The secrets of a bestseller

Researching a stalker was actually really fun although, you may think it was a little creepy. A lot of authors will tell you that police officers would find their Google search history very interesting, and mine would definitely be amusing if you looked back through the months when I wrote this story.

My first psychological thriller, written under the pen name J.S. Lark, has topped the Ghost Thrillers and Vigilante Justice Thrillers charts in the USA today and is in the Psychological Fiction top 20. I think therefore it is about time I got around to writing this post. I planned to do it a couple of weeks ago but then COVID-19 caught me. I am lucky to be well on the way to recovery now, though.

Of course, in real life I have never stalked someone so to understand what was possible in this story and to get into a stalker’s mind, I had to explore what can be found about someone on the internet. Without giving away any of the plot, which has a lot of twists I would hate to spoil, I can tell you I researched all of these things:

  • How the press report accidents?
  • Whether or not you can get up to the top of a car park in Swindon? The car park in the book is fictional, though, it’s a merged version of several multi storey car parks.
  • Facts about Bipolar, and videos recorded by those who have the condition.
  • Videos by clairvoyants.
  • I followed famous people on Instagram to see what their pictures could give away.
  • Then someone on a radio show talked about older family members checking into everywhere on Facebook, and giving away their location at every moment, so I explored that.
  • I looked up companies on the Companies House website to see what it tells you about the owners.
  • I looked at company websites to get ideas about how much they gave away
  • I also looked up actual obituaries – which is a bit creepy.

I did not only play stalker on the internet, though. As you know, for my historical books I do a lot of physical research, travelling to places to learn the reality in the setting, which is the whole premise for this blog. So, I did also spend a day in Bath where a large part of the book is set and walked around the areas my character does. I lived in Swindon for 16 years, and I lived in the centre of Swindon of several years, so the scenes set in Swindon are in areas I know really well. But I only recently discovered the Green Park area of Bath, and so I went there to try and get my mind into what it would feel like to sit on a park bench for hours and watch a house.

I didn’t sit on the park bench for hours, but I did sit there for one hour on a cold grey day, with a cup of take-away coffee in hand and just took in the atmosphere, and in my mind imagined what it would be like to be 100% focused on someone in the house on the other side of the road.

The outcomes of all this research can be discovered in the book…

You can buy the book from any bookseller but here is the Amazon link

Books. Books. Books. Lots of savings available in April

My publisher, One More Chapter, are running offers on lots of books this April, in the UK and the USA.

If you’re looking for something to read there’s something for everyone here…

Many of their titles, including some of my early books, are also now free on Kindle Unlimited.

After you fell by J.S. Lark https://amzn.to/3bKN1vm

The Murder House by Michael Wood https://amzn.to/2ykGRne

Poppy’s Place in the Sun by Lorraine Wilson https://amzn.to/3dNu6lD

Mrs Boots by Deborah Carr https://amzn.to/2wKptrT

Clover Cottage by Christie Barlow https://amzn.to/39B9AkJ

The One Who Got Away by Lindsay Detwiler https://amzn.to/2WXIa5M

The Big Five O by Jane Wenham-Jones https://amzn.to/3aBUEUC

The Man I Fell in Love With by Kate Field https://amzn.to/340oRdL

St Paul’s Labyrinth by Jeroen Windmeijer https://amzn.to/2JEw3CI

The New Guy by Kathryn Freeman https://amzn.to/2wexRzw

The One Night Stand by Carissa Lynch https://amzn.to/3aAsEAV

The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr https://amzn.to/2X9wq0b

The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler https://amzn.to/39L9EyB

Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten https://amzn.to/2ynvafx

At the current time, as we are living through a particularly unusual time, to say the least, and mental escapism through reading and doing something different will help many of us; I am going to post some non-historical things for you as and when I can.

Stay home: Stay Safe: Stay well

♥️