Hello Susan. Thank you for joining me today. What inspired One Minute Later?
It was meeting twenty-one-year-old Jim Lynskey who is waiting for a new heart.
How has your approach to the writing process changed since your first novel?
I think it’s more or less the same. I explore ideas, let my gut instinct decide which is the right one to go with and then I devise the characters I think will be best to tell the story.
Is there a particular place you like to write? Do you need coffee to write? Music?
I always write in my study at home – I can’t seem to do it anywhere else – I tend to drink tea more than coffee, and I work in silence apart from the comforting snores of my little dogs. I also have a lovely view of the countryside through the French windows which can be very nourishing.
Which three characters from fiction would you invite to dinner and why?
I’d invite Thorfinn from King Hereafter because he could tell us the true story of Macbeth. Any hero from Georgette Heyer because they’re so dashing and romantic and probably Elizabeth Bennett because she’s so sharp and witty.
Are you able to tell me about your current work in progress?
It features a plucky, feisty and tremendously kind woman who falls victim to universal credit, losing her home and struggling to keep her children. Don’t worry there are some lighter moments, and some romance – it’s fiction after all. In reality I don’t think there is anything to feel positive or upbeat about when it comes to the dreadful poverty that’s inflicting so many in our society.
What would be your advice to those struggling with writer’s block?
It usually happens to me when I’m tired, so I’d say take a rest. Go away for a few hours, or days and try again. If you still have a problem try sitting back and listening to the characters.
What is your favourite word and why?
Believe it or not I’m fond of “melancholy”. It’s such a gentle and pretty word to describe sadness.
Which author has influenced you the most?
There are so many as I’m influenced in some way by almost every novel I read.
Which song describes you best?
Just My Imagination
What three key pieces of advice would you give to new writers?
Read, read, read. Select the genre you’re most interested in and learn all the different styles and approaches from those who do it.
My review for One Minute Later:
With a high-flying job, a beautiful apartment and friends whose lives are as happy as her own, Vivienne Shager is living the dream. Then, on the afternoon of Vivi’s twenty-seventh birthday, one catastrophic minute changes everything.
Forced to move back to the small seaside town where she grew up, Vivi remembers the reasons she left. The secrets, lies and questions that now must be answered before it’s too late. But the answers lie in thirty years in the past…
Shelley Raynor’s family home, Deerwood Farm, has always been a special place until darkness strikes at its heart. When Vivi’s and Shelley’s worlds begin to entwine, it only takes a moment for the truth to unravel all of their lives.
One Minute Later is told first from the point of view of Vivienne – a high-flying lawyer whose life is turned upside down when she has a heart attack. Finding herself back in the seaside town she had wanted to escape, secrets kept hidden for years begin to emerge.
Shelley’s story begins in the 80’s when she is married to Jack and inherits a farm. Their life is perfect until tragedy strikes.
One Minute Later is the first book I’ve read by Susan Lewis so I didn’t know what to expect.
It took me a chapter or two to get into the story. However, once I had, I found the plot very compelling interesting and heart-breaking.
Both Vivienne and Shelley have very distinct voices and both are facing their own challenges and struggles; all relatable in some way.
The book is a good example of how things can change in a moment and to not take anything for granted.
There were many twist and turns through the novel which made it easy to turn the page, wanting to know what happened and wanting to know how Vivienne and Shelley were connected.
I really enjoyed One Minute Later and I recommend it.
One Minute Later is due to be released by HarperCollins on 21st February 2019. Click to pre-order on Amazon UK.
To find out more about Susan, visit http://susanlewis.com