In conversation with... Ruth Ware

Hi Ruth! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Turn of the Key! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you! It opens with my narrator writing a letter from prison to her lawyer explaining that she is not guilty of the murder of a child in her charge. It all began when she answered a help wanted advert for what seemed like the perfect job. Just weeks later she finds herself alone with three small children, in a smart house that seems to have its own agenda - and things go downhill from there.

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: No, I knew roughly who dunnit and why, but the twists and turns came to me as I wrote. I don't really outline very much - I hold the bones of the plot in my head and trust my imagination to put the pieces together in the right place at the right time.

Is Heatherbrae House based on a real place? How important is location for you?

A: Location and atmosphere are hugely important to me and I can't write until I have figured out the backdrop for my story. However none of my books are based on a real place - in fact I've never lived in a smart house. Rowan's frustrations are purely out of my imagination - the closest I have come is staying in hotels with frustratingly opaque lighting systems!

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Rowan?

A: I find these questions SO hard to answer. To me it's like being asked who would play my dad - I just can't think of him as anyone else. However I think it would need to be someone outwardly serene but able to convey that inner vulnerability and brittleness. Emma Watson might be good, or Daisy Ridley.

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 scene in the attic got re-written multiple times. It really needed to be a pivotal moment. I wanted the reader to be biting their nails!

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

A: No, I typically write short and then add things in edit. I very rarely cut material. (The Woman in Cabin 10 was the exception in that respect - I cut a whole storyline about Judah, but that's the only time I can recall cutting something that long). 

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: It's about a murder in a ski chalet - that's all I can say at the moment!

What are you reading at the moment?

A: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. 

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: Social media is definitely a great excuse for procrastination - but you can't write 24/7, I think it's really important to take breaks and let the well refill. I try not to let my Twitter addiction get out of hand, but at the same time, when the writing stalls, it's a nice way to hit pause  and refresh.

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

A: Have an ending in mind - if you know where you're aiming to get, it gives the story a sense of direction and purpose and makes it much easier to plot.

Thank you for your time!


Popular posts from this blog

Blog tour: Off Target

Book reviews for Christmas ideas

"Italy in Books" - February winner