Debut Author, A J Waines, explains why London is so special to her and why her psychological suspense novel, The Evil Beneath, could only be set there.
No matter where I am, my heart will always be in London. I lived there for fifteen glorious years and it is still my favourite city in the world. To me, it means glamour, aliveness and dynamism – I feel it the instant I step off the train at Waterloo. I feel my ‘best self’ when I’m in London, as though anything is possible.
My debut novel, The Evil Beneath is saturated with London ‘atmosphere’. When I began writing crime fiction in 2008, I’d already moved to Southampton, but I wanted to write about the places I loved and knew well – so London was the inevitable setting. My first idea for The Evil Beneath was a specific image at Hammersmith Bridge. Juliet, a psychotherapist, is instructed to go to the bridge at dawn to look for ‘something you’ll be interested in’. In my mind’s eye I could see the distinctive elegant architecture of Hammersmith Bridge – in glossy dragon-green with gold detail – and underneath, in gruesome contrast, was a woman’s body floating in the water. The most horrifying discovery for Juliet is that the corpse is dressed in Juliet’s own clothes…
That was where the suspense mystery began – it was all I had to start with. The initial idea grew and the plot began to revolve around the River Thames, where several key bridges – not necessarily the most famous ones – were the places where bodies of unfortunate young women were discovered. London would have a serial killer on its hands and Juliet, my protagonist, would be right at the heart of it, with no idea why she’s been targeted.
I loved having the excuse of going back to London to research the settings – the smells, sounds and atmosphere. There is one place, however, that I couldn’t gain access to. I can’t give you a spoiler, but towards the end of the book there’s a really creepy, hidden place right in the heart of the city that few people know about. Juliet goes there and gets a very nasty shock.
AJ Waines is a Crime Fiction Author, specialising in Psychological Thrillers. She draws on over fifteen years of experience as a Psychotherapist, including work with clients from high security prisons. This exclusive and privileged role has given her a rare insight into abnormal psychology. She writes about the extraordinary dilemmas and traumas ordinary individuals have to face – particularly ‘crimes of passion’, hidden motives, family secrets and moral dilemmas. A J Waines lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband. Catch her on Twitter, Facebook or on her website. She’s also got a blog which is definitely worth checking out!
To find out more, see The Evil Beneath by A J Waines, available now as ebook or paperback on Amazon.