Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …
Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …
First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…
But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?
K.L Slater’s novel is gripping.
Anna is a lonely, preferring to spend much of her time alone. After witnessing a car accident, she befriends Liam, and makes herself invaluable to him and his aged grandmother. Seeing her manipulate these people is quite an eye-opener, and K.L. Slater has created a lady whose preoccupation with Carla and her fixation with Liam is absorbing and captivating to the reader.
Anna’s mental health unravels as the story progresses and we see her, and her obsession with Carla causes her to seek revenge. Anna is confused and a touch deranged, which makes her an interesting and complex character.
Liam is a character who is likable, but he too has issues of his own, and he becomes someone who is quite manipulative and sly. The twist in this tale is a shock when it comes.
Safe With Me is as disturbing as it is thrilling. It is a fabulous debut novel and K.L. Slater is an author who I think will become one to watch.
Q & A with K.L. Slater
1. Anna has a complex nature, where did the inspiration for her come from?
The strongest character voices tend to just ‘appear’ in my head and this is exactly what happened with Anna. She kind of appeared there one day and was fully formed; opinionated, twisted and deluded. I loved her instantly!
2. I loved Liam, and the twist where he is found to be as he is was a shock. How did you decide that his character was going to be so deceitful?
He wasn’t deceitful at first, it was one of those developments that comes as the story progresses…the best kind of way, I think! It stemmed from the fact that Liam suffers from memory problems after the accident. I began to wonder if he’d truly forgotten some really key things about himself . . . or maybe wanted to forget . . .
3. There is a Mental Health aspect to this novel, have you real experience of this or did you have to research the illness?
I haven’t any experience of the conditions affecting some of the characters in the book – if they can be said to have any clear-cut conditions. Although I did do some general research, I feel strongly that mental health is such a broad spectrum that sometimes, people can become troubled, unstable and a bit off-kilter and there’s no nice neat category with a label to pin on them.
I knew I wanted interesting characters who on the one hand, were logical and functioning on one level, but then could come at the reader from left-field, if you see what I mean.
4.This is your debut novel, how long did it take you to write, and was the idea in your mind for a while before being written?
Safe With Me began as the dissertation for my English & Creative Writing degree. The character of Anna appeared in my head and she wouldn’t go away.
It took me about six months to develop my 15k word dissertation into a full-length novel bit then I put the story in a drawer for a few years while I focused on writing young adult fiction.
Anna’s voice was always chirping at the back of my mind. Anyone who has read the novel might understand how disturbing and distracting that would feel! In the end I gave in, stripped the story back to its bare bones and started again, to properly give Anna her voice. I’m so glad I did!
5. Who inspires you as reader and why.
I’ve always loved reading Stephen King novels – the early classics like Misery, The Shining, The Running Man, Salem’s Lot . . . the list goes on. Those early books are a masterclass on building tension and keeping the reader turning the pages.
From a writing point of view, I always recommend King’s excellent non-fiction book, ‘On Writing’. It’s fascinating and packed with valuable advice for all writers.
6.Tell me something about K.L. Slater you wouldn’t want your mother to know.
I swear rather a lot and often watch quite rude foreign films, shock horror!
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