THAT NIGHT is about eighteen-year-old Toni Murphy who is falsely convicted of killing her sister. Toni and her boyfriend, who was also convicted, spend years in jail. When they are released, Toni just wants to rebuild her life, but Ryan is determined to clear their names. Toni has to face her past and find out what really happened that night and who killed her sister. The spark for the story came from a show I watched about someone who’d spent twenty years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.
Do you plan much before a novel and do you edit as you go?
I do plan quite a bit. I’m on contracts, so my editor has to approve my story idea, but I also like knowing that she is happy with my idea and we often end up brainstorming and she can notice some pitfalls before I do, which saves lots of rewriting. I try to do as much planning beforehand and get to know my characters as I find things flow better. However, lots of surprises still happen during the actual writing process when the story comes alive.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you and which has been the most enjoyable?
I like the beginning stage when an idea is coming to life. Not the first, first part, when I’m not sure if the story is going to hold or if my editor is going to like it, but the stage right after that when we are brainstorming a really great idea and I can see how it’s going to unfold. But then the tough part begins, which is sitting down, day after day, and writing it! I like the editing stage, when it’s fine-tuning and adjusting. It’s like when you are cleaning your house and putting everything in order and you can see how nice it will look when it’s finished.
What’s your favourite word?
I really like the word “advantageous.”
Out of all the books you’ve read, which three have made the most impact on you?
THE POWER OF ONE by Bryce Courtney because I loved PK, the main character. Stephen King’s IT, because it was so vivid and real to me and terrifying. THE LOVELY BONES because it was gripping and lyrical and emotional and made me want to be a writer.
Do you have any writing rituals?
When I first start in the morning I like to have a hot cup of tea, and I often wear ear plugs. I also write better if my dog, Oona, is keeping me company. I don’t like any music, and for some reason if I’m home working in my office, I can’t have the door open.
Oh, that’s hard! I don’t know! I’ve always loved the song “I can see clearly now.”
Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet PK from THE POWER OF ONE. He had such a brave soul and kind heart.
Who would you like to invite to a fantasy dinner party?
A great question! Stephen King, for sure. Pink, the musician, because I think she is great. Norman Reedus from THE WALKING DEAD, Sandra Bullock, and Cesar Milan.
Your five tips for new writers?
A little about Chevy:
Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. She was working as a Realtor when she had an idea that became the inspiration for Still Missing. This book went on to become a New York Times bestseller and win the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Chevy enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her husband and daughter in the local mountains. Chevy’s previous novels include Still Missing, Always Watching and Never Knowing. Her latest novel, That Night was released by Sphere in December 2014.
For more information on Chevy and her novels, visit her website: http://chevystevens.com
That Night (Sphere, December 2014,) is available in most bookshops. Click to view on Amazon.co.uk