I have been invited to ask the fabulous Holly Jackson, author of the award winning A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, some questions in advance of her second novel, Good Girl, Bad Blood, coming out! I am very excited, because I adored AGGGTM, and GGBB is my most anticipated book of the year. Honestly, I can’t wait to find out what Pip has been up to. but before all that, lets find out a little more about Holly.
Were you surprised by the success of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder?
I have been completely blown away by it; I didn’t expect my debut experience to be
like this at all. And I am so grateful and indebted to everyone who has supported the
book, both online and off!
What inspired you to write AGGGTM?
AGGGTM was largely inspired by my newfound obsession with true crime podcasts,
back in 2015/2016. I binge-listened to the first season of Serial, and that was it: since
then, I have been a true crime nut / murderino (to use the technical term). Now if you
were to look at my phone memory, 99% is taken up by true crime podcasts. I’ve
always been drawn to reading and watching crime and mystery thrillers, so I knew
that that’s the genre I’d want to write in. And I also wanted the book to have the
texture of a true crime podcast, as I found them so addictive. Thus the ‘school
project’ angle of AGGGTM was born, which would allow me to have multi-media
elements and interview transcripts just like a podcast.
Who is your favourite character for each book?
My slightly boring answer for both is the main character, Pip. In AGGGTM, I loved
writing a character who was so unapologetically ambitious and studious. And then in
GG,BB, it has been really fun for me to follow Pip’s character arc as she is quite
different to the protagonist we began book 1 with, moving further and further away
from the ‘good girl’ of the title. But also, I always love writing Ravi and Cara, as they
often provide the comic relief elements.
What did you do between finishing AGGGTM and starting GGBB – or did you dive straight back in?
We had not decided we were doing a sequel to AGGGTM until summer 2019. So
between finishing book 1 and then, I wrote a whole other book! It’s a standalone
mystery thriller, totally sperate from and quite different to the AGGGTM series. So
that kept me busy until we decided to go ahead with a sequel, which I then had to
write very very quickly.
What are your writing habits like – do you write one thing at once, or lots?
I am a bit of a completion-ist, so I’ll only really be focusing on one project at a time
(i.e. actively planning / drafting). Though of course if I get any ideas for future books,
I make sure to write those down when inspiration strikes. And then once I have the
whole plot laid out, I move into drafting. Because I plan so thoroughly, my first draft is
normally in pretty good shape and ready to be handed in. Depending on the amount
of time I have (aka: deadlines) I have to write quite a lot each day to stay on track.
With GG,BB I had to get down at least 2000 words a day, which was sometimes a
Do you have any tips for aspiring mystery writers?
Yes – study the craft of screenwriting. I find the 3-act plot structure very helpful and I
always find I’m bursting with ideas after watching YouTube video essays studying
my favourite films / TV shows. A good craft book is: The Anatomy of Story by John
What are you working on next?
I cannot say too much, but I’m working on something where you can expect plenty
more mystery and murder.
What have you been reading lately?
I’ve been on a bit of an adult crime-thriller kick at the moment, but 2 upcoming YA
books I’ve read that I really enjoyed are Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power, and
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis.
Thank you so much Holly for these great answers! And don’t forget to check out Good Girl, Bad Blood, which is out on the 30th April. I also love Pip, and am excited to hear about these other projects 😀
Don’t forget to check out all the other wonderful bloggers on the tour!