S.J. WATSON: SECOND LIFE IS A GOOD STORY WITH LOTS OF TWISTS AND TURNS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
S.J. Watson made the big break with his first book Before I Go To Sleep. The novel became worldwide bestseller with more than 2500 Amazon reviews and average 4.0 stars.
On June 9 the literary world will see the next production of the British author Second Life. We’ve got a great chance to speak about the novel thanks to Alexander Cochran.
– What the readers will find in your new book Second Life?
– Hopefully a good story, with lots of twists and turns to keep them excited. And if it make them think about life the way we live it now, all the better.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I’d been thinking a lot about the way some people interact online, and how it enables us to present a highly curated version of ourselves to the world. I think we all wear different masks, depending on where we are and who we’re with, and the internet and social networking can really amplify that. At the same time I was also thinking about addiction, and grief, and the story really just sprang from that.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– One of the things I wanted to write about was the way that we can find ourselves travelling quite long distances, but in a series of small, incremental steps, each of which feels almost insignificant. This is Julia’s story in the book, and my main challenge was making that journey feel believable, and keeping the reader’s understanding of her motivations even when she ends up making some pretty bad decisions.
– Tell us something more about your main character Julia? Is she 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– She’s tough, independent, very loving of her family but also with some self doubt. She’s had a colourful past, with some unhappiness, and has struggled with addiction, but when the book opens that is behind her and she’s living very comfortably. Until the death of her sister upsets that delicate balance, of course…
She’s one hundred per cent fiction. Though of course she’s also arisen from people I see around me. But no, she isn’t based on any one person.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I think it was about eighteen months, though I’d been thinking about the story and the characters for some time before that.
– Did you expect your debuting novel Before I Go To Sleep to become NY Times bestseller?
– Not at all! The book took off through word-of-mouth, and I had no idea so many people would love it the way they did. It was a fantastic, wonderful surprise.
– Who are you?
– I’m probably not the best person to ask! I’m just trying my best, in my work, in my life.
– What are your writing habits?
– When I’m in the middle of a project I try to write every day. But my life is quite chaotic, in that there isn’t much routine, so I don’t write at the same time every day.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your first book?
– Of course! It’s so lovely that it’s found an audience around the world.
– What are your plans for the next novel after Second Life? Would you unveil something about the plot?
– It’s too early to say much, but I’m writing something quite different from both Before I Go to Sleep and Second Life.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– I’m lucky in that I’m being invited to festivals and so on, and also to do interviews like this, and I really enjoy that side of things. So I’m just having fun, getting out there and meeting people!