One Minute Later by Susan Lewis | Blog Tour Q and A

Published by HarperCollins
Available in ebook & hardback (21 February 2019) | paperback (25 July 2019)
416 pages

My thanks to Rebecca of Harper Collins for the invitation to take part in the tour and for providing the author Q&A.

About the Book

You think your life is perfect.

You think your secrets are safe.

You think it’ll always be this way.

But your life can change in a heartbeat.

With a high-flying job, a beautiful apartment and friends whose lives are as happy as her own, Vivienne Shager is living the dream. Then, on the afternoon of Vivi’s twenty-seventh birthday, one catastrophic minute changes everything.

Forced to move back to the small seaside town where she grew up, Vivi remembers the reasons she left. The secrets, lies and questions that now must be answered before it’s too late. But the answers lie in thirty years in the past…

Shelley Raynor’s family home, Deerwood Farm, has always been a special place until darkness strikes at its heart. When Vivi’s and Shelley’s worlds begin to entwine, it only takes a moment for the truth to unravel all of their lives.

Q&A with Susan Lewis

1.         What inspired One Minute Later? 

It was inspired by twenty-one-year-old Jim Lynskey and his real-life experience of waiting for a heart.  Getting to know someone in his position affected me deeply and brought home just how much more we can do to help or save those waiting for organs. 

2.         Why did you choose to include Jim as himself in the book alongside your fictional characters and is this a writing technique you would recommend to other writers?

I believe that featuring Jim as himself adds more impact to the story, and the campaign, Save9Lives is all his.  I feel very fortunate that he was happy for me to use it.   Yes, I’d recommend it provided you have the permission of the person concerned.

3.         The novel explores many different relationships including friendship, romantic, maternal and paternal. Which of these relationships is most integral to the book and which did you find the hardest to write? 

The romantic relationship is probably the most important, and was certainly the most difficult to write.  It couldn’t progress the way other relationships might, however it wasn’t as constrained either.  Striking the balance was quite a challenge. 

4.         What do you want people to take away from the book?

The understanding of how important it is to be an organ donor.  Also, how unpredictable life can be so why not seize every moment and stop being afraid? 

5.         What genres of book do you mostly read and do you have a favourite book?

 I move around genres all the time and I have so many favourites I could never list them all.  Here are three:   The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

6.         Who is your favourite character that you have written so far?

 I’ve always been pretty mad about Francois in Darkest Longings.  I’m also very attached to Laurie and Elliot from the Silent Truths quartet of books.

7.         A lot of your books explore important topics which require a lot of research. Do you have a particular process when researching and which of the topics that you have explored so far has been the hardest to write about? 

Without doubt the hardest to write about was the child abuse in No Child of Mine.  This is the story of a social worker who fights to rescue a little girl from an abusive home.  I spent a lot of time listening to social workers to make sure I had a proper understanding of the process and how desperately dealing with these tragedies affects them.  

8.         Do you remember the first story you ever wrote and what was it about? 

The first book I ever wrote was called Cloudesley, a teen fantasy-adventure story set in nineteenth century Cornwall.  It was never published but my stepsons and I still have great fun adding to it and naming characters such as Mobgoblin the mafia goblin; HoblinGoblin the one-legged goblin; Health Elf the doctor, Self Elf the narcissist. 

9.         What do you like doing in your spare time?  

Walks with my dogs, movies, spending time with my husband and friends and travelling.

10.       Any advice for writers struggling with writer’s block?

 It usually happens to me when I’m tired, so I’d say take a rest.  Go away for a few hours, or days and try again.   If you still have a problem, try sitting back and listening to the characters.

About the Author

Susan Lewis is the bestselling author of thirty-five novels. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol. She lives in Gloucestershire. 

Susan is a supporter of the breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Care: and of the childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish:

Author photography copyright: Colin Thomas (2011)

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