1. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I am a travelphile and tend to base my novels in other countries, which means I can spend an afternoon somewhere sunny and vibrant, while those around me are enduring yet another rainy, blustery Edinburgh day. After I finished my second novel, based in the south of France, I thought about writing one located by a lake in Switzerland - probably inspired by Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac, although I wasn't aware of this initially. I love this film, as much for the scenery (Lake Luzern), as for the story.
I liked the idea of a family reunion where all is not as it seems, and the idea developed from there. Interpersonal relationships are fascinating, particularly family ones: the superficial interactions and what's simmering away underneath. There’s so much scope for minefields: some of the mines detonate, others are a constant danger. I should apologise for juxtapositioning of metaphors, but I won't....
2. What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary quiet fiction.
3. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Water’s Edge is relayed by four viewpoints: the mother’s and her three daughters. I would consider Celia Imrie for the mother. As for the sisters: Radha Mitchell, Emily Blunt and Jessica Brown Findlay would be good. A brilliant choice for the son would be Damien Lewis, and Paul Bettany would be excellent as the son-in-law.
4. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Madalena invites her four adult children to Brunnen, Switzerland, to celebrate her hotel’s 40th anniversary, unaware that they harbour guilty secrets and anxieties that will play out during their visit.
5. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It has been e-published by ThornBerry Publishing, and is available on Kindle from Amazon:
Promotional video: https://vimeo.com/65175162
6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three months: I just couldn’t stop writing it and it often felt like a haemorrhage of words. But if this sounds effortless, I should add that further drafts, followed by a major rewrite - which involved axing characters, cutting down the number of viewpoint characters, and changing other aspects of structure - took eighteen months. Much of the final editing was tedious and tiring, but worth it in the end.
7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope, Trespass by Rose Tremaine, Family Album by Penelope Lively.
8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Escapism, if you’re like me. Spending some time surrounded by mountains and lakes in Switzerland. More seriously, if you are interested in sibling relationships (which, according to my mentor, hasn't been addressed much in novels) and what can go wrong, Water’s Edge might well appeal. The novel explores guilt, regret, deception and insecurity.