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  • Writer's pictureSarah Davis

An Interview with author Rose McClelland

“Under Your Skin” by Rose McClelland is my current read. If you are looking for a captivating thriller, this is one for your list. It is so well written and, did I mention, captivating? Riveting? It gets under your skin. My family was irritated my head was stuck in another book…so, I am taking a break from reading it to share my interview with her.

1. What inspired you to write “Under Your Skin?”

I started working from home about 5 years ago. The transition was a much greater change than I expected. It’s amazing how all the little social interactions build up during the day – the chat with the guy in the coffee shop, the chat with colleagues about what they got up to over the weekend. Suddenly it was just me and the four walls.

Exercise was another thing – all the little walks from the bus stop to the work place and walking around town at lunch time add up. I suddenly felt unmotivated to exercise.

I began to think about what it would be like if someone was trapped indoors all day. If they couldn’t even get out for a walk. How would it affect them? Then the character Hannah came along. She was trapped in a basement. But why was she there? Who put her there? And what was the motive?

2. Did you do any research for the story?

I think I subconsciously did a lot of research – by watching documentaries and programmes on crime and domestic violence. I also did some research on women’s aids.

3. How did you come up with names for the characters? Places?

When I need a name for a new character, I refer to a baby book of names! They are, after all, my book babies! I have a character in mind and a name will jump off the page that suits them.

For “Under your Skin”, I wanted to set it in Belfast which is where I live. When I thought about Hannah being trapped in a basement, it made sense that the #FindHannah campaign would reach to the heights of Belfast Cave Hill. I then decided to set an impromptu date in the coffee shop at the Belfast castle, next to Cave Hill.

4. Where do you write? In an office? Library? A secret place? Wherever you can?

I write in my office at home. I have a second bedroom which has been converted into an office. My two cats lie on the window sill soaking up the sun and adding to an atmosphere of calm!

5. How long did it take to write the first draft?

It took a few months. In one week alone I attempted a 20,000 word count challenge. I succeeded, but I was exhausted afterwards!

6. How many edits did you go through?

I think about 5 or 6 in total. The first few were my own re-drafts and picking up my own errors. The last edit was with my publisher who moulded it all into shape!

7. How did you choose Darkstroke for your publisher?

I already had 3 books published with Crooked Cat. When I saw that they had a new imprint called “Darkstroke”, I jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect as I had just made the genre jump myself to psychological thriller.

8. How did you celebrate your launch day?

I spent much of the morning on social media, sharing the news and replying to lovely messages. Then I went out for a walk to clear my head. I had a Facebook Live event planned for 7pm that evening so the nerves had started to kick in. I kept myself busy by cooking and by chatting to friends on the phone.

My book launch was in the middle of lockdown so a virtual online event was necessary. It went really well – lots of people attended and I linked up with some live music. By five past seven, the nerves had passed and I enjoyed the celebrations!

9. What is your favorite book from childhood?

Ooh, that’s a tricky one. I read so much as a child. My mum took us to the library every Friday and I had my four books devoured in no time! I read all the Roald Dahl books. I also loved all the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton and of course, her Famous Five and Secret Seven.

10. Who is your favorite author?

I have lots! I suppose I would say my favourite author is Marian Keyes but I also love Claire Allen, Sue Fortin, Jane Fallon, Adele Parks and many more.

11. Do you like to listen to music when you write or have it completely quiet?

Complete quiet! I sometimes put in ear plugs to drown out any possible noise. My head is too busy as it is without extra noise!

12. Anything else you wish to share?

I hope you read and enjoy “Under your skin” – it has been getting great reviews with many people saying that they read it in one sitting!

Thanks for chatting with me, Rose! Your book lives up to the reviews!

Check her out at the following:

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