Welcome to #TheBloggerBefore – the blog tour for J.P Delaney’s The Girl Before. Each post will contain details of the review that has run before it (and what is coming up next), creating a unique chain of reviews and exclusive content. Follow each post to unlock the next…
THE GIRL BEFORE had an odd gestation – for one thing, it took me over fifteen years to write it. I had the idea of writing a psychological thriller about a minimalist house around 2001, but for some reason I just couldn’t make it work. So I turned my hand to a completely different genre instead. That book was reasonably successful, and led to another book, then another… each time I finished one of those novels, though, I’d be drawn back to this truncated, half-formed story lying in my bottom drawer.
Gradually it took on a bit more depth. I’ve always been a fan of gothic ‘house’ books like REBECCA or WUTHERING HEIGHTS; it tickled my fancy to try to write a house story where the creepiness wasn’t overtly gothic but something ultra-modern instead. And I like the idea that all houses are haunted – we never know what’s been said or done by previous tenants in these rooms we inhabit. Most houses have had someone die in them, but the circumstances are obscured by time. Even an apparently minimalist house can be filled with invisible clutter; thoughts and emotions that can never be tidied away.
Eventually my other books came to a natural end, and I made a resolution that I was going to finish this one. Funnily enough, on picking it up after a break of several years, I saw that what I needed to do was to declutter it, to strip the plot right back to the bare brick and let the characters occupy centre stage. I ditched around 50, 000 words – about half a book – and then started writing again. It was finished quite quickly after that, and is now being published in 35 countries – proof, yet again, that even the writer doesn’t always know what their story’s about at first.
The Girl Before is by J P Delaney and is published by Quercus Publishing.
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.
Tomorrow (24th February) http://reabookreview.blogspot.co.uk/ will be on the blog tour. Be sure to join her.-->