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Interview with Sam Riversag

November, 13, 2019

How did you get the idea for the novel?

S.R.: From my brother, actually. We were at a Sherlock Convention together in London when he noticed a girl who’d just taken a photo of herself with Benedict (Cumberbatch).  She had a great beaming smile on her face and he said: “You’d think she’d arrived in seventh heaven.” So the idea came to me like that. 

You have a style of your own which seems to flow naturally: caustic wit, comic scenes and caricatures…Does that come automatically to you or do you have to work to develop it before putting each scene down on paper?  

S.R.: I find the creative process to be quite spontaneous as the narrator of events is also the main character. I was still immersed in the atmosphere of the Sherlock Convention when I began writing the very next day and the story fell into place very quickly because it recounts some things that actually happened. 

Your take on couples breaking up appears to be cruel yet at the same time tender. Does that come from personal experience? 

S.R.: You could say that…In fact certain details in the book are a bit close to home!... (Laughs). 

You give your heroine a really rough ride. She has to battle on two fronts at the same time. Wouldn’t you say that’s a bit too much to handle for a young woman like her, being somewhat naïve?

S.R.: The fact is that Mary really believes she’s leading an ideal life and when disaster finally strikes her boyfriend ditches her. She’s been left high and dry. She’s in shock and simply doesn’t know what to do. She didn’t see it coming. Two years, three months and twenty eight days of her life-she adds up the entire period!-have been wiped from the slate overnight.

 She can be a bit annoying at times. So what do you think endears her to your readers?

S.R.: It’s certainly true that you feel the urge to give her a good shaking now and again, but then again you have to appreciate that she’s in a difficult situation because she’s still in love with Simon. Despite all that, she always manages to pick herself up and come back fighting. She’s totally wrecked emotionally and after an initial reaction of anger, the sadness starts slowly but surely to take hold. She does her utmost not to cry at work, but to further compound her sorrow, there’s the constant anguish of always discovering an empty in-box. Neither her best friend, nor her newly discovered fixation can help her forget about the breakup and put it all behind her. 

Talking about that particular “fixation”, why Benedict Cumberbatch in particular instead of some other celeb?

S.R.: Well, I don’t think it’s a coincidence he’s got millions of fans throughout the world. I think that for people who feel like outsiders in society-and there are quite a few of them-his interpretation of Sherlock Holmes provides a soul mate. Thanks to him they’ve found hope because he displays a form of behaviour which seems to border on autism, if you’ll permit me to use such a comparison. His Sherlock is a sociopath. He’s a misfit who doesn’t understand others and the feeling on their part is mutual. But this doesn’t prevent him from being loved by those close to him despite his tactlessness.  

The silent patient

October, 27,2019

According to Deadline, Brad Pitt’s Plan B along with Annapurna have optioned film rights to Alex Michaelides’s bestselling thriller debut, which came out in early February. A #1 New York Times bestseller, The Silent Patient centers on criminal psychotherapist Theo who works with Alicia, a London artist who inexplicably shot her husband years ago — and then stopped speaking. In order to discover the dark truth, Theo must get Alicia to talk.

The Silent Patient has been praised by readers and critics alike, with Entertainment Weekly calling it “an unforgettable — and Hollywood-bound — new thriller” with “a mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.” People also called it an “impressive, immersive debut,” referring to Michaelides as “a writer to watch.”

In a tweet, author Alex Michaelides shared his enthusiasm about the big news. “Really excited to announce Plan B and Annapurna are developing #TheSilentPatient as a movie,” he wrote. “Officially all my dreams have come true.”

Oscars winners 2019

February, 2019

It was a night of memorable moments and fabulous firsts as Green Book took home the Oscar for Best Picture. Regina King, Mahershala Ali, Rami Malek and Olivia Colman were tops in the acting categories and Spike Lee brought home Oscar for the very first time for Adapted Screenplay as a co-writer of BlacKkKlansman. Bohemian Rhapsody scored four Oscars while Black Panther and Roma won three each with Alfonso Cuarón adding another Directing Oscar to his collection. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won in the Animated Feature Film category and Lady Gaga gave a memorable performance of "Shallow" from A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper before giving a memorable speech for winning for Original Song.

 

Our last reviews

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For a selfie with Benedict

July, 19, 2019

This book wouldn’t be what it is without Sam Riversag’s particular style. She writes in a droll and biting fashion where there’s no room for the serious and she handles it really well.
It makes for nice light reading punctuated with humour, romance realism and, well… ANY NOVEL WISHING TO SPEAK ABOUT BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH SIMPLY HAS TO BE A GREAT ONE!” Riversag writes beautifully with lots of humour and a fertile imagination. This book is an ode to joy. I’m going to phone the Medical Association straight away and have it recommended as a therapeutic remedy against depression !

Before I go to sleep

March, 15, 2019

With a telling ending, that I just loved, Before I Go To Sleep, is definitely well worth the read.

The Litigators

February, 10, 2019

Delightful, humorous, sometimes exciting, lots of the fascinating legal detail that is Grisham's trademark ... lawyers working hard, falling short and succeeding ... much greed and some (surprising) altruism ... Definitely an enjoyable read.

 
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