Today is the day that the brilliant psychological thriller We Watch You is published, and to celebrate I’d like to welcome author of the book N S Ford for an interview on this blog! 🙂 We Watch You is such a great book, with a brilliant speculative twist at the end that’s just impossible to ever guess (though I challenge everyone to read this book and see if you can! 😉 ) You can see my review for the book by clicking here, but now let’s welcome N S to the blog and find out some of the inspiration behind the book and some other intersting things about the author herself!
1. Can you tell us a bit about We Watch You and what inspired it?
We Watch You is about a mysterious disappearance in a small town, which disrupts the lives of three friends and threatens to expose their secrets. I’m not going to say any more than that, but I guarantee that this is one of the most unpredictable thrillers you’ll ever read. A few years ago, I got into psychological thrillers and was impressed by the pace, twists and unreliable narrators found in the genre. I remember being particularly impressed by Clare Mackintosh. Later, while I was editing, I found the works of Sarah Pinborough, Erin Kelly, Blake Crouch and Riley Sager to be inspiring. If you like any of those authors, then We Watch You might be your kind of read!
2. Do you enjoy reading a lot of thrillers and was it easy to write a story with so many exciting twists?
I read perhaps one thriller a month, as I have a wide-ranging reading taste and find that if I read a lot of one genre then I tired of it. I love thrillers because they’re fast-paced, twisty and addictive. A good thriller is better than watching a TV show! That’s an interesting point about writing the twists. I don’t think it’s difficult to write twists but it’s more difficult to put in the clues so that when the twist happens, it’s not predictable but is also not wildly implausible.
3. There’s a brilliant speculative twist at the end of the novel, I really didn’t see it coming! Do you enjoy reading speculative fiction in general and what is it about it that you enjoy?
Thanks, I’m glad you like the twist! It wasn’t even in the first version of the book. I have to admit that I agonised over whether to put in the speculative element, as I thought it wouldn’t appeal to readers who expect the conventions of domestic psychological thrillers. Then I decided that if I was to stay true to my intention of writing the kind of book that I’d want to read, then the speculative twist had to be there! I wanted it to be subtle, however, Yes, I’m a fan of science fiction, unexplained mysteries, ghost stories, weird fiction and the like. They can be good escapism but are also full of fascinating ideas and can provide perspectives on current times even when they are set in the future.
4. A main character in the story has autism, how important was it to include such a character and were there any difficulties in writing this?
This is going to sound strange, but I didn’t intend to have an autistic character in the book. As I got to know her more while I was writing, I realised that she was autistic and so I made sure that her interactions with people and her behaviour were believable. It wasn’t too difficult, because as it turned out, I was diagnosed with autism a few months after completing the book and I’d obviously been able to draw on my own experience when writing this character. I do think it’s important to include neurodiversity in fiction. However, it’s very rare in the adult psychological thriller genre.
5. You’ve opted for the self-publishing route with this book, what made you choose self-publishing and were there any difficulties in doing this?
After I finished writing my novel earlier this year, I submitted it to quite a few literary agents and publishers but I had no luck. I decided that I wanted to get the book into readers’ hands soon, so I looked into self-publishing. It seemed daunting, purely because I’d never done it before, but there are lots of resources and fellow self-published authors are helpful too. I wouldn’t say there were any difficulties as such, it was time-consuming to properly format the book but that was all part of the learning curve.
6. Have you always enjoyed writing from a young age?
I’ve been writing stories since I was little and my teachers encouraged my creative writing too. I always had trouble with working out plots, however, as I would have a good beginning but not know what direction the story would take! We Watch You is the first that was properly planned, chapter by chapter.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read a lot! I enjoy reading memoirs, science fiction, classics, travel, history and of course thrillers. I review books on my blog – https://nsfordwriter.com – where I also blog about other bookish things, films, TV, music and random topics. I play the piano – I learned when I was a child and am at grade 5/6 – and I’m a beginner at acoustic guitar. I also like to draw and paint.
8. Are you working on anything new?
I’m starting to plan my next novel, which is another standalone thriller… possibly another one with a speculative twist. I had the first ideas for it during summer last year but finishing and publishing We Watch You has taken priority. I’m hoping to start actually writing the new book this winter.
9. If you could live in any book, which would it be and why?
Ever since I read the Harry Potter books, I have wanted to live in that universe. It’s very appealing to be in the modern world but with magic to help you and to make things more fun.
About the Book
About the Author
N S Ford is a book fanatic, blogger and cat lover who lives in the UK with her family. She has a First Class degree in English. When not reading or blogging, she juggles her writing time with parenting, working in heritage and playing the piano.
Thank you so much for being on the blog today N S Ford! I completely agree, there isn’t enough representation of neurodiverse characters in books, and wow living in Harry Potter would be so much fun! 😀 Please do check out We Watch You, which is published today, it’s a brilliant book and I give my honest (and positive because it really is that good!) opinion about it here. 🙂
Did you enjoy this interview? Do you enjoy psychological thrillers and thrillers in general? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂