The nightmare of lost memory
One of the most buzzed-about books of the summer, Before I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller about murder, memory, trust and love. What would you do if you lost your memory? Author S.J. Watson answers that question below.
Describe your book in one sentence.
A literary thriller about a woman with no memory who has to recreate her past every day, but in doing so discovers her present is not all that it seems.
What was your reaction when you found out your first novel would be published?
Overwhelming joy and relief. I was sitting in a friend's garden and I punched the air, whooped with delight and then ran up and down, screaming. The neighbours wondered what on earth was going on.
Your main character, Christine, wakes up every day with amnesia. What would you do if you were in the same position? How would you recreate your memories?
I have nightmares about being in the same position. I think I'd do what she does—write things down. And I'm a keen photographer, so I'd probably photograph things. But none of those things can really replace memory.
Name one book you think everyone should read, and why.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. It's a warning.
What is your next project?
I'm working on my next novel. It'll be another psychological thriller, though it doesn't retreat the same territory as Before I Go to Sleep. I want to push myself to do something slightly different, but it's still recognisably me.