Lucy Foley might be a name you’ve heard recently, as her eagerly anticipated 2019 crime thriller ‘The Hunting Party’ became a bestseller, and now her latest book ‘The Guest List’, which was released last month, is performing incredibly well too! ‘The Hunting Party’ is still gaining accolades, and has now even been sighted for a TV adaption, which we are very excited about. She already has her sights set on her next novel, too – there’s no stopping her! Mr and Mrs Minnis2Society are enjoying reading her books during the lockdown, so we wanted to catch up with Lucy and ask her a few questions…
Your recent novel ‘The Guest List’ has been released (and performing very well) – tell us a little more about the premise for this one?
The Guest List is a murder mystery set at a wedding being held on an island off the west coast of Ireland. The bride and groom, Jules and Will, are a golden couple, and it should be the wedding of the year — glamorous, atmospheric, perfectly planned. Alas, some of the guests bring some unfortunate baggage with them: there’s the best man with a dark secret, the bridesmaid with a grudge, the plus-one with a motive… and more. From the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding onwards, the tension starts to build — as a storm approaches from far out in the Atlantic. Just after the wedding cake has been cut — as the storm batters the island — a broken body is found in the darkness outside the marquee. Whodunnit?
With both ‘The Guest List’ and ‘The Hunting Party’ you like your locations isolated – is that something that stems from real life? Perhaps inspired from places you have visited?
I’m a Londoner but I love escaping into the wilderness. I’m also, though, often aware of how unprepared I’d really be to survive in it. With both books, really, I was fascinated by the idea of taking a group of over-entitled city-dwellers away from their creature comforts and putting them in the middle of nature red in tooth and claw. They think they’re the ones in control — but the landscape has other ideas. The isolation — and the inability to escape — creates a kind of pressure cooker situation in which the characters are forced to look uncomfortable closely at themselves and one another. Both books are inspired by places I’ve been in real life — The Hunting Party by a remote estate in the Scottish Highlands, The Guest List by several different islands off the coast of Connemara, in Co Galway, Ireland.
Can you confirm that The Hunting Party is being adapted for TV?
It is — See-Saw Films, who produced Top of the Lake for TV and films such as Widows, The Kings Speech and Lion are adapting.
Who would be your dream cast?
I really don’t know! It’s a really difficult question. Other people have told me they’ve cast the characters in their heads when reading, but as the author I find it almost impossible to do. I think I’d know the right person when they were suggested to me. In fact, See-Saw are currently in the process of lining up some exciting talent…
What is next for you in 2020?
I’m currently at work on my third murder mystery — and sixth novel — which I’ll be delivering very soon! It’s set in Paris in an old apartment block and has some strong Rear Window/ Rosemary’s Baby vibes.
What have you been reading, listening to, and watching recently? Have you any recommendations for us?
I’m sure half the world has watched this, but I have recently finished and LOVED Succession. I’ve just read the forthcoming new novels by Louise Candlish (The Other Passenger) and Sarah Pinborough (Dead to Her) which are both absolutely brilliant and full of twists aplenty. And I listen to a lot of jazz while I’m writing: there’s something very creatively stimulating about it. I’m a huge Kamasi Washington fan.
We have some new followers from the #writingcommunity on Twitter – what would be your best tips for them in writing their first novel and getting it published?
What works for me is trying to write the book that I as a reader would like to read. If I want to read it there’s a good chance others might too! It also means that I know I’ll be excited and curious about what I’m writing — you need to be stimulated by what you’re writing, as it’s a long old slog, especially when you get to the editing stage. Then, for getting published, I’d say do your research: find out which literary agents are currently looking for new clients, what their tastes are and whether they have a space for your kind of writing on their list. Join Twitter — book twitter is a wonderfully supportive, nourishing space and a way to interact with publishing professionals. And edit that final draft like your life depends on it, so you’re submitting a really polished piece of work.
Thank you so much to Lucy for giving us her time! Wishing her all the best with her work, and if you’re looking for a thrilling read to get you through the lockdown, buy her books on Amazon now by clicking on the images in this post.