After reading and reviewing the absolutely incredible If He Wakes by Zoe Lea, I had the chance to ask her some questions about the novel, her ideas and anything we should look out for in the future from her.
She has given me some great answers which will leave you dying to read If He Wakes.
Quickly sum up If He Wakes in a sentence.
A pulse-quickening tale of best friends in turmoil. (I stole that from a reviewer, but it explains the novel perfectly!)
Why should people read it?
I’ve aimed to write a book that is difficult to put down, so if you like a book that will keep you gripped, then hopefully, If He Wakes is something you might enjoy.
How did you go about writing If He Wakes?
I got the initial idea of a woman seeing her husband run someone over and it triggered lots and lots of questions. Who did he run over? Was it done intentionally? And if so, why? So my first job was to answer them all. By the time I’d done that, the characters were there and I had the loose structure of the book. From then on, it was a job of writing it all down.
Where did you get your inspiration for the story from?
At the time, I’d recently discovered that a close friend of mine had been having an affair. It was a huge shock and I remember thinking that there was much worse that could’ve had happened and that got my mind thinking. What could be worse than seeing your husband with his mistress? The answer I came up with was to see him murder someone, and the book idea sprang from that.
What made you choose the hard-hitting topic of paedophilia and the sexualisation of young girls?
Because the plot required it. I didn’t intentionally set out to write about either of those things, and as a parent I found it extremely difficult to write those scenes, but the character demanded to have done something totally horrific. So terrible that it would almost justify the way the other characters in the book behaved.
Who is your favourite character and why?
Suzie because of her fool hardiness. Her ability to be in total denial and be so aggressively self-righteous.
Do you think it would have been interesting to write it from the perspectives of the men?
Oh I love that idea! Such an interesting question. Yes, I think it would’ve been great to hear about how Phil or Adam felt and see it from their perspective, but the central theme to the novel is how well do you know your best friend and to hear their view might have distracted from that.
Why is the theme of friendship so important to this novel?
I think because trust and honesty are a large part of a good friendship and they’re two qualities that can be faked. Also, when you find out that someone you had absolute trust in, like a best friend has been disloyal, or keeping secrets, it’s really upsetting, but it happens so often.
What are you currently writing/working on?
Currently working on my next book, and it’s very much in the early stages, but it’s about a woman who decides to take revenge on the alpha mummies at her son’s school in the worst ways possible.
Tell us about a great book you’ve read recently.
I really enjoyed The Woman at the Window by A. J Finn, I loved the tension and twists in the plot.
My review of If He Wakes: