EVERY LITTLE SECRET, the latest psychological thriller by Ruby Speechley, is out on Amazon Kindle now. Ruby worked on the story with BPA Editor Sara Sarre and published with Hera Books in April 2020. We asked her some questions about writing secrets and editing to perfection.
Your new novel Every Little Secret is described as ‘an addictive psychological thriller packed with suspense.’ How did you give your story this addictive quality?
Every chapter presents a new secret which the protagonist, Maddy, is faced with. Each new secret raises another question for her and for the reader to discover the answer to. This element along with many other surprises along the way, keeps the reader turning the pages.
The reading experience is very different to the writing experience, but did you ever feel a sense of compulsion when drafting the new novel?
I started writing this novel ten years ago, as part of an MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam university. I’d never written anything as long as a novel before and I didn’t find it easy. It’s been put away and pulled out again more times than I can remember. The compulsion wasn’t so much in the first draft but in the need to tell this story from all sides and find an audience. I could not give up on my characters!
Every Little Secret protagonist Maddy goes on a journey of uncovering the truth. Did you plan all the story’s secrets before you began, or did some reveal themselves along the way?
I had a good idea of the overall story I wanted to tell, but I don’t think it’s possible (for me at least) to plan everything beforehand because so much changes and reveals itself during the writing. It took me a while to learn to trust this process.
You’ve received editorial feedback from Blue Pencil’s Sara Sarre. How did you decide which suggestions to take on and which to leave?
Sara has a great instinct for story and she helped me to tease out more emotion and depth from all my characters. There wasn’t really anything I particularly disagreed with because she completely understood the story I was trying to tell. Her comments along with those from my brilliant editor, Keshini Naidoo, really helped me to complete my final edit.
Like your first novel Someone Else’s Baby, Every Little Secret will be published digitally before it comes out in print. Do you think you’ll take this same approach with future books, and why?
I think I probably will. I’m very happy at Hera Books and I like the immediacy of digital publishing. I love that readers can take a whole library with them on holiday, on Kindle, Kobo or their Apple device. A lot of readers read several books a week, so the low price point makes it accessible and affordable for everyone.
You’re represented by Jo Bell at Bell Lomax Moreton. Did you discuss your second novel while you were working on it?
Jo read Every Little Secret before Someone Else’s Baby (and a third novel I’m working on) so we’ve discussed them all. She’s a brilliant sounding board.
Can you recommend a good thriller you’ve read recently?
I’ve been reading crime detective novels most recently, but I’m currently reading an excellent thriller called Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran.
And one Twitter account we should all follow? (Other than yours: @rubyspeechley)
Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) – her ‘ten tweets’ about different aspects of writing are legendary.