Author Q&A: Sandie Jones
THE FIRST MISTAKE
Still on the hunt for the perfect domestic thriller to bring on your next vacation? Look no further: Sandie Jones’ THE FIRST MISTAKE is the beach read for you. Twisty and shocking, THE FIRST MISTAKE takes a relatively familiar suspense setup - a wife who fears her spouse is being unfaithful - and pushes it in addictive, jaw-dropping new directions. Sandie Jones made a splash with her debut novel The Other Woman, which was a selection for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and a New York Times bestseller… but I actually loved THE FIRST MISTAKE even more. This book is a perfect example of what I like to call “popcorn reading”: an utterly entertaining story that you’ll want to binge-read in one or two sittings. Fans of B.A. Paris, J.P. Delaney, and Shari Lapena will absolutely love the domestic drama, plot twists, and chilling suspense Sandie Jones serves up in THE FIRST MISTAKE. I’m thrilled to welcome Sandie Jones to CBTB today to talk all things THE FIRST MISTAKE! In this blog post, you’ll find all the details on Sandie’s newest release, an excerpt from my review of this deliciously addictive suspense read, and, of course, my Q&A with Sandie.
Huge thanks to Sandie Jones for answering my questions about her newest release, and to the team at Minotaur Books for facilitating this interview! THE FIRST MISTAKE by Sandie Jones is available now at your favorite bookseller.
THE FIRST MISTAKE by Sandie Jones
About the Book:
THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.
HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.
HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced…
From CBTB’s Review:
Sandie Jones made a splash last summer with her debut suspense novel THE OTHER WOMAN, a New York Times bestseller and a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club—and she’s back this summer, and better than ever, with THE FIRST MISTAKE. A juicy, page-turning story of marital secrets, THE FIRST MISTAKE takes a familiar plot - a wife who suspects her husband might be hiding something from her - and turns it on its head. Following Alice, her husband Nathan, and her best friend Beth, THE FIRST MISTAKE unravels a layered story of deceit and betrayal… and I’m betting even the most seasoned suspense reader will be genuinely shocked by the twists author Sandie Jones has in store. Sophomore novels have a reputation for being particularly tricky to get right, but Sandie Jones has executed hers effortlessly; I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s THE OTHER WOMAN, but I liked THE FIRST MISTAKE even more. This book is pure pleasure reading. For readers of fan-favorite domestic thrillers Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison, THE FIRST MISTAKE is the perfect beach read: a story of what happens when happily ever after goes wrong. | Read the Full Review
Author Q&A: Sandie Jones
THE FIRST MISTAKE
Crime by the Book: Thank you so much for stopping by Crime by the Book to tell us about your brand-new psychological suspense novel, The First Mistake! In your own words, what is this book about?
Sandie Jones: The First Mistake is essentially a novel about trust, questioning whether we ever know anybody well enough to truly be able to trust them, whether that be a partner or our best friend. We have to be able to trust people, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to live our lives, but it is so often misplaced and this novel explores that in the extreme.
CBTB: Your debut suspense novel The Other Woman dealt with a fraught relationship between a woman and her soon-to-be mother-in-law, and now The First Mistake deals with a similarly ordinary setup: a wife who discovers her husband might be hiding something from her. I love how your books begin with these relatable premises! Do you find yourself drawing inspiration for your books from real life?
SJ: Everything I write about is drawn from real-life inspiration. I love writing about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, so any one of us could find ourselves between the lines on the page. The Other Woman was borne out of conversations I had with friends who were in a similar situation to Emily, albeit not as sinister! And the situation Alice finds herself in The First Mistake is all too relatable as well, if not for ourselves, but someone we may know.
CBTB: The First Mistake centers around a woman named Alice, her husband Nathan, and her best friend Beth. How would you describe these characters to someone meeting them for the first time?
SJ: From the outset, I think all three of them are perceived to be the regular characters we all know. Alice is a frazzled mum, who’s trying to juggle her hectic home life with running a successful business. Nathan comes across as a considerate husband, who only has Alice’s best interests at heart and Beth is the best friend we all wish we had; feisty and quick to dish out well-meaning advice, yet when it comes to her own affairs, she’s not quite so self-assured.
CBTB: Alice takes center stage in The First Mistake. How would you describe Alice's character arc over the course of this story?
SJ: Alice endures every gamut of emotion in this novel, from finding love with her soulmate and first husband Tom, to becoming a shadow of her former self when she tragically loses him in a skiing accident. When Nathan comes along, she is at the bottom of the well, but slowly, over time, she begins to put the pieces of herself back together again, only to suffer a major confidence crisis again a few years down the line. This is about her finding the strength and resolve she needs to battle her demons once and for all.
“Everything I write about is drawn from real-life inspiration. I love writing about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, so any one of us could find ourselves between the lines on the page.” —Sandie Jones
CBTB: The First Mistake falls into the domestic suspense genre. What do you think makes the domestic suspense genre so popular? Why are ordinary relationships between spouses such good fodder for suspense stories?
SJ: I think it’s because it’s relatable. With domestic suspense, we all know someone like the character in the story, or know a relationship similar to the one we’re reading about, so it’s especially intriguing to see how it’ll play out. Thankfully most real-life scenarios don’t end in murder, but I have to say, since I started writing, not a day has gone past when I don’t think that fact is stranger than fiction!
CBTB: This new book of yours is delightfully twisty and shocking—I was blindsided more than once in this thriller! How do you go about plotting such a twisty story? Do you know how you want all the twists to play out when you begin writing?
SJ: I have absolutely no idea what my twists are going to be and how they’re going to play out before I start writing! They just present themselves to me as I go along, but even I’m surprised at how depraved my mind can be!
CBTB: When you’re not writing crime fiction, do you enjoy reading crime fiction as well? If so, could you share with us a few crime / suspense books you’ve recently read and loved?
SJ: I do love reading suspense books, moreover actual crime and it’s the genre I tend to naturally gravitate towards. A recent find was The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North which left me breathless, though I can’t reveal why! Outside of my preferred genre, I read Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce which I thoroughly enjoyed.
CBTB: Last but certainly not least, what are you working on next?
SJ: I’m writing my third novel, a domestic suspense story focusing on the often troublesome relationship between sisters. It’s looking like it could go a little darker than my previous novels, though I hope there will still be light-hearted moments and a little British humour thrown in!
Many thanks to Sandie Jones for answering my questions about her newest release! THE FIRST MISTAKE is available now.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 11, 2019)
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