Blog tour: The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning

Today I am extremely happy to participate in the blog tour for The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning and to be able to share with a Q&A with the author herself…

Hi Nina! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Daughter in Law! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you very much! The book is firstly about the relationship between a mother and her son and the hostility Annie shows towards Bens new wife, Daisy. But Annie is also afraid to let her son go and has raised Ben to be fearful of the world. The mother in law/daughter in law theme is a universal one and something many wives experience when they meet their mother in law’s for the first time. But there are more reasons why Annie is so reluctant to let her son go. And when Annie and Daisy find themselves alone in Annie’s remote beach house for several months, is when the two women learn more about each other and the lengths a mother will go to, to protect her child. 

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: The book began as a family saga about a dysfunctional family, with a similar theme of the mother in law/daughter in law. Someone read the book at this stage and encouraged me to re-write it as a psychological thriller. It was at this point I visualised the dramatic climax to the book and re –wrote it. 

What kind of research, if any, did you have to carry out while you were writing this novel?

A: I did a tiny amount of research with regards to some basic police ranking for the scene when Ben leaves to be questioned by the police. Everything else is either fiction or dragged out of my mental attic. 

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the roles of Annie and Daisy?

A: I would love Helena Bonham Carter to play Annie. She is the right age that she could be made up to look slightly older, and she can play the right amount of crazy. For Daisy I think someone like Jennifer Lawrence because she is blonde and is Daisy’s age exactly. She also has the right physique. 

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: The penultimate scene was quite hard to get right and I’m not sure I still have it right. I wanted there to be a lot of drama but without going too cliché. In that sense I envisioned how it might play out on screen as when I am reading a really good scene I can totally visualise it. 

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: About two or three other big scenes were wiped out of the book because they either gave away too much of the plot or they slowed the plot down. Shame really because they were bloomin good!

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: My next project for Boldwood is another psychological thriller. There is one female protagonist and chapters written from her perspective. The book also flips back to 1998, 20 years from the present day. Scatted amongst those two are some diary entries. I have been longing to write about the 1990’s as it was the era I was a teenager and I have so many amazing memories and so much nostalgia for the 90’s. I am aiming to create a real sense of place with that portion of the book.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I have so many books on the go as I read for my podcast (sniffing the pages) that I host. I am about to start Don’t Look Back in Anger by Daniel Rachel which is a nonfiction book chronicling the 1990’s. This was sent to me by a publisher to review for the podcast and luckily it will also help me with research for book 2! On my kindle I have The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen which I am reading for Netgalley. I also have a paper back by Santa Montefiore on the go called, The House By the Sea. I have never read any Santa Montefiore before so I am really keen to read a few more of hers. 

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: They can be massively distracting. However I have discovered a great support network amongst the writing community on twitter and I am amazed at how much authors are willing to champion other authors and their work, when they have never met them! I chat to all my favourite authors on twitter from Marian Keyes, to Veronica Henry to C.L Taylor, so that’s a bit surreal! I have noticed that a lot of authors tweet multiple times a day about nonsense so I am trying to keep a healthy balance of promoting my book/books and posting interesting /engaging posts. The other day I posted that I was off for a sea swim to get my head in gear for writing and there was a lot of interest in that!

However we live in age when it is vital to use social media to promote our work. You have to get in there and make some noise amongst all the other noise. It can be daunting to some authors, but as a reader as well as a writer, I like to see a little bit more of an author’s life. But not everything they ate that day!

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Read read read. I don’t know of any successful author who doesn’t read. Read in between writing, read after writing, but read. And in lots of different genres too. Reading hones your craft.

Thank you for your time!


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