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Author Interview: Daisy Pearce

The next author in our interview series is the brilliant Daisy Pearce, whose fabulous debut, The Silence, was published last month.

Following publication, this twisty thriller shot straight into the Kindle Bestseller lists at No. 1, and has received hundreds of five star reviews.

Daisy Pearce was born in Cornwall and currently lives in Sussex. In 2015 she won the Chindi Authors Short Story Competition. Her short stories have previously been published in One Eyed Grey and performed at the Small Story Cabaret. She has also written about mental health issues for XOJane. Specialist subjects include: ghosts, poltergeists and the perfect red lipstick.

What inspired you to write?

I think of writing as being like a compulsion – a frustrating, sublime compulsion. It’s something I’ve done all my life, in fits and starts. The Silence is the first novel I’ve ever actually completed, though. That was a learning curve for me!

What’s your favourite book?

Ah, God. My favourite lines in all literature are contained in the opening paragraph of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Absolutely chilling. I love Stephen King’s The Shining for raw terror, and Stone Junction by Jim Dodge blew my mind when I first read it.

I once had to take some medication that turned my mind inside out for a while and I chose that time to read Alan Moore’s From Hell. Don’t recommend it.

Where do most of your good ideas come to you?

In an image. I’ll visualise something – either a freeze frame or a series of moments – and it unfolds from there. Sometimes an idea will hide itself for a while, as if it is on the tip of my tongue – and I have to be patient and let it develop.

Where do you write?

In the small moments I have available – I work and I’m a single parent and I’m a world class procrastinator – so I’m my own worst enemy for carving out space on top of everything else. The house we live in is very cold and draughty so I spend most winters in bed writing with the cat and a hot water bottle. SO GLAMOUROUS.

What is your writing process?

I make tea. When I used to smoke I’d have about nine cigarettes before sitting down but now it’s just tea and a flip through the last few sentences I’d written. I’ve a rule with myself not to go any further back than that or I start editing and it gets out of hand.

Where did the idea for The Silence come from?

An image of a woman jumping into the sea with her toes pointed downward. I’d been reading about gaslighting – a process of mental manipulation, far more common than you’d think unfortunately – and thought what a perfect way it was to isolate someone slowly and completely from their old life.

How do you relax after a day of writing?

My writing tends to be quite anxiety driven so I’ve learned to disengage by watching comedy or reading to my daughter. It’s very grounding having a kid – one minute I’ll be writing about a character hiding under a bed in the dark while listening to the footsteps coming slowly up the stairs, the next I’ll need to be the audience for a song about poo played on an accordion. It’s all about balance I guess.