We are excited and honoured to be part of Day 1 on Titan Books' tour for the new thriller She Lies Close. Here, author Sharon Doering talks Playlists, Editorial Notes and Movie Trailers ...
When my editor sent her initial notes on my psychological thriller, She Lies Close, she asked me to add a scene where we see Ava on video (Ava is the 5-year-old who was kidnapped in my book). My editor suggested a video of Ava as a beauty pageant girl, or maybe she plays an instrument or sings.
I loved this idea. (Editors are brilliant.)
I could see this little girl singing in front of a camera. I considered having Ava sing a song from the playlist I'd been listening to, but instead opted for an old-fashioned song -- something folksy, cozy, and familiar. A love song. I don't know about you, but for me, there's nothing creepier than a beautiful, old-time love song. I chose Harvest Moon by Neil Young.
Harvest Moon wasn't part of my playlist as I wrote the first draft of my thriller, but it was the soundtrack to my edits.
When I imagine my book's movie trailer (what author doesn't imagine their book as a movie?), Harvest Moon is playing. We hear the wistful harmonica, a picked steel guitar, a brush-stroked drum, and romantic vocals. At the same time, we see sweet moments of a mother with her two small children transition to flashes of desperation, running, and violence. Oooh, I love conflicting audio and visuals.
My playlist for She Lies Close was dark and desperate. I wanted the book to marinate in these moods. I listened to these songs before I wrote, during coffee breaks, and in the early evening while I was washing dishes or making dinner so I could hold onto the book and turn ideas over in my head.
I also considered using lyrics from one of my playlist songs as an epigraph (I was thinking Strange Invitation, Trouble, or Harvest Moon). Still, I already had a prologue (again, my editor's idea) and thought that'd be too much foreplay for the reader.
Speaking of getting to the point. Here's my playlist for SHE LIES CLOSE.
Strange Invitation, Beck
Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Pearl Jam
Life on Mars, David Bowie
Trouble, Cage the Elephants
Wonderful, Wonderful, The Killers
Wild Horses, Rolling Stones
Maps, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
Sail, Awolnation (of course!)
Where is my mind?, Pixies (also, of course)
I'm the Man, The Killers
Fade Into You, Mazzy Star
Harvest Moon, Neil Young
She Lies Close, a psychological thriller, has already gathered strong early praise, with The Sunday Times bestselling author Samantha Downing describing it as a "cracking debut that should be on your 2020 list!" and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica declaring it as "an explosive, darkly comedic psychological thriller with one of the most memorable protagonists". In the story, recently divorced Grace Wright moves her two small children into a new house, hoping to start a new life, longing to reset her crippling insomnia, but finds out she's moved in next door to the only suspect in the kidnapping of six-year-old Ava Boone. Grace becomes obsessed with her menacing neighbor and the family of the missing little girl, and then a body turns up…
SHE LIES CLOSE is available now in the UK and releases on November 10th in the US and Canada.
Thanks to both Titan Books and Sharon for giving us the soundtrack to our Monday!