Of all the wonderful advance reading I did last year, Falling by Emma Kavanagh, was one of the best and made into my Top 10 books of 2013. Today is official release day and you can all get your own copy – and I would. I really would! I asked Emma a few questions and here is what she had to tell me.
Tell us a little about how the story started to form in your mind
I am a documentary junkie. I watch them constantly, and will often take inspiration from real life events. Falling began to take shape after watching a documentary about an airplane crash, and the complexities that the investigators uncovered in the aftermath. From there, the characters simply began to grow and take on lives of their own. That’s my favourite thing about writing; the way you start with a very simple premise and then hand it over to your characters and let them tell you the rest.
It has an intriguing mix of eclectic characters, did you have a favourite?
Ooh, tough question! That’s like choosing your favourite child. If I’m being honest, I think that my real favourite is Freya. I like her spunk and her strength of character. And, from a purely selfish point of view, she was very easy to write – one of those characters that just takes charge and seems to write her own scenes.
Some parts are very emotional – was it tough to write in places?
There were some parts which I found more draining than others. Although, ironically, those intensely emotional, psychologically tough parts were also the ones that seemed to flow most easily when I was writing. I’m thinking of one chapter in particular towards the end where the character simply told me the story, from start to finish. It was a tough chapter, but took me maybe an hour and a half to write because it just flowed so organically. I love it when that happens!
Can you tell us anything about your next project?
I’m currently in the midst of edits on my next book. The Casualties begins with a mass shooting – a horrendous act by a mysterious gunman. It then moves back a week, and tells the story of the lead up to the shooting – from the point of view of the shooter himself, and three of the casualties, whose innocent actions have inadvertently fed into the horrors of that day. It’s a dark subject, but I have to say that I have loved writing this one. It is fairly complex in terms of plotting, but has been a joy to write.
Author you wish would write a book a week
Oh, so many! Can I have more than one? Kate Atkinson and Barbara Kingsolver, both geniuses, whose writing I just cannot get enough of. And Justin Cronin. I devoured The Passage and The Twelve and am chomping at the bit to get hold of his next. Write, man, write!
Favourite thing to do on a lazy Sunday.
There’s nothing like snuggling on the sofa with my husband and toddler, a hot cup of coffee and a good book. My idea of heaven.
3 people living or dead you would like to invite to dinner.
Jane Austen one of the greatest authors of all time, and anyone who can write a character like Elizabeth Bennett must be fun to have around. Nelson Mandela – I don’t really need a reason for this one, do I? And Neil Armstrong, because in my next life I’m going to be an astronaut, so I would like to get tips
Thank you so much Emma!
First of all thank you kindly to Random House, Emma Kavanagh and Netgalley for the review copy.
A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.
Right I could probably write a whole book myself about how much I loved this one but I will try to keep to the salient points..and avoid spoiling what is a wonderful, multi-layered character driven story that needs to come with a sleep deprivation warning….in the best possible way.
It has been tagged as a psychological thriller and it is that yes, but I hope that this will not put people off who don’t tend to read that type of novel – because when I say this is multi layered I mean exactly that. Yes there is a murder – and yes you will want to know who and why and all the usual things you want to know when reading a crime or thriller tale, but as you head into the novel you will discover that at its heart are people. Humans. Fallible, emotional, occasionally annoying people..who make right decisions, wrong decisions, get caught up in life events beyond their control and deal with it in oh so many different ways. Just like the rest of us..
Told from various points of view, chapter by chapter, we follow the aftermath of a plane crash alongside the aftermath of a murder. Falling is a perfect title and a theme throughout the story – in the literal sense of falling from the sky and the more metaphorical sense of falling through life. Poetic prose and a compelling flow to the narrative makes this hard to put down and leave for a while…I managed but only just.
Usually I might give a run down of some of the characters at this point of a review but in this case discovery is key to the reading experience – therefore I give you one. The one that touched my reading heart. Cecilia, wife, mother, torn between wanting and needing things she cannot clarify resonated with me for very personal reasons. And surrounding her are many others with just as much heart and soul…you will find someone there for you without a doubt.
The various strands of the story are brought together in an adept and fascinating way to give us the ultimate conclusion – and this is one of those books where you will wonder for a long time afterwards what may have happened to these characters next. I imagine them out there…somewhere…
The last time I felt this way about a debut novel was when I read Elizabeth Haynes “Into the Darkest Corner” – that feeling that tells you another author has come to the fore that is going to ultimately offer you many long and happy hours living another life in another story…
You can follow Emma on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/EmmaLK
And getting your very own copy is as easy as clickety click: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Emma-Kavanagh/dp/1780892020/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_har?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395907457&sr=1-1&keywords=falling+emma+kavanagh OR a visit to your local Bookstore!
Happy Reading Folks!