I am delighted to share the cover for my new book Magpie...
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a secret...
Claire lives with her family in a beautiful glass house overlooking the water. But it feels as if she's married to a stranger - one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she's determined to leave Duncan.
Discovering the truth about Duncan, however, has led to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she's struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart.
Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they've told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family... But can she face the truth?
A dark psychological thriller with a twist - perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and C. J. Tudor.
have already started to come in:
"A compelling, heart-rending story."
"Magpie had me on the hook from the beginning with it's eerie premise! Addictive... unforeseen twists and turns... I know I'm reading a well written mystery/thriller when the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!"
"A tense chilling read... so well written, so dark, so gloomy, perfect atmosphere. Characters that come alive. Highly recommended."
I have a new website! The old one had gotten a bit neglected as it was based on software on my now defunct laptop that couldn't be transferred to my new pc. But now we're all sorted and here we are!
Hope you enjoy it!
Cuckoo is on sale now!
I am also delighted to say it has been selected as a Fern Britton Book Club pick and is on sale in Tesco's, Sainsbury's and Asda. It is also available from Waterstones and Amazon and all good book shops.
Cuckoo is a psychological thriller set in the wilderness of rural Derbyshire. A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us. Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.
There's a stranger in your home...
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. Charged with clearing the house, the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But Caro hadn't seen Elizabeth for years, and going through her belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the house, and her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Stephen Booth, author of the Cooper & Fry series.
"A brilliant, sinister debut that creeps under your skin and
keeps you hooked until the shocking ending." Roz Watkins, author of The Devil's Dice.
Comments from NetGalley readers include:
"Sophie has created such an aura of intrigue and mystery that I began to see shadows at every page... A dark mystery, an intriguing atmosphere and a swift pace make this story a riveting and engrossing thriller."
"You find yourself turning the pages faster and faster until you reach the stunning conclusion."
"In a world where thriller books reign supreme, this one truly stands out. I've never read anything like it.... The ending? BLEW. ME. AWAY. I feel like I'm going to have a book hangover now. SO, SO GOOD."
"WOW!!! One of the best reads of the year! ... I never use the term 'jaw-dropping' but it best describes the rest of this spectacular read !!! Guaranteed suspenseful twists that make this book a masterpiece!!!"
"Spooky, creepy, downright nerve racking, but oh so good!"
We have now arranged the official launch party for Cuckoo, which is to be held at Waterstones in Derby on Wed 28th Nov 2018, 6.30 - 8pm.
There will be drinks and nibbles and I will talk briefly about the book and how I came to write it, and maybe read a snippet or two. Anyone interested in the book is warmly welcome, but space is strictly limited, so we are asking anyone attending to RSVP direct to me so that I can collate names and numbers. Just email me at:firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been much excitement in the Snell household as I now have a two-book deal with Avon at Harper Collins. Cuckoo will be published on 29th Nov 2018. A second book which follow later in 2019. I couldn't be more delighted!
Here's the official announcement from Avon:
Avon has signed a two-book deal with the 2017 winner of the Bath Novel Award, Sophie Draper. Draper also won the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing last year. Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks bought world English rights to Cuckoo and one further book from Laura Williams at Peter, Fraser & Dunlop.
Cuckoo is a "chilling exploration of the power of stories, family tensions and the secrets we keep from ourselves." Avon will publish in November.
Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks, senior commissioning editor at Avon said, "this is dark creepy, addictive storytelling at its absolute best...In this debut, [Draper] deftly weaves an evocative gothic atmosphere with a compelling contemporary plot, and I know that this clever and unsettling novel will establish her as a crucial new voice in the psychological thriller market."
Draper said, "It was such an enjoyable and immersive experience writing this novel, exploring a character trapped in the disturbing visual landscape of her work as an illustrator and the illusive memories of her childhood. Everyone that I have met on this journey has been so supportive and kind and I am absolutely delighted to be working with Rachel and the expert team at Avon."
It all seems to have happened so quickly. Writing a book is such a journey, never quite knowing if it is going to work or not. Rejection is par for the course for a writer, so this has been a very special experience.
It's all gone a bit crazy since July. In September, I won the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing. This is a competition for newbie writers reading an excerpt from their books - a sort of X-factor for debut authors. Just to get short-listed was very exciting but to win... I was floating on cloud nine the rest of that weekend - everyone was so very kind.
What a summer! Winning a competition is amazing, but for me the most lovely thing about all this has been meeting so many fellow writers and people in the publishing / writing world. And then there's the buzz from knowing other people have enjoyed my writing - that's a real boost when you're sat on your own locked in battle with your pc and brain, hoping that you are writing something worthwhile and entertaining!
Oh My! Some amazing news! My book, Cuckoo (previously called The Pear Drum), has won The Bath Novel Award 2017!
The BNA is an international competition for unpublished debut authors. With over 1,100 entries, being long-listed, then short-listed was thrilling enough. Last week, I went to a fabulous event at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath where I met the most amazing people, sipped champagne and mingled beneath the paintings never imagining for a second my book would win - but it did! What a night! Huge thanks to everyone at the competition, especially final judge, agent Laura Williams of Peters Fraser & Dunlop for picking my book, and to Caroline Ambrose, chief organiser for making us all feel so welcome and supported.
I particularly loved meeting the other short-listees and hearing segments of their brilliant books: Ben Orlando (runner up and winner of the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy Prize, with Lost Journals of Sundown), Iain Rowan with One of Us, Nicholas Herrmann with The Light Factory, and Penelope Davidmann with The Lost Sister.