Everyone has secrets. Even those who seem to be perfect…
On a rainy October evening, Cecilia Wilborg – loving wife, devoted mother, tennis club regular – is waiting for her kids to finish their swimming lesson. It’s been a long day. She can almost taste the crisp, cold glass of Chablis she’ll pour for herself once the girls are tucked up in bed.
But what Cecilia doesn’t know, is that this is the last time life will feel normal. Tonight she’ll be asked to drop a little boy home, a simple favour that will threaten to expose her deepest, darkest secret…
The Five Things You Must Never Say to a Writer
There are many wonderful things about being a novelist, particularly being able to wear my leopard print fleece pants to work every single day, and inventing the people I spend my days with. Don’t like someone anymore? Kill ‘em off. There are also some slightly annoying things, such as the well-meaning comments and questions one sometimes encounters. In no particular order, some of these may be found below…
- “I could have written a book in, like, six months. It would be so much easier than my job.” Umm, okay, go on then.
- “I read your book and I just know that character X is based on me!”
Character X is not based on you. If you knew the vast cast of made-up characters living and breathing in my head, you would know that I don’t need you for inspiration… In the case of my narcissistic anti-heroine Cecilia Wilborg in The Boy at the Door, however, I may have picked up a trait here and a comment there, I suppose.
- “I read your book and it’s great. However, if I’d written it, I would have made the ending totally different. I really didn’t like the bit where X, or the way that X happens. Come to think of it, I didn’t really like X, either…” But you didn’t write my book, so…
- “It must be so nice to just sit around and write all day.” It is. On the very rare occasions that sitting around and writing all day constitutes my working day. Mostly it is a juggle of emails, editing, thinking, procrastinating, trying to write, social media and more thinking. In fleece pants, though. #Winning.
- “I found a typo on page X!”
Congratulations. There are two possibilities here: either the typo was unintentional and was missed through round after round of edits by a whole team of discerning editors and readers. It happens. And if it happened in my book, which is already published and distributed, it would be kindest not to point it out because nothing can be done to change it. However, if you are referring to the series of typos on page 334 in The Boy at the Door, they are intentionally there because my character is off her head on crack and can’t string a sentence together, but you missed that. Either way, can’t help you!
Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she wrote The Boy at the Door while living in Sandefjord.
PRAISE FOR THE BOY AT THE DOOR:
“Unsettling, layered, bold, unpredictable, dark. EXCELLENT.” Will Dean, author of Dark Pines
“Remarkable… Dahl is able to ring satisfying changes on the familiar ingredients, and her heroine Cecilia, in particular, is one of the most distinctive that readers will have encountered in recent years.” Crime Time
“Stunning… an extraordinary plot; intricate and twisted with dark secrets emerging at every turn. An engaging mystery with an ending you won’t see coming.” Alexandra Burt
“Heartbreaking and HEAD-SPINNING.” Mary Torjussen, author of Gone Without a Trace
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