The Wrong Man: Author Visit

Guess what guys! Today I’ve got the lovely Kate White here to talk about her new novel The Wrong Man and all things writing! Grab a cup of tea and get cosy!

Thanks for stopping by Kate! 

Before we get started, let’s warm up with a quick fire round.

Ready, steady, GO:

Coffee, tea or…? Both. I love alternatingthroughout the day
Favourite film? The Year of Living Dangerously ties with Last of the Mohicans.  
Favourite book? The Dead by James Joyce. At least that’s the one I’ve reread the most.
Summer or winter? SUMMER!
Favourite Colour? Black.
Last thing you ate? A salad Nicoise, which I made at lunch time for my husband and me.
Dream holiday destination? I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, even to Antarctica, but London and Provence beckon more than anyplace.
If you could jump to any point in history, who would you have dinner with? Ann Boleyn. I’ve always felt an urge to warn her.
How do you like your steak? I don’t eat steak anymore actually. But I love my frites crispy.
What are your pet peeves?  People yelling into their cell phones as if we really need to hear how important they are

I do love that bit! Anyway, on to the proper bookish fun stuff!

Let’s get started.

We’re here primarily to chat about your new novel, The Wrong Man, so for anyone who’s yet to get acquainted with the book, can you tell us a little bit about it?

The book open with a woman named Kit Finn on vacation in the Florida Keys. She’s an interior decorator, and though she’s a risk taker in her work, she feels like  a goody two shoes in her personal life, and wants to be less so. She ends up having a one-night fling on her vacation with a man named Matt Healy, who’s staying at the same hotel. They agree that their encounter will be no strings attached, but she likes Healy, and so she’s pleased when he later asks if she’ll let him cook dinner for her after they’ve returned to New York City, where they both live. Kit is expecting another great night in his company, and is shocked when a man she doesn’t recognize answers the door and says he’s Matt Healy. It seems as if the man she met has played a nasty joke on her.
Shetries to put the whole thing behind her, but a few days later the Miami police call to say they’ve found her business card in the pocket of a man lying dead in the morgue. Kit soon realizes that she’s been entangled in a treacherous plot. It will take all her guts and smarts to figure out what’s really going on and save her own life.

The whole premise of the book is fascinating and more than a little bit frightening; nobody expects a holiday fling to become a fight for their life! Where did the idea come from?
It just popped into my head one day. I’m fascinated with things not being what they seem to be or people not being who they seem to be.  I start with the germ of an idea and then play “What if…?” with it.

In the book Kit is an interior designer and I loved the little interior design insights we got here and there, (probably because I spend too much time decorating my dream home on Interest) – is that something you have a personal interest in?
Thank you for noticing. I LOVE design, and I read lots of what in the U.S. are called shelter magazines, but I don’t have very strong design instincts myself. For the book, I interviewed a bunch of interior designers and hung out with them so I could get the details as accurate as possible.  It still didn’t make me a better interior decorator myself, but I’ve successfully used one tip I learned. If you are introducing a color to a room and mistakenly end up with two shades of it that don’t seem to work together—like a red throw pillow and a red stripe in a rug—add a third shade of that color.

What is it about suspense novels and thrillers that draws you to them as a writer; and is this your go-to genre when you’re looking for something to read?
Yes, it’s my go-to genre as a reader, too. I just love anything with a twist, with a mystery, with a puzzle.  When I first started writing suspense novels, I read a lot about magic because I wanted to understand the art of misdirection. I learned that a magician has often completed the key part of a trick seconds before you think he or she has, and so you’re watching the wrong thing in an attempt to figure it out. In some ways, reading a good suspense novel is a bit like watching a fabulous magic show. Plus, I love getting a glimpse of the dark side of people, as long as I can keep my distance from them in real life.

I love a good thriller but sometimes I have to close the book and come back to it later because it’s UNDER MY SKIN. I imagine that’s harder to do when the characters live in your head. How do you switch off?
Ha, I hear you. I actually find that going over dialogue in my head for  a book I’m writing helps me fall asleep at night. Except if it’s a really scary part. Then I have to force myself to think about anything BUT. And if my husband is out of town, and I’m alone in my house, I cannot even THINK about one of my books before bed. I talk a good game but I’m such a scaredy cat.

Tell us about how you write: do you prefer a loud room or a quiet room; is your manuscript typed or handwritten, do you write during set hours or as the word comes, and at home or somewhere else? What works best?
I’m lucky enough to have a home office, and it has to be very quiet when I’m working or I’ll bitch slap someone. I like to sketch out chapters in a notebook (just fyi, I always know how a book ends before I start) but I write on the computer.  And I always write in the morning. I can write non-fiction at night but not fiction. My brain is incapable of producing a single sentence after sunset. Of course I do like a glass of wine with dinner so that might be part of the problem.

What’s on your desk – are you organised or cluttered?
Funny you should ask. When I first tried to write fiction in my twenties, I bought a rolltop desk, thinking it would be wonderful to sit down at that every day, but I just couldn't get started. Down the road I realized that I need to work at very spare, flat surface to work on. I have some books and pens on it and a scented candle but it’s not messy. I always tell aspiring writers that it’s important to figure out how you want your work space to be. I feel the wrong space can hold you back and cause you to procrastinate.

What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
I just handed in my eighth Bailey Weggins mystery and am starting a new psychological thriller about a marriage. Yum!

What’s the best writing tip you’ve been given?
For thrillers, hook your reader with the very first page, ideally the very first sentence.

& because I’m always on the look out for new book recommendations, what are you reading right now?
Justfinished The Flight Attendant by Chris Bojalian, which I loved.  Really gripping. Love the British suspense writer Susie Steiner. So fresh. Also recently finished a fabulous book by an American writer Janelle Brown called Watch Me Disappear. So intriguing and well written.

&what’s the best book you’ve read this year?
In terms of thrillers, I finally read the much-buzzed about and hugely successful thriller from 2016, Before the Fall.  I’d put off reading it because a friend told me she didn’t like the ending, but I adored every page.  

Thanks Kate!!

If you’re interested, the book is out now and you can get it here:

Kate White is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve works of fiction: seven Bailey Weggins mysteries and five stand-alone psychological thrillers, including most recently, The Secrets You Keep. For fourteen years she was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate on being a full-time author and speaker

Twitter: @katemwhite