Beth Thomas talks about her new book, His Other Life, and her love of writing.
1. Can you tell us about His Other Life?
Indeed I can. It’s the story of a young woman, Grace, whose husband, Adam, pops out one night for takeaway food and never comes back. As the story unfolds, we start to learn a bit more about Adam, mostly from what Grace remembers, and we realise that she knew a bit more about him than she allowed herself to believe. The story focuses on Grace’s determination to find out what happened to him, as well as exploring her feelings of abandonment and betrayal. It’s a comedy.
2. What were the challenges in writing this book?
The biggest one was trying to imagine what it would feel like if this actually happened – someone I loved popping out for something trivial, like a pint of milk, and simply never returning. I had to focus very hard on imagining my feelings in those circumstances, and my overall sense was one of frustration. It was the not knowing that gnawed away at me! I’m useless at waiting for things, but I imagine that would be even worse if you don’t know how long you’ve got to wait. Of course I’m only imagining it, so in actuality I felt that grief and hurt would be uppermost for most people. But the frustration and curiosity played a big part.
3. What are you most proud of about this book?
It’s much more plot driven than Carry You, so quite a different style to what I was used to. I’m very pleased with its ‘page-turner’ description. Carry You was mostly about an emotional recovery following a bereavement, so the plot was less important. Although the characters in His Other Life are still interesting and strong, the plot is much more important.
4. What are you most looking forward to when the book launches?
I can’t wait to hear what people think about it! Not many people have read it yet – no one in my family – and I am really proud of it, so I want to know what everyone thinks. Also book launch day will involve cake. That’s pretty exciting.
5. If you could have another life for a day, what would you do?
I would be a full-time writer! I love writing, and working at a full-time ‘day job’ holds its own challenges. My dreams are filled with images of a beautiful country cottage with its own writing room where I could write away to my heart’s content without ever having to think, ‘Oh, better stop now, work in the morning’! Either that or I’d be married to Matt Damon and live in Beverly Hills.
The story of a couple with seemingly perfect lives…and the secrets they hide behind closed doors.
He was hiding a terrible secret . . .
Grace’s new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming – almost too good to be true . . .
So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace’s life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions.
As she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora’s Box of secrets and lies – and starts to learn that Adam wasn’t so perfect after all.
What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be . . .
Beth Thomas wrote her first book at the age of six. It was a short social commentary about ethnicity and fear of being different, incorporating magic, travel, adventure and ultimately, murder. The death at the end was an unexpected shock and came about as she had no idea how else to end the story. She thinks she’s improved since then, and hope that now her endings are a little more planned and satisfying. She lives in Kent with her family.