Today is publication day for her newest novel The Suspects, and today I bring you an author spotlight for Katharine Johnson:
Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)
Katharine’s New Novel:
Publication Day: Today, May 10, 2019
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller
Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.
After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other?
Purchase The Suspects NOW.
A short Q&A with Katharine:
Why did you write The Suspects?
I love stories that involve a small group of people in a claustrophobic situation. The shared house gives my characters something they’re desperate to hold onto but that also traps them. They’re thrown together as almost strangers but suddenly have to depend on each other to stay ahead of the police – but they’re also increasingly worried about the enemy within. When it comes down to it, will they stick together as they’ve promised, or save themselves?
When did you start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories and wrote my first book aged nine. I’ve made a living out of writing as a journalist but I came back to writing fiction around ten years ago when my three children were all at school and I had a bit more time. I wrote some stories for magazines, got lots of rejections, wrote some more, got a few published and then I enrolled on a creative writing course and finally decided to have a go at writing a novel I’d been planning to write for years.
What do you find the hardest aspect of writing a novel?
I love the early bit – getting the ideas, seeing where the plot goes. I like the early revision too but going over the final manuscript is hard because I always see things I want to change and it’s so hard to spot your own silly mistakes.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting into the heads of different characters as they try and think their way out of a situation.
What do you like least about writing?
There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep on top of all the marketing and promotion while trying to write your next book. It all seems to take me much longer than everyone else!
What’s the best advice you’ve had about writing?
Keep going until the end of the first draft – it might be terrible but no one’s going to see it. Then when you’ve got to the end and have the whole picture you can worry about fixing things, putting in foreshadowing, hooks etc.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just finished Our House by Louise Candlish – it’s so brilliant I want to start all over again!
Katharine’s Other Novels
The Silence and The Secret are both set in a villa in Tuscany. Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings is a 1930s crime story. What links all of Katharine’s books is that they are about ordinary people who because of a bad decision find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Published: June 8 , 2017
Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything.
When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity.
In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.
Buy The Silence here.
Published: June 1, 2018
Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy.
Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences.
Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything.
Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.
But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.
Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.
Buy The Secret here.
Published: August 13, 2016
Nothing much has gone right for Jack since he graduated last year. His career has failed to take off, his fiancée has ditched him for someone with better prospects and now he’s received an invitation to their wedding. He dreads going to the wedding alone, surrounded by his high-achieving friends, so when he meets a beautiful girl who offers to accompany him he jumps at the chance.
But by accepting her invitation he finds himself drawn into a world of intrigue and murder.
Buy Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings here.