Words cannot express how excited I am to have John Marrs on my blog today! After reading three of his brilliant novels, he’s hands down one of my favorite writers. One of my top thrillers this year was What Lies Between Us. The dark quality behind this twisted plot stands out like no other. I highly recommend you pick up any novel by John Marrs, he will never disappoint you! Thank you John for taking the time out of your busy schedule to partake in my interview feature.
1) What inspired you to write What Lies Between Us?
My last two books included a police procedural followed by a high-concept thriller, so this time, I wanted to write something very character-led and that encompassed a long period in two people’s lives. I wanted to come up with a dark, claustrophobic story with plenty of twists and turns and that kept readers on their toes. Some have compared this to a cross between Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Olyphant Is Completely Fine. I find that very flattering.
2) When you first saw the cover for What Lies Between Us, what were your initial thoughts?
You normally receive a variety of cover concepts sent to you by your publisher and you tell them what you like and what you don’t like. I loved the vibe of this immediately. Earlier versions had no brickwork and it was my idea to have figures in the top and bottom windows and a window that lay between them. I’ve learned to be vocal about what I like. In the end, it’s my name going on the cover so I have to be confident that it looks good.
3) If you could re-name your book title, what would you choose?
The working title was The Woman Upstairs and that remained right up until we were in the editing stages. Then suddenly What Lies Between Us came to my mind and it worked perfectly. I think it’s my favourite of all my book titles. I actually prefer the original title of The One though. It was called A Thousand Small Explosions when it was self published and then became The One when a mainstream publisher approached me to take it on.
4) If you could hang out with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and why?
None of them – they’re all mad! Possibly Laura in The Good Samaritan. She’s a very, very dark character, possibly my darkest to date and it would be interesting to be around her, albeit briefly. You wouldn’t want to get sucked into her world for long though. Oh and Joe Russell in Her Last Move. He was a good guy.
5) Out of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
It depends on when you catch me. At the moment, it’s What Lies Between Us because it’s still new and interesting to me, but on other days, it might be my debut, When You Disappeared. Welcome To Wherever You Are is still my only book that is self-published, so I have a soft spot for that one.
6) Do you have any quirks or rituals during the writing phase of a novel?
When I’m writing, it’s always in silence. I can’t do background music. I always print the book out to do my edits, makes notes in coloured pens I buy from a shop called Muji and when I make the on-screen corrections, that’s when I’ll listen to my own playlists on Apple Music.
7) Last but not least, do you have anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
I welcome all readers – existing ones who have been there from the start and brand new ones who have only just hopped on board the crazy train. Without you, I wouldn’t be getting to spend all day living in my own imagination and trying to find ways to twist and turn you and lull you into a false sense of security. I am grateful to every last one of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book.