Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Tour: The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran

Today we welcome author Eleanor Moran who is promoting her book The Last Time I Saw You.  Enjoy her interview after my thoughts on the book.

Publisher: Quercus
Date of publication: February 2013

When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

The Last Time I Saw You is a well written and compelling story about toxic friendship.  I have to admit, this book was a little hard to get into at first.  I struggled a bit with the writing as a lot of the terms and slang were very British and I didn't know what some of the phrases meant.  But, overall, I ended  up liking the story.  At its heart, the book is about toxic friendship and how long it can affect our lives. 

As the story waffles between the past and the aftermath of Sally's death, we see how awful Sally treated Livvy during their friendship in college and how it affected Livvy's life.   Clearly there was something wrong with Sally as she was manipulative and would pick up and drop friends on a whim.  Honestly, I disliked Sally throughout the book and never had any sympathy for her even in the end. I thought that everyone who knew her was better off without her. 

 I felt bad for Livvy and was really rooting for her to make something else out of her life.  I think that Sally's friendship really did a number on her and its aftermath did a number on Livvy.  Even though it was very recent after Sally's death, I was OK with the relationship that developed between Livvy and William.  For me, it made sense as they both needed to find comfort after Sally's death.  I liked the end and thought the solution to the "mystery" was satisfying if not unexpected.  I do recommend giving this one a try.

Kari & Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?
Eleanor: I’ve always loved reading, and studied English Literature at college. I’ve had a long career in TV drama, working on other people’s scripts, and I guess I wanted to have a go! I was also going through a personal dilemma at the time. I was meant to be getting married, and I knew in my heart it wasn’t right, even though it ticked so many boxes and I was exactly the age you’re ‘supposed’ to get married. My first novel, Stick or Twist, came out of that. Leaving the relationship behind felt like a gamble. A painful gamble!

Kari & Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books? 

Eleanor: They tend to be rooted in my real life experience, but then I heavily fictionalise to make them less personal and more interesting! The Last Time I Saw You came out of an experience I had around the savage ending of one of my college friendships. I think many women have a ‘toxic friendship’ that may haunt them for years. When we lose a lover, we know what the rules are. We grieve, our friends neatly separate out, we eventually meet someone else. When friendship goes wrong - and bear in mind, we’ve probably shared our deepest, most shaming secrets - we don’t have a rule book. We don’t replace friends in the way we perhaps replace romantic partners. Instead we’re left with a hole, wondering where it all went wrong.

I also wanted to write about how it is to date in your 30s, 40s and beyond. By this time you both have significant baggage, other long term partners that have gone before. How do you avoid being haunted by the ghosts of relationships past? For Livvy this is particularly acute, because William’s ex is her one time best friend. She soon starts to wonder if she still knew Sally best, even after their long estrangement, and finds herself compelled to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her fatal car crash.

Kari & Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Eleanor: I’ve just completed my new novel, another psychological thriller, this time about how we’re affected by the father/daughter relationship.

I have a parallel career as a TV drama executive, and I’m waiting to hear if a legal pilot I made for Sky last year is going to be picked up to series.

Kari & Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why? 

Eleanor: I love Jane, the heroine of Melissa Bank’s The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing. She is so flawed and funny and utterly human. I identify with a lot of her dilemmas, and I love how Bank manages to be light and profound all at the same time. When I’m stuck, I often go back to her books.

Kari & Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why? I’d be a leopard. I love leopard print. It would save me a lot of money in J.Crew if I was simply swaddled in leopard fur! 

About the author:

Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or TwistMr Almost Right and Breakfast in
Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits include Rome, I5, SpooksBeing Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @EleanorKMoran
Eleanor Moran’s Website:

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