New Release Interview – In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward

Every book is special, but a debut is especially so. Today I welcome Sarah Ward to the blog to tell us about her novel, In Bitter Chill, due for release on 30th June 2015.

In Bitter Chill Royal HB 2Ec 2 small copy

Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?

A crime novel that digs into the dark heart of families and the devastation that decades-long secrets can cause.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Rachel, the main protagonist, is someone who refuses to be cowed by a childhood tragedy. When the past comes back to haunt her she takes matter into her own hands and forces the conclusion. I like strong women heroines who give a proactive response to external threats.

Which authors have been your main inspirations?

As a child, Agatha Christie; as a teenager, Ruth Rendell and PD James; in my twenties, Sara Paretsky and Minette Walters, more recently, Johan Theorin and Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?

I’m pretty methodical and work in a linear way. I start at the beginning and keep going. I don’t plot beforehand – I have a vague idea of where I’m going – so I do take time out to mind map at various points while I’m writing.

What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)

Endless cups of coffee and tea. I can feeling it sloshing around while I’m typing. I never write with alcohol. I can’t imagine it improving my prose in the slightest.

Please share your blurb with us.

Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’s mother commits suicide.

Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.

This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.


Thanks, Sarah. Very intrigued to read this one! In Bitter Chill is available to pre-order here.




Sarah Ward is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces (, reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She has also reviewed for Eurocrime and Crimesquad and is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. She lives in Derbyshire.

This post marks the start of Sarah’s blog tour. Follow the rest of the tour here:

In Bitter Chill blog tour

Leave a Comment

Subscribe To Blog

Don't forget, if you would like to receive notifications of my latest posts, you can register with my blog. Click on the link below.

Click To Register