I am thrilled that my blog is a stop on the blogtour for Little Darlings! I have something a bit different today; a Q and A with Melanie herself!
THE TWINS ARE CRYING.
THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY.
LAUREN IS CRYING.
LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED.
Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .
Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her new-born twins when a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves her convinced someone is trying to steal her children. Lauren, desperate with fear, locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive to investigate.
When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later.
Harper’s superior officer tells her there’s no case here, but Harper can’t let it go so she visits the hospital anyway. There’s nothing on the CCTV. No one believes this woman was ever there. And yet, Lauren claims that she keeps seeing the woman and that her babies are in danger, and soon Harper is sucked into Lauren’s spiral of fear. But how far will they go to save children who may not even be in danger?
Q and A with Melanie Golding
1. This story has honestly given me nightmares! So unbelievably creepy – did you set out to create something so utterly and inexplicably terrifying and was there any particular inspiration for the book?
I love to write about the darker side of the psyche – I also read lots of horror and thrillers, as well as plenty of literary fiction, crime fiction, everything really! In answer to the question, I knew it was quite scary and I’m delighted to realise how frightening people find it! I think my bar for creepy is higher than normal.
2. I really felt for Lauren, and her fear that she wouldn’t be believed and I loved your refreshing take on post nataldepression which is still sadly a very taboo subject. How much was it your goal whilst writing this book to address and bring this to attention and spell out how this feels and affects so many new mothers?
Having a baby was the most terrifying experience, and afterwards I had a lot of catastrophising thoughts involving worst-case scenarios that made me feel very anxious. Thankfully, I was a childminder for many years so I talked all day long with women who were having babies. I came to realise that what happened to me wasn’t unusual at all, and that lots of women feel like this. Then I got kind of angry: literature is where I learned about life, and about humanity. Yet I hadn’t seen enough of this very normal fear in the books I had read. I started to wonder, why not? Some taboos are so ingrained they are almost unconscious. I wanted to change that, because people need to know what it’s really like so they don’t feel so isolated when it happens to them.
3. Are you able to tell us a bit more about your research for the novel – including the location (Sheffield) and the psychiatric unit?
I lived in Sheffield for several years after attending University in Wakefield. It’s a great place, very green, very right-on, and so close to the Peak District national park. I love it there. I changed the name of the valley, the rivers and the reservoir, but hopefully if you know the area you might guess the places they are based on. As for the psychiatric unit, most of my research was done by watching documentaries, reading books and consulting medical professionals.
4. For me, this book is so stunning that it should absolutely be turned into a film but if it were to be, how much would you worry about evoking the same chilling atmosphere that you have so successfully created in telling this tale?
(I should point out that after composing my questions I did a bit more digging around the book and to my delight I found out that Little Darlings is going to be made into a film!)
I really trust Roger and Kevin of Free Range Films to do the book justice in the same way they achieved great things with the totally atmospheric adaptation of Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, and the wonderful (and chilling) adaptation of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan. I can’t wait to see how they treat Little Darlings; it will be sublime.
5. Finally, I would like to say congratulations and thank you for addressing and writing about what is a very real fear for every new mother and turning it into a cracker of a story to boot! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Little Darlings and eagerly anticipate your next book – talking of which, is there one in the pipeline and would you be able to give us any clues, however tiny?
The next book is another contemporary thriller with roots in a dark folktale, so hopefully you will also enjoy that! Coming in 2020!
Thank you so much for your time, Melanie! I can’t wait for your next offering – it sounds fantastic! In the meantime everyone needs to be terrified by this fantastic book – Little Darlings was published in hardcover in May and you can buy it here
My thanks go to HQ Stories/Harper Collins UK for providing me with an early copy of Little Darlings and for the invitation to be a stop on the blogtour.
Please do check out the other posts on my blog, and also the other stops on the blogtour as schedule below: