The Writer's Pet: Philippa East and Little White Lies

Philippa East on her cat, Mimi, and her thrilling debut, Little White Lies. 

The Writer's Pet: Philippa East's cat, Mimi, relaxing on her keyboard.

No. 5 in the series The Writer's Pet by Zazie Todd, PhD.

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In Philippa East's debut, Little White Lies, the smallest lies are the most devastating. Suzy K. Quinn says of the book, "WOW – what a debut! Beautiful detail, atmospheric and emotional – this is a stunning book you won’t want to miss".

Philippa East told me about the book and how her cat, Mimi, both helps and hinders her writing.

The cover of Little White Lies by Philippa East. The Writer's Pet interview about East's writing and her cat

What is your pet’s name?  

I have a cat called Mimi.

Type of pet? 

She is a British short hair Torby (a mixture of tortoiseshell and tabby).

What do you love most about your pet? 

Mimi is such an affectionate cat! She loves to "smurgle" my dressing gown when I'm chilling in bed, and it's unbelievably cute.

What makes Mimi happy? 

We recently gave Mimi a little conker (horse chestnut) to play with and she loves batting it all over the house. She also loves Dreamies (cat treats), chasing butterflies, and sneaking out to clamber about on our (low) roof.

Does your pet help or hinder your writing? In what way? 

A bit of both, I'd say! She loves to come into my writing room, but mainly so that I can let her out of the window (onto the roof where she likes to sunbathe). She often accidentally knocks my notes off the desk, and always has to walk across the computer keyboard to get past. However, when she's feeling a little bit more chilled, she might curl up in the armchair in my writing room, and then it's lovely to have her company while I work.

Tell me about your book. 

Little White Lies tells the story of the White family, whose young daughter has been missing for seven long years. But Little White Lies starts where most stories end: with the miraculous news that Abigail White has been found, alive, and is now coming home. 

It should be the ultimate “happy ever after”, but from the first moments of their re-union, mother Anne finds it heartbreakingly difficult to reconnect with her now-teenage daughter. What’s more, Abigail’s return threatens to reveal what really happened on the day she disappeared. 

With the page-turning quality of a thriller, at its heart Little White Lies is a story of love, trust, and what it truly takes for a broken family to heal.

"When she's feeling a little bit more chilled, she might curl up in the armchair in my writing room, and then it's lovely to have her company while I work"

How did you get into writing in the first place? 

I began writing seriously about ten years ago, with a (rather bad) novel that will never see the light of day! After that, I wrote and published short stories for a number of years, until I left my NHS job and was able to work part time. At that point, I embarked on another novel and this became my debut Little White Lies.

Now that your debut novel is out in the world, do you have any plans for another? 

Yes! My second book - called Safe and Sound - will be released in February 2021. It's another gripping story about family and friendship, which explores how easily we can lose touch with the ones we love.

Name your local/favourite independent bookstore that has your book for sale. 

Lindum Books in Lincoln, Lincolnshire (England). Their website is here.

Philippa East, author of Little White Lies

Little White Lies is available in my Amazon store.

Philippa East is a fiction writer who lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and cat. Her debut novel Little White Lies was longlisted for the Guardian's 'Not The Booker' prize and shortlisted for the CWA 'New Blood' Award. Her second novel, Safe and Sound, will be released in February 2021. In her day job, Philippa works as a Clinical Psychologist and therapist, and her writing draws deeply on this psychology background. 

Readers can find Philippa East on Twitter: @philippa_east 

See all of the featured authors in The Writer's Pet. If you're a traditionally published author and think your book would be a good fit for this series, see the guidelines for The Writer's Pet.

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