Sunday, September 20, 2020

Q&A with Susan Lewis

Photo by Antony Thompson
Susan Lewis is the author of the new novel My Lies, Your Lies. Her many other books include Home Truths and One Minute Later. She lives in the UK.


Q: How did you come up with the idea for My Lies, Your Lies?  


A: Like most books this one is an amalgam of ideas so all I can say is that the 1960s story came first and the rest followed as I sat down to write.  


Q: The novel focuses on a relationship between an underage student and her teacher. What do you think readers should take away from the relationship's presentation in the novel?  


A: I think it shows that there are two sides to every story and that our assumptions, even prejudices, can skew the reality.  


Q: The book also incorporates a novel-inside-a-novel, which highlights the theme of lying and unreliability. Why did you decide to write about writers, and what do you think the book says about the writing process?  


A: Although I haven’t done it before, it’s quite easy to write about writers as I know that they do. It was extremely satisfying playing the mind games between Freda and Joely, and to show how impossible it is to stop yourself second-guessing.


Q: What are you working on now?  


A: My next book is about restorative justice – i.e.: is it possible to forgive someone for the most heinous of crimes?  


Q: Anything else we should know?  


A: I’m worried about how the pandemic will impress itself upon the writing of current fiction going forward. Will it stifle some areas of creativity by being so much bigger than anything we can make up? Will there be a glut of stories that none of us really want to read we’re so fed up with it by now? 


It will be all but impossible to avoid it if you’re going to set a book in 2020, would probably seem very odd if you tried. A challenge and a conundrum all wrapped up in a confusion.  


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Susan Lewis.

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