Welcome to Darren O’Sullivan, author of Our Little Secret.
As a writer I read a lot and although I write thrillers I’m not exclusively a thriller reader. Picking my top ten that’s helped me as a writer is tough as there are so many books that should be in it, but I think I’ve got them…. Maybe.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Not only is this book beautiful, it is also the reason I have achieved what I have achieved. After reading I researched the author and discovered Rachel had been through the Faber academy. I applied and was successful in doing the same course, I owe a lot to what I learnt during those 6 months!
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This story is beautiful and one I return to often if I feel like I’m in a rut. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why. If you haven’t, it’s an absolute must!
- The original Jason Bourne trilogy by Robert Ludlum
These books are the first of two trilogies on this list. For me, these are just staggeringly well written, and I completely lost myself within them. I’ve no doubt that this trilogy has impacted the vision for my second novel, Close Your Eyes.
- The Twits by Roald Dahl
Although this is as far from a thriller as you might get, it does have elements of suspense and as far as I can recall, this was the first book I returned to again and again. Come to think of it, it might also be the first book I ever finished.
- I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
There are no words for this book. No words. One day, if I work really, really hard, I might write something half as good!
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
This one is less to do with the actual writing, but more the mind-set of writing. I was reading this when it first came out and spotted a bloke on the bus reading the same book. We got chatting and now he is one of my oldest and dearest friends. He helped me believe if I worked hard, I would one day live the dream of being an author.
- The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
This is the second trilogy on my list, and like above, it’s less to do with the writing and more to do with the mind-set of writing. I read these books in one weekend when I was going through a very difficult time in 2012. It was after reading these that I thought about a play I had tried to write called Pact, a terrible piece designed for the stage about a man called Chris at a platform edge. Feeling inspired, I decided in that moment to try to work it as a book.
- Disclaimer by Renee Knight
Our Little Secret wasn’t always Our Little Secret. It was once called On a Bed of Blood Red Stars. That story started and ended in a similar manner, but the rest of the story explored the impact Chris has on others around him. And after a gazillion rejections, I was advised to try and turn it into a thriller. Disclaimer was the first thriller I read with the mind-set of trying to work out how my lovely, hopeful story could be darker.
- The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
This is another book which is absolutely brilliant. What I took from this was the twist. What a twist!
- The Dictionary, because, well, words innit!
Our Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan was published in paperback by HQ on the 5th April 2018.
A deserted train station: A man waits. A woman watches.
Chris is ready to join his wife. He’s planned this moment for nearly a year. The date. The time. The train. But he hadn’t factored in Sarah.
So when Sarah walks on to the platform and sees a man swaying at the edge she assumes he’s just had too much to drink. What she doesn’t expect is to stop a suicide.
As Sarah becomes obsessed with discovering the secrets that Chris is clearly hiding, he becomes obsessed with stopping her, protecting her.
But there are some secrets that are meant to stay buried…
Darren is the ibooks and Kobo number 1 bestselling author of Our Little Secret and theatre practitioner. He lives in Peterborough, England where his days are either behind his laptop writing or in front of a group of actors, directing.
Darren’s second novel Close Your Eyes is due for publication 5th May 2018.