Monday, 24 October 2016

Blog Tour, interview with Cat Hogan and my review of her new book They all Fall Down


I'm thrilled to have been invited to take part in the Blog Tour for They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan, a twisty psychological thriller that draws you in innocently and spits you out screaming.

Firstly I have an EXCLUSIVE interview with the Author where we caht about something we have in common - our love of books (of course)


Here's Cat so we can see who we're chatting with.

Q: Where or how did your love of books begin?         

Cat) I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t have a book in my hand. I was born into a family of bookworms and my mother passed her love of books on to me. She bought me books all the time and for every occasion. 

When I ran out of my own books to read, I would read her stash or sneak into my brother room and pilfer his. To this day, we are all bookworms- this leads to interesting debates around the kitchen table at Christmas time!

Me) … My Mum passed on her love of books too, although as an only child I’m sure it was just to keep me out of her hair!

What are the first books you remember enjoying as a youngster?

I loved Roald Dahl. I’ve lost count how many times I have read all his books and I still have my own copies. I have continued on the bibliophile tradition with my own boys, Joey is 11 and Baby Arthur is three. The younger one in particular loves to have stories read to him.
Enid Blyton was another one I couldn’t get enough of. The Mallory Towers books – I loved them all and wanted to go to Boarding School, just for the midnight feasts. Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys- I read them all. 

As I got older, I discovered Edgar Allen Poe and the classics.

Another author who had a huge impact on my life was Tom McCaughren- an Irish writer. He wrote 16 books in total but his wildlife books were the ones that caught my heart. Run with the Wind was the first in the series. Written in the 80’s at a time where animals were widely hunted for their pelts, the stories are told from the point of view a skulk of foxes and their dangerous encounters with other animals and humans. The series changed me as a person. To this day I am an animal rights supporter- something I have also instilled in my children.

… Ooh I’ve not heard of Tom McCaughren. I adored Enid Blyton too, and when I was little I loved Milly Molly Mandy and Teddy Robinson books, as I got older I really liked Alan Garner which the closest thing to young adults fantasy 50 years ago!

Which books influenced you most to become a writer?

Every book I have ever read- good and bad. It’s a hard question to answer as I could write a novel on books that have influenced me but the urge came from the perspective of a reader rather than a writer. 

There is no better feeling in the world than curling up in front of the fire or in bed and getting absolutely lost in the pages of a book. It is the most wonderful form of escapism and time becomes irrelevant. I wanted to see if I could do that- I wanted to create a world and characters who people could identify with and care about.

… You achieved that with They All Fall down, your characters are very easy to relate to.

and is there a particular author you aspire to be like or admire above all others?

This is an easy one to answer! I am blessed to come from the beautiful Co. Wexford in the SE corner of Ireland. There is a little bit of magic in the air down here. I share the air with several internationally renowned authors from my own home town. Colm Tóibín , John Banville, Eoin Colfer and international playwright Billy Roche are all from Co.Wexford. They paved the way for us and here in my hometown all the arts are encouraged and nurtured. No one bats an eyelid when you tell them you are writing a book or making a movie. 

We are also very proud of our International Festival of Opera, now in it’s 65th year. Roald Dahl’s wife, Felicity, travelled to Wexford in 2010 to be at the world premiere of the Opera inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The magic is everywhere. My aspiration is to continue the tradition of great international writers coming from Wexford- I grew up admiring and worshipping each one of them.

… Exalted company in your neck of the woods Cat.

What books have you loved in the past few years?

For a short while (while I was in the middle of edits and preparation for publication day) the joy of reading left me. Every book I picked up I judged against mine, I studied how that author constructed sentences, how they used dialogue etc. It had to stop- my favourite pastime had turned into study. Now, I’m back to where I used to be. I read for pure pleasure and escapism.

I try my best to support fellow authors in Ireland and as soon as they launch a book I will buy it.

I do love Stephen King and Wally Lamb. I also love Harlan Coben. There are so many wonderful books and authors out there, it’s hard to choose.

Two of my favourite books in the last couple of years have been from Irish author Liz Nugent. Her books ‘Unravelling Oliver’ and ‘Lying in Wait’ have dominated the best seller lists for months- and well deserved too. I love Liz’s style of writing- dark, twisty and very intelligent. I have had the pleasure of meeting her and she is a real lady- and so encouraging. She read They All Fall Down and loved it. High praise indeed!

… I have Unravelling Oliver on my TBR pile – must move it closer to the top. Glad she enjoyed your writing.

and whats next on your TBR (to be read) list?

I have a couple of books on the go at the moment for research purposes. For pleasure, the next on the list is an oldie- and one I absolutely detested when studying English… Jane Austen’s ‘Emma.’

I have hated this book with a passion for years but I want to go back to it and see if my opinion has changed. I’ll let you know about that.

I’m a huge fan of psychology and I read quite a lot of books of that nature. The human condition fascinates me and I’ve always been a real observer. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on ‘The Cyber Effect’ by Mary Aiken. It studies how human behaviour changes online and I think it’s perhaps a book we should all read.

… Good luck with Emma, I must admit I don’t enjoy much classic literature, too much of a Philistine. I’m fascinated by psychology though.

 Whats next for you?

I’m just coming to the end of the first draft of book 2. It’s a sequel of sorts to They All Fall Down. I’m about quarter way through a third book- a stand-alone novel- another dark and twisted tale!

They All Fall Down will be republished in March in mass paperback- fingers crossed it will fly over the water and the sequel will be published in June/July. It’s a busy time.
There’s also talk of a screen play- I will keep you posted on that one too!

… Very exciting news, do keep us posted on both fronts.

Thanks from me to Cat for allowing this insight into her love of books


Ring a ring of Roses – someone wants to play – Who’s not plating the game? Now someone must pay …

This isn’t quite how I remember singing the nursery rhyme when I was little and this book isn’t quite as gentle and romantic as it seems at first! 

It begins as pure romantic fiction, chick lit (if you don’t find that term offensive) It’s very girly, it’s all about single Mum Jen who with her little son Danny moves into a lovely cottage in a sleepy fishing village, left to her by her recently deceased Aunt. She also inherits a lodger, the handsome and almost too good to be true Andy, almost inevitably between the young pair is a frisson of attraction, romance is in the air and Jen’s friends Sal and Tess, who is going through marriage woe’s herself, are keen to encourage Jen into a relationship.

Most of the characters Cat Hogan has created are flawed in some way, from Jen who bears the physical and mental scars of her past, to Tess’s husband Doc who just can’t get his head around loving Tess and doing the right thing by her.

But none are quite as deeply flawed as Andy’s best friend Scott however, like so many fledgling romances two’s company and three’s a crowd and Scott has no time for Jen and sparks fly between Jen and Scott.

But the more Jen tries to pour oil on troubled waters the worse things get and what begins as a nice romantic story set by the seaside becomes a stormy and dangerous fight for survival for her and her little boy.

It’s made immediately apparent that Scott is a thoroughly complex and really nasty piece of work. Oh dear me, he is a flawed and twisted fella, no surprise that he's no angel but how far will he go to get what he wants - and what DOES he want anyway?

This is a clever novel with psychological twists aplenty, it drew me in gently and I thought I was in for an easy read then it suddenly begins to tighten it's grip and become tense and downright scary. Great for fans of flawed characters, emotional story lines and fast paced thrillers.

It's been recently published and you can buy a copy for your kindle or in paperback now.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great - and very well reviewed on Amazon too!


Liked a review? Please add a comment I love to hear from genuine readers.

#TheGiverofStars - Jojo Moyes my #Review #historical #histfic

The Giver of Stars by JojoMoyes My Review Recently I was asked the question who is your go-to author? Whose books I'd read regardl...