To celebrate the paperback release of S.K. Tremayne’s terrifying psychological thriller The Ice Twins, we sat down to chat with the author about this super-scary book that will leave you sleeping with the lights on…
Tell us about yourself…
I am a travel writer and thriller writer. I have two daughters. I live in London. I love taking taxis.
Tell us about your latest book…
It is about a family with young twin daughters, who lose one of the daughters in an accident. A year after the death, the mother realizes that she might have misidentified the surviving twin: she does not know, for sure, which twin died. Terror ensues. I hope.
When did you start writing?
Before I can remember. I had a poem published when I was four! I just said the poem to my Dad, he wrote it down, and then he sent it to a publisher, and it was included in an anthology of stories and poems for kids.
Where do you write?
Everywhere I can, but, in particular, in my flat in Camden in London, or in hotels. I find hotels are great places to write: there are no distractions, everything is done for you, your room is cleaned, your food is delivered by room service, there are tea and coffee making facilities. All you have to do is sit down and write. Then have a swim in the pool. Heaven.
Which other authors do you admire?
All sorts. From James Joyce to Dan Brown, from Jane Austen to the screenwriters of the Italian TV series Gomorrah, which I am at present engrossed in. TV drama is producing some of the very best writing anywhere, right now.
Book you wished you’d written?
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, an unrecognized masterpiece. Truly scary.
Greatest fictional criminal?
Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton.
Greatest crime or criminal from the real world?
Elizabeth Bathory, the “blood countess” of Hungary, who supposedly tortured and killed dozens of young servant girls in the 17th century, in her eerie castle on a hill (which I visited when researching an article on the Bathory case). Her story has everything, sex, gore, chills and evil cackling dwarfs, and lots of it is probably true.
What scares you?
Anything that menaces kids. Writing the Ice Twins was quite hard for that reason: I kept seeing my own daughters when I had to write about the sad, troubled little girl on that Scottish island. Psychologically it was difficult to do, but it might also be the reason some people find the book vivid. A lot of my subconscious anxieties are written into that book.
Are you ever disturbed by your own imagination?
Very occasionally, yes. It disturbs me that my violent Tom Knox thriller, The Genesis Secret, seems to have come true in the Middle East, right down to the persecution of the Yazidi.
3 crime books you would recommend to EVERYONE
The Secret History
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow
Gillian Flynn’s first: Sharp Objects
Do you listen to music when you write?
No, too distracting…
Are you on social media?
Yes. Far too often!
How can fans connect with you?
Twitter is best: @thomasknox
S. K. Tremayne is a bestselling novelist and award-winning travel writer, and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines around the world. Born in Devon, the author now lives in London. S. K. Tremayne has two daughters.
The Ice Twins is out now in paperback.