Nicola Moriarty was kind enough to stop by and discuss The Fifth Letter (out January 24)!
1) What is the Twitter pitch for this novel?
Okay, this was harder than I thought it would be! But I managed to get it down to 140 characters! Here’s the pitch:
Four women share secrets in anonymous letters. But a fifth letter is discovered. A letter that shouldn’t exist, with a startling revelation
2) What was the inspiration for The Fifth Letter?
I have a great group of friends that have been with me since high school (we’ve been in each other’s lives for more than 20 years now!) Obviously our friendships have had their ups and downs, but despite this, we’re all still very close and we have girls’ holidays away together every now and then (when we can find the time to escape work, study and family!)
These holidays often result in lots of drinking and chatting way into the night and during these late night, wine-fueled conversations, all sorts of revelations from our past often come up.
So, I found myself wondering what would happen if something really serious, something really dark or sinister come up in one of these chats with my friends? What if it turned out that they were hiding secrets? That I didn’t actually know them as well as I thought I did?
From there, I came up with the idea of a group of women deciding to share secrets in anonymous letters to one another – and one of those women using it as an opportunity to reveal a frightening admission, before changing her mind and attempting to destroy the letter. But then another woman finds the evidence and has to figure out who wrote such a shocking letter.
3) Can you share the first sentence/paragraph?
Of course! Here’s the opening paragraph form the prologue:
Joni’s first thought was that she wasn’t the right person to find it. It should have been someone else. Maybe Deb. Or Trina. Deb was the straight shooter. She would have brought it straight out into the open. No secrets, no internal monologue trying to decide what to do about it, no panic, no anguish, and definitely no empathy. ‘What the hell is this all about?’ she would have demanded of the group, probably while brandishing the letter out in front of her like a weapon.
4) What 2017 releases are you excited for?
I’m pretty sure Caroline Overington will have a new one out next year, so I’ll be excited to read that one and hopefully my sister, Jaclyn Moriarty’s new book (untitled as yet), might come out next year too!
5) What are you reading now?
The Golden Child by Wendy James
It’s extremely compelling and completely unputdownable!
6) If you could make one book mandatory, which would it be?
I can’t! I tried so hard to whittle it down to one book and I just couldn’t. I could say any of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books should be mandatory to read as a child, because it teaches you about adventure and exploration, but at the same time, it was written so long ago that of course it’s wildly sexist! I could say Anne of Green Gables because it’s beautiful and sweet, I could say Enid Blyton’s Enchanted Wood and Faraway Tree books because every child needs to believe in magic and fairies, I could say Anonymums (written by three anonymous mothers), for an insight into the inner workings of a mum’s mind. I could say The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl – I could say almost anything by Roald Dahl – because of his immense talent and dry wit and tragic poignancy. I could say the futuristic dystopian novels, Feed by M T Anderson or Stark by Ben Elton because they’re warnings of a potentially catastrophic future and I could say Growing up Asian in Australia by Alice Pung or Tales from outer suburbia by Shaun Tan because of the vitally important lessons these books teach. But I can’t say just one!
7) What are your five favorite books? You can do authors, if that’s easier.
Also difficult, but I did it!! (Okay, I cheated a bit because I included a trilogy, but I couldn’t help it!)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Colours of Madeleine Trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, these were great questions and a lot of fun to answer!