Interview: Author Lesley Pearse

Lesley Pearse

The book page in our latest issue recommends Lesley Pearse’s latest paperback, “The House Across The Street”.

We talked to her about this book back in October of last year, just before it came out in hardback.

Here are some of the highlights from that interview.

If you’re thinking of picking up a copy, we can highly recommend it!

26th Novel

The release of a new Lesley Pearse novel is a big event.

Walk into any bookshop in the country and you’ll likely see her work on the shelves – she’s sold over ten million books, and is now working on her 26th.

With so many novels behind her, it’s no wonder that launching and promoting them months after they’ve been written can prove a bit of a challenge!

“Sometimes I can’t remember what the book was about,” Lesley said. “Bearing in mind I finished it last January! Sometimes I need to refresh my brain.”

It was clear when we spoke that promoting “The House Across The Street” would be a bit more fun for Lesley than when “The Woman In The Wood” came out in 2017.

“Last year I broke my ankle,” she told us. “I couldn’t drive or do anything, so I’m quite looking forward to it this time.

“It’ll be nice to get back into meeting the people who read my books, because they’re the important ones!”

25 Years In The Industry

With the advantage of hindsight, was there any advice Lesley – with all her experience – would go back and give to her younger self?

“Yes – to keep my trap shut! In the early days I used to get a bit feisty, saying, ‘I’ve been to Spain and can’t see my books on the shelf’. . .

“It was a good job I had an editor who really liked me!

“We all expect too much at the start. We think on the day of publication there will be bells ringing and people coming round.

“I would certainly tell anyone, and myself, not to expect too much too soon. It didn’t start happening for me until the third book, really.”

Never Give Up

A career in writing might start slowly, but Lesley never came close to giving up.

“I always have the belief, with every book I write, that ‘this could be a bestseller’!”

The House Across The Street

“The House Across The Street” is set in Bexhill, where Lesley once lived.

When she was a resident, training to be a nursery nurse, there really wasn’t a lot for young folk to do. The idea of spending time looking out the window came from her own memories of people-watching to help pass the time.

“I am a people-watcher anyway – pathologically interested in what other people are doing. I can weave a whole story about a couple of people I’ve seen at the airport.”

She’s never found putting those ideas down in a notebook particularly useful, however, unlike some authors.

“The funny thing is that on the rare occasion that I have put something down on paper, I’ll look at it ages afterwards and wonder what that was about!”

Get your copy of “The House Across The Street” now.

If you’re a book lover, take a look at some more of our reviews here.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.