Welcome Hayley Mitchell, please tell us a little about yourself and your book.
Because I Was Lonely is my debut novel. It’s classed as a thriller but more the domestic noir variety. It’s about two lonely couples…it talks about mental health issues and what happens when you start talking to the wrong people.
I previously worked as a Civil Servant in the Court Service and later an advice worker. Whilst I didn’t enjoy working in the civil service it gave me a fantastic insight into people and their relationships as I spent much of my time in the Family Division. My degree is in Law so I later left to become an advice worker for several different charities. I enjoyed helping people and in turn this has given me a fantastic grounding to be a writer.
I’m a very happy person so what I write does surprise people sometimes. I was very young when I started working in the Courts and I think a lot of that tragedy embedded itself very deep in my mind and comes out when I write.
What inspired you to create Because I Was Lonely?
Because I was Lonely has been re written several times! It started life about seven years ago Rachel and Adam were the characters but they were just in the wrong story. It was a story about isolation and loneliness but the obsessional part came about later. A conversation on a train changed it’s direction and then everywhere I went people told me things or I overheard conversations that just kept inspiring me. Facebook is a great tool if we use it in the right way but it also opens up a lot of opportunities to reconnect, you need to read the book to discover why this may not be a good thing J
What is your writing routine? are you a pantster or planner?
Oh, there is no planning involved. I just start typing, then I realise I have no idea how old my characters are, who their children are. So I hastily write a timeline as I go!! I promised my self I would be more organised this time …I’m not.
I do have a strict daytime routine up early to exercise, sort the kids, do the social media, write, coffee, coffee, more coffee, procrastinate, get distracted by housework, drink tea, eat lunch and then try and write again before the school run!!!
Did you have a favourite place you like to write, while you were creating your novel?
Mostly at my desk at home, sometimes I move to the kitchen table so I can have the door wide open or in the garden if I can get the shade in the right place . If I get stuck I’ll take my laptop to a coffee shop and listen whilst I type. I’m a fair weather cyclist and out on my bike can be a great place to think.
Describe what your Muse looks like to you in three words.
Large Skinny Cappuccino
What part of writing your novel did you most enjoy? E.g. First draft, research, editing…
I liked the research. A lot of my research involved talking to people and listening as well coffee and a rather curious internet search history !!! First draft was good finally creating the characters and watching them come together, discovering who they were was very absorbing.
If you could be one of your characters, which one would you be and why?
I wouldn’t be any of my characters!!! They are all flawed but ultimately very human. There are aspects of them I’d quite like; I wouldn’t mind Rachel’s hair and I like Julia’s ability to keep it together when all around is falling apart.
Which character did you like writing about the most? Why?
Rachel was the most challenging. She’s very sad and lost to the world, she is struggling to keep a grip on reality. To be honest I liked writing them all. Adam and Rachel involved a lot of research which proved to be fascinating.
What’s your favourite subject to write about? Why?
People, relationships, conflict. It’s what we all identify with and I think we are all just a little bit fascinated by what goes on in other people’s heads.
If you could describe you main character in three words what would they be?
Lonely, desperate, unravelling.
What is the darkest thing any of your characters have ever done?
You’ll need to read the book for that one …no spoilers!!!
Does any of your characters have any strong beliefs or fears if so what are they?
They all believe they are right.
Who are your favourite Authors?
So many!! I don’t think there is a one.
What was the best advice you’ve ever had while writing your novels?
Does your characters look for online love? Or why do they turn to the internet to connect?
The whole book is about connecting in a disconnected on line world. They don’t look for love online but I think it will be up to the reader to decide if they find it. The characters are all communicating but to the wrong people and in the wrong and often obsessional way.
What projects are you working on next?
I’m working on the first draft of my second novel. It’s not exactly a sequel but I think some of the characters may come back to tell a little more of their story. I’m already planning my third.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers who may be undertaking creating their first novel at this very moment?
Stay determined it takes time. A lot of people say they can write a book but very few do. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but at the end of the day when you finally hold your book in your hands or see it on the shelf in a book shop it is worth every moment.
Any final words you would like to add?
Thank you so much for this interview. J
Thank you Hayley Mitchell for taking time to do this blog interview, it has been a real pleasure to hear about your novel, I wish you well with your novel and all other writing projects you may undertake in the future.
Hayley Mitchell spends most of the time writing books in her head and was finally able to put finger to keyboard and capture some of the words in the form of her debut novel Because I Was Lonely. A Law graduate she has spent most of her life working with people and much of her career as an advice worker for charities. Always fascinated by people and their relationships she began to write fiction. She is very lucky to live in Wiltshire with her husband, whose support has been invaluable and their two children who amuse, inspire and exhaust her everyday. She is now writing her second novel.
Meet Rachel. She is caught in a spiral of endless crying, dirty nappies, and sleepless nights. She fears for her sanity and the safety of her children.
Meet Adam. Suffering from the pain and trauma of a terrible accident that he blames himself for, he stays at home, unable to bring himself to leave the house.
So when Rachel and Adam rekindle their long lost friendship online, what starts as a little harmless flirtation, soon becomes an unhealthy obsession, and slowly the threads of their lives unravel before them.
Four lonely people . Two unhappy marriages . One dangerous, but inevitable climax.
To find out more about Hayley and her book Because I was lonely now 99p on amazon.
Please check out the links below.