It is my absolute pleasure today to be bringing you all the exclusive cover reveal for Louise Beech’s latest novel, Star Girl. There was absolutely no hesitation from me when Karen Sullivan asked me to be a part of it and, having heard Louise speak about the book at her launch the other week, I can definitely say this is one I am really looking forward to. Not only that but Louise has kindly answered a few questions too. Before I show you ay of that, let’s hear a little more about the book.
Release date: 18th April 2019
Tonight’s the night for secrets…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and the killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. She wants yours, and in exchange she will share some of hers. The ones she knows. But she doesn’t know everything. Why has Stella’s mother, Elizabeth, finally returned twelve years after leaving her with a neighbour? Is Stella’s new love, Tom, a man who likes to play games, exciting … or dangerous?
And who is the mysterious man calling the radio station to say he knows who killed Victoria? Tonight Stella’s final show may reveal the biggest secret of all…
With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…
Doesn’t that sound amazing? I can’t wait to see what Louise has done with this story. Being a little nosy (as I am), I thought it might be a good idea to hear from Louise herself about the book.
Your writing is often drawn from experiences in real life, be it parts of your own story reimagined, or taken from events you have witnessed or people you have known. Assuming that you haven’t killed any radio or TV personalities in real life, where did the inspiration for Star Girl come from?
Can I just say that I’m so excited about Star Girl? Because it’s a psychological thriller, I had a blast writing it. I’m emotionally wrung out after most of my novels, as you can imagine, but this was such fun. The inspiration? I’ve volunteered at a variety of radio stations, both as occasional guest and as part of the Mums’ Army on BBC Radio Humberside, and I often thought what a great setting a radio station would be in a story. It’s so cut off from the world, and yet it’s such a fantastic platform for sharing news – or secrets, as happens in Star Girl. I wondered what it would be like to be the only one in a radio building, late at night, doing a show. Especially if a local murder had happened recently, nearby, and the killer hadn’t been caught. And that was the beginning of my inspiration…
What drew you to write another psychological thriller over the more emotional tomes you are probably best known for? Was it just an excuse to get Karen to take you to Bloody Scotland next year? 😉
It can be exhausting writing such emotional books, especially when they’re inspired by real life/difficult times. I wanted to mix it up and have a bit of fun. Though it would be ACE to come to Bloody Scotland (and all the other fantastic crimey events) I genuinely couldn’t write a book if it didn’t have my heart, no matter what the genre. I can only write the story that comes to me; the story that I believe in, and that excites me.
Bob Fracklehurst appears in all of your books but plays a more substantial role in Star Girl. What can you tell us about Bob – like, where he came from, how important he is to the series and do you know a real life ‘Bob’?
Haha. Our Bob. It actually began as silliness. My sister had to create an alternative Facebook account because she’s a nurse and has to be careful what she posts. She invented the Bob Fracklehurst name. I said, oh my God, he so should be a character in a book. And he turned up as the taxi driver in The Mountain in my Shoe. He wrote himself, really. And I knew he’d be back, that there was more to him.
Do you approach the writing of a thriller in a different way to your other emotional stories? What are your typical writing rituals?
With all of my books I have to get in the zone. Create a mood, often with the right music. I listened to everything by The Weeknd while writing Star Girl. My daughter got me into him, and his songs are suitably dark/gritty/sexy for writing a thriller. I don’t have the time I used to have to sit for five or six hours and write, and I miss it. But I grab two or three hours as often as I can.
It’s no secret that you had wanted to be a published author for a long time and your determination is definitely an inspiration to those just starting their journey. Has your own personal writing journey been all you dreamed it would be?
It’s been more than I dreamed it would be. I often stop and think, wow, my fourth book has just been published. My fifth one is out in six months. There are way too many highs to mention, so I’ll just say that it has been all about the people. The friends I’ve made on this journey, the other writers I now know, the readers who have messaged me. I love it all.
Any clues as to what comes next? Thriller or tear-jerker?
I’m writing what you’d call a tearjerker again. I’m almost 50,000 words into a book called We Are Our Own Ghosts. It explores the complex relationship between a young autistic man and a high class escort, and is inspired by my friend’s son. Today, while walking in the woods with my sister, I had an idea for another psychological thriller, inspired by a sign we saw. I’d also like to write my memoir, but that will take courage and I don’t know if I’m ready yet.
Thanks Louise. Even more excited for this one now. So … Are we ready? Well … here it is:
What do you think? Isn’t it fabulous? Well if you want to sneak in a paperback preorder, it’s already up on Amazon. Personally, I cannot wait for next April.
About the Author
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.