5 questions with B.M. Carroll

30 April 2020

‘ADDICTIVE’ Liane Moriarty
‘RIVETING’ Jane Corry
‘DESERVES TO BE A BESTSELLER’ Lisa Ballantyne 

A killer twenty year reunion. And you’re invited…

Twenty years after they went their separate ways, friends and enemies are coming together for their school reunion. Katy, who is desperate to show that she’s no longer the shy wallflower. Annabel, who ruled the school until a spectacular fall from grace. Zach, popular and cruel, but who says he’s a changed man. And Robbie, always the victim, who never stood a chance.

As the reunion nears, a terrible event that binds the group together will resurface. Because someone is still holding a grudge, and will stop at nothing to reveal their darkest secrets…

B.M. Carroll was born in Ireland, and spent her early career working in finance. She is the author of eight novels, her most recent being The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy, which was described as “irresistibly good” by Liane Moriarty. She lives in Sydney.

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Miranda Jewess: Your new book, Who We Were, features a doomed high school reunion, twenty years after graduation. Did your own experiences of high school or your fellow students inspire the novel?

B.M. Carroll: I have never been to a school reunion as I immigrated early on. On a recent visit to Cork, I missed a school reunion by just a week. I was so disappointed! But I heard it went really well, and everyone was lovely and thrilled to see each other – unlike Who We Were where someone is seeking revenge! So the answer is no, my experiences of high school and my fellow students did not inspire the novel.

MJ: Which of the characters in Who We Were do you most identify with and why? Who would you most like to spend a day with?

BMC: I identify most with Katy, who was shy in school but finds her groove as an adult. I was very much lacking in confidence at school. People don’t believe it when I say I used to be quite shy!

MJ: What have been your favourite thrillers of the last year?

BMC: I’ve discovered and devoured everything from Clare Mackintosh. I adored The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell. The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides was another favourite.

MJ: What’s your writing process? Do you meticulously plan, or write furiously then edit afterwards?

BMC: I am the ‘jump right in’ and ‘fix it up later’ type. I wish I was a meticulous planner. I really like the idea of planning, but any attempt to do so instantly cramps my creativity.

MJ: Can you tell us something about your next book? No spoilers!

BMC: Paramedic Megan Lowe is called to a shooting in a well-heeled Sydney suburb. The victim seems unlikely to live. She’s so intent on treating his wounds and readying him for transport, she fails to recognise him at first. As the stretcher lifts into the ambulance, light spills onto his face. She knows this man. Why should she save his life when he ruined hers?

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