Monday, January 5, 2015

**GIVEAWAY** Interview with Sophie Hannah - The Carrier

I'm so psyched that my first guest of 2015 is none other than a favorite thriller author International Bestseller, Sophie Hannah who is here to chat about #8 in her Zailer & Waterhouse series, The Carrier.
Also did you know that Sophie's last September release was a new Hercule Poirot novel sanctioned by the Agatha Christie Powers that be. She'll chat a bit about that too.
Also Ms. Hannah's US Publisher Penguin Group US has graciously offered one lucky entrant US only a print copy of The Carrier. Details are below.



The latest in Sophie Hannah’s internationally bestselling Zailer & Waterhouse series, named by The Sunday Times as one of the 50 Best Thrillers of the Last Five Years
When Gaby’s plane is delayed, she’s forced to share a hotel room with a stranger: Lauren, who is terrified of her. But why is she scared of Gaby in particular? Lauren won’t explain. Instead, she blurts out something about an innocent man going to prison for murder. Gaby soon suspects that Lauren’s presence on her flight isn’t a coincidence, because the murder victim is Francine Breary, the wife of the only man Gaby has ever truly loved.
Tim Breary has confessed. He’s even provided the police with evidence. The only thing he hasn’t given them is a motive. He claims to have no idea why he murdered his wife…

Penguin Group US is offering
One print copy of Sophie's The Carrier
to enter use the Rafflecopter form below
Thanks Penguin
Good Luck!

Hi Sophie, Happy New Year and welcome back to The Reading Frenzy. You were here to chat about your last US release, Kind of Cruel, and now to talk about The Carrier, Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer #8 which has been out awhile overseas and won the Specsavers UK National Book Awards Crime Thriller of the year for 2013. Congratulations!  Give us a bit of a preview for The Carrier.
The Carrier is a psychological thriller but also the story of a forbidden and possibly doomed love affair.  After a traumatic encounter with a strange woman at an airport, Gaby Struthers discovers that Tim Breary, the married man she once loved and lost, has confessed to the murder of his wife…except that Gaby knows he can’t have done it.  And Tim himself, though apparently happy to be arrested and charged with murder, insists that he had motive – that he murdered his wife for no reason at all…

What a great premise. Where did the story idea come from?
Well, as with all my novels, the inspiration comes from several different places.  I did once have a very strange encounter with a young woman at a German airport, so that was definitely part of it.  And Tim and Francine Breary’s horribly dysfunctional marriage was inspired by several marriages I was aware of that were horrible to witness…to the point where you’d think, ‘I wonder if I could help him/her escape.’  And the heroine, Gaby, who travels all over the world for work and is hardly ever at home and who, as a result, is sort of allergic to airports – that was based entirely on me!

You have, with approval of Agatha Christie’s protectors, written a new Hercule Poirot novel called The Monogram Murders that just released internationally in September. How Exciting! Congratulations! Can you share how this came about?
It was all down to good luck! My agent happened to be meeting with Agatha Christie's publishers about something else, and he said, off the top of his head, 'Hey, you know what?  You should ask my author Sophie Hannah to write a new Poirot novel - she's a huge Agatha Christie fan!'  The publishers spoke to the Christie estate the next day and mentioned it, thinking the answer would be no as it always had been in the past when they'd raised to idea of a new Christie novel - but it turned out that the Christie family was thinking about the possibility of an Agatha Christie continuation novel in any case - at just the right time! So it was a stroke of good timing and good fortune.
Let’s chat a bit about your being compared to Agatha Christie; in fact a quote from the Daily Mail says, “The Carrier is the kind of puzzle Agatha Christie might have created. Delicate, with ever –increasing dread, it is a mature work – full of confidence and intrigue.” That's a great compliment, but does it bother you having any comparisons made?
No, it’s hugely flattering!  And she was the main influence on me as a mystery writer.  Like Agatha, I like to start my crime novels with apparently impossible scenarios - the kind that make the reader think, 'No, surely not - this cannot be happening!'  I think mysteries like that are much more intriguing than simply 'Here is a dead body and here are some suspects - which one is the killer?'  I think, from her oeuvre, Agatha agreed!  Or rather, I agreed with her, since she came first!

One thing I’ve noted about international best sellers is how different the covers are from one country to another. Do you have any input into any of the cover choices?
I have input into UK and US covers, but none of the others.  It’s fascinating to see how the different international publishers market the books!

And what do you think of the covers for The Carrier?
I think both the UK and US jackets for The Carrier are stunning!  Two of the best jackets I’ve ever had, in fact.  The English one – with two chairs, tied up with pink rope – is like a beautiful but sinister art installation, and the American one with the drawing of wings is threatening and poignant at the same time.  But both are really striking, which is what’s important.

On that same topic sort of, I’ve noticed that here in the States we’re two books behind your UK releases in this series. How long on average between UK and US releases?
At the moment, about a year, which is frustrating – but there’s going to be a concerted effort to bring the two closer together, and to move towards simultaneous UK/US publication in future.

So Sophie you are a pretty “socially” connected author: website, Facebook, Twitter, blog.
How much time per day do you spend socializing with the world?

A lot!  Twitter is where I mainly hang out.  I chat to friends, family, other writers, readers, book lovers…  I also find Twitter a fascinating place to observe human psychology in action – the best and worst aspects of the human psyche are very clearly visible online.

The last time we chatted you said that perhaps the novels adapted for TV would be available in the US soon. Has that happened and if so where can we get them?
Two of my books have been adapted for TV, but I’m not sure if they’re available in the US yet.  They’re called Case Sensitive: The Point of Rescue, and Case Sensitive: The Other Half Lives.

Thanks for taking the time out of your super busy schedule to chat with me. Will you be back in the US this coming August for your yearly visit?
I’ll be back soon, yes!  I love America, and have started nipping across the pond far more often than once a year, actually. 
Thanks for having me, and I hope you enjoy The Carrier!

CONNECT WITH SOPHIE - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Sophie Hannah is the bestselling author of eight novels and is also an award-winning poet. Her new Hercule Poirot mystery, the first to be sanctioned by the Agatha Christie estate, will be published in September 2014. She lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two children, and is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College.

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  1. I love stories that center around some true fact or real life experience. I think you really can tell when a story matters to an author and when they have more invested in it than just time and creative power, but real personal experiences too.

    Great interview Debbie!

  2. I love when a true story or history is weaved into a mystery thriller it gives it an air of authenticity I find appealing. It looks like I need to try this series/author

    1. Ooh Kim knowing your tastes I think you'd love her. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

  4. Ooo a psychological thriller. It has been a long time since I read one of those. Thanks for the intro Debbie!

  5. This novel is captivating and intriguing. What a great giveaway, interesting feature and fascinating interview. Sophie Hannah's novels are unique and The Wrong Mother was unforgettable. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Hi Traveler, I haven't read that one by Sophie. Have you read her new Hercule Poiriot novel?
      Thanks for commenting and good luck!

  6. Agatha Christie was the first adult mystery author I read as a kid. Great interview, interesting how she became the author of the Monogram Murders. Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Hi Holden, Happy New Year. Yes I was very interested and didn't know that she was granted the right to pen this iconic Christie novel- I think I'll be picking up this new novel here's a link to B&N-