Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Your Truth or Mine - Guest Post Trisha Sakhlecha


Continuing my psychological thriller series, I'm delighted to welcome the lovely Trisha Sakhlecha to my blog. Trisha's debut Your Truth or Mine (don't you just love that title?) was published in June last year and I've been dying to find out how this thriller writer goes about the writing process. I love these interviews as every author has been so very different.



Your Truth or Mine is your debut novel. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the idea for your thriller came to you?

I wish I did, but it doesn’t usually work like that for me. There’s very rarely a single moment of inspiration, it’s more like a slow building and layering of lots of ideas and themes. With Your Truth or Mine?, my starting point was a single image: a happily married woman discovering that her ‘perfect’ husband had been having an affair. The characters had been living in my head for a while at that point and I knew early on that I wanted to write about the shock of infidelity in a marriage in which one partner’s version of the truth completely contradicts the other’s and the subtle, and often crippling, forms of emotional and psychological control that can go unnoticed, all of which is brought into sharp focus as the protagonists find themselves enmeshed in an investigation.


Could you describe your novel in a sentence?

When a young woman goes missing, an expat couple are forced to confront uncomfortable truths about their relationship and all the lies and secrets it conceals.
 

Have you always wanted to write in the psychological thriller genre?

When I started writing Your Truth or Mine? I had no idea what genre it would fit into. All I knew back then was that I was writing a novel about a toxic, dysfunctional marriage that had layers of lies and deceits woven through it. It was only once I finished the first draft that I realised that what I had in my hands had the potential to be a psychological thriller. But looking at it in hindsight and considering how dark and twisted I like my plots, I can’t imagine writing anything other than psychological thrillers!


Are you a plotter or a pantster and how long did it take you to write your thriller?

I think I’m a bit of both. I usually have the main beats mapped out – the big reveals and twists -  and I do a very vague outline, but other than that, I like to discover the story as I work through the first draft. If my characters don’t surprise me, I doubt they’ll be able to surprise my readers. I NEVER know the ending until I’ve written it. The first draft usually takes me between five to six months, then there’s a couple of months of edits.


What did you find hardest and what easiest when writing Your Truth or Mine?

Your Truth or Mine? isn’t just my first published novel, it was my first attempt at writing fiction, so I think the hardest part was getting to grips with the rules and the conformations of writing fiction – I’d never even considered things like the three act structure or pacing and tension before. It was a very steep learning curve.

The easiest part, ironically, was writing the actual first draft - knowing so little about the craft meant I had complete freedom to make so many really, really obvious mistakes and just have fun with the process.


Can you describe what you were doing and your emotions when you heard Your Truth or Mine had found a publisher?

I was shopping at IKEA with my Mum when the very first offer came through. I was pushing a trolley stacked with flat pack furniture when I heard my phone ping. There had been a lot of back and forth with publishers that week and I knew even before I’d looked at my phone that it was my agent. Typically, my signal dropped out before the email could finish loading, so all I could see was the subject line with the word ‘Offer’ in it. I remember abandoning my shopping trolley - and my very bewildered mother - in one of those massive aisles and running around IKEA like a mad woman trying to find cell signal!


Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes! Though it wasn’t until I showed the finished first draft of Your Truth or Mine? to a few writer friends that I dared to dream about being a published writer.


Could you describe your typical writing day?

When I’m writing the first draft, my writing day begins at 5am. I tend to go straight to the draft and write for a solid hour or so, before going back to sleep. I find that writing that early in the morning when I’m not even fully awake lets me tap into my subconscious and write more freely – and quickly - than I do later on in the day. It helps that I’m really just desperate to go back to bed but I do usually manage to get the bare bones of the scene or chapter I’m working on down in that time. I go back to my desk around 9.30-10am and spend a few hours reworking whatever I wrote in the morning, building in the layers, adding description, refining the dialogue etc. I usually finish by 2pm.

When I’m editing though, I find afternoons better and I’ll usually start around midday and work until late into the night.


What next for Trisha Sakhlecha?

I’m waiting on line edits for my second psychological thriller, Can You See Me Now? which is due to be published later this year and working on the first draft of book 3.


Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London. She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer. Your Truth or Mine? is her first novel.

You can buy Your Truth or Mine: Amazon

Find out more about Trisha here:  Instagram   Twitter

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