It’s my first stop on the tour for Those Who Lie and today I am bringing you a guest post as well as a giveaway.
Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.
At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate…
But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband.
And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all.
Can she really trust herself?
Research for Those Who Lie
It’s a well-known joke among crime writers: Anyone viewing the browsing history on your laptop would assume you were a serial killer. But the truth is that for most genres, not just thrillers, a lot of research is needed. And the Internet has made all of that a lot easier.
So, I thought I’d write a guest post about the research I needed to do for Those Who Lie.
I did a lot of research for my novel and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. When I started working on Those Who Lie, I’d never actually visited Oxford, where a lot of the action takes place. I did go there while I was writing the novel, and walked around taking photos of everything with my smartphone. But until then, I spent a lot of time on Google Earth, virtually roaming the streets of this city and on estate agents’ websites, looking at houses for sale in the Woodstock Road, where Emily, my main character, lives!
At one point during the writing process, I needed to find out about counterfeit Ming vases. I printed out pages and pages on this subject and highlighted what I thought might be useful. For another chapter, I researched various artists, Wassily Kandinsky and Han van Meegeren, for example. In addition, although I’d “helped” a local farmer during the lambing season when I was younger, including with a difficult birth, I watched several videos on YouTube before having Emily help her friend Will on his father’s farm in Chapter Six of Those Who Lie.
I learnt so much and spent hours reading through all sorts of topics. But the trap I fell into, to begin with, is that I was tempted to include too much information instead of sifting through the fruits of my research. For instance, after writing all about the James Bulger case and how it differed from Emily’s case, I realised that not only was it all irrelevant, but it also slowed up the action! I cut two whole pages! In my first draft, I’d also gone into some detail over van Meegeren’s trial after one of his forged Vermeer paintings ended up in Hermann Göring’s hands. Again, I was fascinated by this anecdote, but it had no bearing whatsoever on Emily’s story!
Sometimes, I discovered, you can’t find out everything you need to know from the Internet. And that’s where interesting contacts come in handy! One of the problems I had was with a flashback in which I was worried about introducing anachronisms into the police procedure. My main character is arrested when she is a minor in 1995. Someone was shot dead, and she is left-handed. This led to a whole load of uncertainties… Luckily, I have a friend who works for Interpol. I texted him with some very strange questions and he found out what I needed to know as far as forensic evidence was concerned for that particular period and for that chapter in the novel. (And then I tried to cheat my way out of the hole I’d dug for myself.) My friend also came up with something I’d completely overlooked. The result of this was that I wandered around for a whole day with gunshot residue on me – not the real trace particles, the words – scribbled on the back of my hand.
I’ve just started writing another novel. I haven’t finished the first chapter yet and I’m already doing research… into William Wordsworth and also into Georgian architecture!
Now onto the fun bit…click the link for the chance to win…
Be sure to check back in a few days when I’ll be giving my review of Those Who Lie and have a nosey around the other stops on the tour.
Diane Jeffrey grew up in North Devon. She lives in Lyon, France with her husband and their three children, black Labrador and kitten.
THOSE WHO LIE is her debut psychological thriller.
Diane is an English teacher. She hates marking and Mondays. When she’s not working or writing, she likes swimming, running and reading. She loves chocolate, beer and holidays.
Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.