is/are your favourite author/authors? What is it that draws you, as a reader, to certain books?
I’m a sucker for a good cover, every time (even though we shouldn’t judge…) Tell me there’s a twist and I’m there! I’ve got heaps of favourite authors – I love Angela Marsons and C.L. Taylor, and some new ones I’ve discovered recently and have loved are Patrick Redmond, Chris Whitaker and Alex Caan.
Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?
Yes! It’s called Tell Me No Lies and is out in October. It’s a psychological thriller that questions whether you can ever really escape your past. That’s all I’m saying!
During all the interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
The dinner party one! I’ve never been asked who I’d have to my fantasy dinner party – but I can tell you, it would include Elvis, Johnny Cash, Harper Lee and Ryan Gosling 😉
And lastly can you describe yourself in five words?
Disorganised, nerdy, tea-drinker, teensy bit evil (on paper)
Thank you Lisa for taking the time to answer my questions, I know how busy you are. I shall look forward to reading Tell Me No Lies Later in the year.
About Lisa Hall
Lisa loves words, reading and everything there is to love about books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl – either that or a librarian – and after years of talking about it, was finally brave enough to put pen to paper (and let people actually read it). Lisa lives in a small village in Kent, surrounded by her towering TBR pile, a rather large brood of children, dogs, chickens and ponies and her long-suffering husband. She is also rather partial to eating cheese and drinking wine.
Links to Lisa Hall
Amazon Between You And Me 🇬🇧