Author Interview: SM Thomas – The Diseased, Or Filling The Paige

March 27, 2023

By BRUCE DENNILL

In SM Thomas’s The Diseased, Paige Hanson, a brilliant scientific researcher, is involved in an accident. Her husband Leo is nowhere to be found. As the police start considering Paige’s involvement in his disappearance, she turns to three women in her life to help make sense of everything, including the one person she’s spent her life running from – her murderous mother. The Disease is published by AR Hurne and available now.

 

When, and under what circumstances, did the idea for your latest book come to you?

It was back in 2018 when I was working on a different story that the character of Paige came into my head. I played around with the idea for two years until finally writing it. I can’t handle having more than one work in progress on at a time – I am in awe of writers who can – so she had to wait until I had time to bring her to life.

 

Did it initially feel like something to commit to, or was that something that took time to develop?

In 2020 I started writing, mostly because of the national lockdown and family matters that inspired me and gave me time to dedicate to Paige and her world.

 

If resources (money, time, whatever) were no object, what additional groundwork would you like to have completed?

I would love to have done more research into the scientific side of Paige’s brain – it’s something I would have found fascinating to learn about.

 

When considering influence, do you find yourself wanting to write like someone (in terms of their style, tone or use of language), or aiming for a kind of perspective or storytelling approach you admire or enjoy?

I love William Goldman. I can’t say I write like him, but his way of telling stories inspired me to take the craft seriously and finish my first novel, The Light.

 

What’s in your to-read pile – and what upcoming book (other than yours!) are you most looking forward to?

I am desperate to find the time to read some She-Hulk or Birds of Prey, but other than that I’m keeping my eye out for the next romance or thriller book to catch my eye!

 

Do you have a favourite character that you have created? Or if you’re writing non-fiction, do you have a specific topic that you find endlessly fascinating?

Oscar from The Light. She’s my favourite character in that two-part series and it was a lot of fun to write. In terms of The Diseased, my favourite character is Paige. But the one most interesting to write about was her mother-in-law Regina. It was enjoyable to write such a flawed but perfect character. In terms of topics I find endlessly fascinating, that would simply be human nature – why people behave the way that they do, what they are capable of and how they react in different situations. We really are fascinating creatures!

 

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