Carys Jones explores the darknet in her new book, Last Witness.
1. Tell us more about your book, Last Witness?
Sure. Last Witness is the sequel to Wrong Number. I don’t want to give too much away and risk revealing spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet read Wrong Number. It’s essentially Amanda’s journey to find closure over events of the first book. She doesn’t want to live her life in fear and is willing to risk everything to fight for her future. But this fight will lead her down an incredibly dark path, one which she might not be able to turn back from…
2. Where did you get the inspiration for the novel?
I drew on what I already knew about Amanda – her tenacity, bravery and affinity with the darknet. I considered the lengths she was willing to go to and then decided to push her even further. There is one scene in the story where I felt genuinely bad for what I’d done to Amanda but it was all part of her journey. She’s going to go through hell in Last Witness but ultimately, I hope for her sake, it’s worth it.
3. Do you see yourself in any of the characters in your novel?
Amanda and I are both introverts who prefer to exist behind a computer rather than in front of a crowd. I’m not as brave as she is though. If my husband disappeared I can’t say I’d go chasing after him right away, especially if I thought he’d intentionally left… But Amanda is pragmatic and wants the truth despite the emotional cost to herself.
4 Did you do any specific research for the book?
I had to look into the darknet quite a lot. It’s a murky part of the internet where traffic is generally untraceable which means that drugs and other illegal products are sold there. I had to learn about how people operate on the darknet, how they pay for services etc especially for the sequel to Wrong Number, Last Witness.
5. What does your average writing day look like?
I write all morning from around 9.30am after I’ve given myself ample time to get up and potter about and eat breakfast. I just can’t function without food and I’m not at my best first thing. It takes me about an hour to wake up fully during which time I usually catch up on my latest Netflix show. I spend my afternoons catching up on emails and doing edits.
6. Who are some of your own favorite authors at the moment?
I’ve recently discovered Ruta Sepetys and have been blown away by the beauty of her work. She writes about really harrowing subjects from a human perspective and her books always reduce me to tears. I’ve also started reading Peter James and Liana Moriarty. My tastes can be a bit eclectic I don’t stick to a genre I’m quite a varied reader.
7. What is one thing about you your readers would be surprised to know?
I can write a book faster than I can read one. I’m a seriously slow reader. Like shamefully show. I aim to read twelve books a year and don’t usually achieve that. My issue is that if I don’t read every word, slowly, as though I’m reading aloud it doesn’t sink in. I’m insanely jealous of people who can speed read. My laborious reading approach makes me worry about all the books I’m missing out on!
8. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Write the book you want to read. It’s cliched and gets thrown around a lot but ultimately if you want to read your book then someone else does too. It’s just a case of finding them.
9. When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I’ve been writing since I could form a sentence but I was prompted to really commit to it and start writing full-length novels when I was 23. I was really unwell following a surgery that had horrible complications which resulted in me being told I had to take long-term sick leave from work. I ended up being off for twelve months and up until that point I’d always talked about writing a book and never had the time. Suddenly all I had was time as I waited for my broken body to heal. So I spent my savings on a laptop and everyday whoever was taking care of me would prop me up with some pillows for an hour and I’d just write. It was a blissful escape from what I was going through and I’ve been happily escaping into my own stories ever since.
10. What’s next for you?
I’ve got two more books coming out with Aria. I anticipate one will be released late this year with another following in 2018. And I’m also working on something very exciting so watch this space! I promise lots more books to come.
The page-turning sequel to the best-selling psychological thriller Wrong Number. With her husband gone, and his legacy in her hands, Amanda Thorne is hell-bent on revenge.
Amanda Thorne is on a mission to avenge her husband. Restoring his honour and protecting his legacy will be dangerous, but she will not rest until all those who have hurt her loved-ones have been dealt with. Her only option is to go undercover in the murky world of the gang kingpin McAllister. So, with her loyal companion Shane by her side, she heads back to Scotland to finish what they started.
McAllister’s world is one of seedy nightclubs, drug deals and beautiful women, but he is a hard man to get close to. As Amanda gets deeper and deeper into his dangerous world, what secrets from the past will come back to haunt her, and will she be able to protect the last witness to the truth?
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.