I’m delighted to welcome Lynda Renham today to chat to us about her latest release, She Saw What He Did. I’m also sharing an extract so settle in and put your feet up.
Abby Miller thought she had the perfect family; a good looking, loving husband and a beautiful daughter. Her life was complete. The shock discovery that her husband, Jared, had been having an affair rocked her world. So when Jared suggested a short break to the Cannard Islands, to heal their fractured marriage, Abby agreed. An idyllic holiday turns into a nightmare when Abby witnesses something terrible. Suddenly her life and the life of her daughter are in serious danger and no one seems able to help them.
Lynda’s new thriller releases in digital format on 1st February … not long to wait. And at 99p a bargain!
welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise She Saw What He Did in 20 words or less.
‘She Saw What he Did’ is a fast paced thriller. One that keeps you gripped from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I was on holiday in the Isles of Scilly with my husband. Like the couple in the book we climbed quite high when visiting one of the islands there. I was taking photographs of the beach below when I saw a couple walking towards a boat. I zoomed in and took a photo. He seemed to be holding something. I was curious to see what it was. It was a baby. It made me wonder what would happen if you zoomed in on someone and then unwittingly saw a murder. I came home and wrote the novel ‘She Saw What he Did’ Which begins with the main character Abby witnessing something terrible through the lens of her camera.
Please tell us about the characters in your book.
The main character Abby Miller is fragile after discovering her husband was having an affair. Her strength and determination reveal themselves as the story unfolds. Jared Miller, her husband is successful and very appealing to women. Sergeant Ellen Burden is a frustrated police officer working on a very quiet island. She wants excitement and when Abby and Jared Miller arrive on the Island, Ellen gets more excitement than she’d bargained for. Sparrow is the baddie and the less I say about him the better as it may give the story away!
How do your characters come into existence Lynda? Do they have a bio?
I don’t plan my characters; they seem to evolve naturally when I start writing a novel. I may have a vague idea of how they look and act and I then build on that as I write. I enjoy characterisation.
Was there anything about your protagonist that surprised you?
Yes. I didn’t expect her to make some of the decisions she made. She at times seemed more ruthless than I had imagined her to be.
What scene did you enjoy writing the most?
The end scenes because they were gripping to write and bringing everything together like a finished tapestry was very satisfying. I was very happy with the ending.
… and the hardest?
There is one scene which I can’t really reveal. But, I had difficulty with this. I’m not good with writing or reading violence and I had to keep rewriting this to put over what I wanted to say but without too much violence. I am a bit squeamish.
Did you do any research? What resources did you use Lynda?
Yes. I researched the islands when I was in the Isle of Scilly and although the book is set on a fictional island much of the description came from where we stayed. I use the internet for other research.
Finally, do you have a most creative time of day?
Strangely I can work all day but most of my creativity seems to unfold late afternoon. I don’t know why that is. I can become quite frustrated for much of the day because nothing seems to happen and then as the afternoon goes on I seem to get ideas.
Thank you for being my guest. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
He looked down at his phone and smiled. A withheld number meant only one thing.
‘Yeah,’ he said roughly.
‘Sparrow?’ questioned the gravelly voice at the other end of the line.
‘Yeah it’s me.’
‘I’ve got a job for you. It’s a bit different from the usual. These are new clients. It’s a big one. Do you think you can handle it?’
Sparrow’s jaw twitched.
‘Sure. Don’t I always?’
‘This is different. You can’t make any mistakes,’ snapped the voice.
‘When have I ever made a mistake?’
‘Just as long as you understand. I don’t want any problems. There’s fifty thousand in this for you, but these people aren’t amateurs and they don’t take prisoners. This is a big contract. I don’t want it fucked up.’
Sparrow’s eyes gleamed. He’d misheard, surely.
‘How much?’ he questioned. It had always been a few thousand and he’d been more than happy with that.
‘Fifty thousand,’ repeated the voice.
Sparrow whistled. His insides quivered with excitement. That was a hell of a lot of money.
‘No mistakes. You do a good job, you’ll be well rewarded. You mess it up and you’re fucked. Well and truly.’
‘What do I have to do?’ Sparrow asked breathlessly.
‘The same as usual, get the package in safely, except this time you have to caretake for a while longer. This is highly sensitive. We want the heat off before any collection. There’ll be others wanting this cargo and …’
‘What is it?’ he interrupted, pulling a stale sausage roll from a brown paper bag and biting into it. There were a few seconds of silence.
‘Fifty thousand means you don’t ask questions,’ said the voice. ‘The less you know the better.’
Sparrow wrinkled his nose. He wasn’t so sure he agreed with that, but, fifty thousand …
‘Suits me,’ he said, throwing the remainder of the sausage roll into the sea.
‘There won’t be a collection straight after the drop. It’s up to you to keep the cargo safe for a while. A few days, that’s all. ‘
‘Sure,’ he said casually, although he would have been happier knowing just what he’d be caretaker of. Perhaps it was heroin this time. It was drugs, no doubt about that. It must be a big shipment. Still, what did he care?
‘We have to deliver. I’m making myself clear, aren’t I?’
‘How dangerous is this?’ he asked, combing his fingers through his brown curly hair.
‘Fifty thousand dangerous. Take it or leave it. I can find someone else.’
Sparrow doubted there was anyone else on the island that would be able to get the goods in as well as he did.
‘I’ve just got to keep it safe, right?’
‘That’s it. As soon as things are clear it will be collected.’
‘That’s all I’ve got to do?’ asked Sparrow, suspiciously. It seemed too good to be true.
‘You don’t have to take the job. There are others who …’
‘No, I’ll take it,’ interrupted Sparrow.
‘Think of this cargo as your baby,’ laughed the voice.
Sparrow didn’t laugh with him. The sound of the waves breaking on the rocks roared in his ears. The thought of fifty grand had heightened his senses. He’d be set up for life. He could move to South America, maybe even get his own bar. He could buy one of those open- top convertibles. He’s always fancied himself in one of those.
‘So, you’re in?’ asked the voice.
‘I’m in,’ said Sparrow.
‘I’ll be in touch,’ said the voice. There was a crackle and then the line went dead.
Lynda Renham is author to many popular romantic comedy and gripping psychological thriller novels. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and is a prolific blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook. Lynda lives in Oxfordshire with her second husband and two cats. Her web page: www.renham.co.uk and Twitter: @lyndarenham
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