Meet Charlotte Duckworth and her second novel Unfollow Me

Unfollow Me, Charlotte Duckworth's second psychological thriller, is hot off the press! We're delighted she took the time to answer our questions about writing, social media and how she became an author. The ebook of Unfollow Me is available from Amazon and the paperback from all good bookshops or online from Thriller Women's list on, which is an affiliate link. 

TW: Congratulations on publishing Unfollow Me. What's it about?

CD: Thank you so much for having me! It’s about a mummy vlogger called Violet Young, who’s hugely popular and makes a living sharing videos of her life with her three children on social media and YouTube. Then one day, she deletes all her accounts with no warning.

It’s told from the perspective of two of her most avid followers, Lily and Yvonne, who take it upon themselves to investigate what’s happened to her, with shocking consequences…

TW: Where did you get the idea from?

CD: The idea came from my own fascination with vloggers, who share so much of their personal life with strangers. It’s a risky and fascinating way to make a living. But I was most interested in the ‘fans’ or ‘followers’ of these vloggers, who become so heavily invested in these online celebrities, following their every move. I wanted to explore how they might react if their idol suddenly disappeared.

TW: The novel delves into the darker side of social media. What's your attitude to social media and do you think it's a benefit or a curse?

CD: I feel very ambivalent about social media! Like most things I guess, it has its pros and cons. I used to really love being on Twitter in the early days, when it was just X Factor chat, and I don’t particularly enjoy how political and, in many cases, nasty, it’s all become.

However, it has massively helped my career in innumerable ways. And as a writer who spends so much time alone, it’s been a life-saver to have that chat and human connection. So yes, I’m extremely conflicted about it if I’m honest! 

TW: How much do you share about yourself on social media and where do you draw the line?

CD: I used to be a massive oversharer, but since getting my book deal I have tried to be a bit more circumspect with what I share. I talk about my daughter (she’s 5) a bit, because she’s a massive part of my life, but unlike Violet in my novel, I try not to share too many pictures of her, or anything too personal.

I think the place I really draw the line though is perhaps a bit unusual: I try not to be negative or critical or get into spats with people. There are days (especially recently) when everything feels hopeless and all I want to do is moan and whinge (or argue!), but I try not to put that energy out there. Everyone has their challenges in life, I don’t want to compete with others online as to who is having a harder time of it and I do believe you can always find something to be positive about.

I worry it makes me a bit Pollyanna, but I check myself before every post: is this going to bring people down, or make them smile? And if it’s just a self-indulgent whinge, then really only my other half needs to hear it!

TW: Unfollow Me is your second book. What was your journey to becoming a writer and how have you managed to sustain a career?

CD: I have always written and always wanted to be a novelist, ever since I was a tiny bookaholic. However, at university (I studied Classics), the careers advisor told me to go into journalism instead, as it’s a (slightly!) less risky career. So I trained as a magazine journalist after leaving uni and specialised in interiors magazines. I loved my time as a journalist – lots of my colleagues were frustrated novelists too, so I was among likeminded people.

I wrote alongside my day job, off and on, throughout my 20s, and managed to get an agent quite quickly. But then it took four novels to get an actual publishing deal. It was a long apprenticeship!

As for sustaining a career – it is a juggle for sure but I take my writing seriously, even more so now I have a publishing deal, and I prioritise it. It is a career, not a hobby, so I treat it as such!

TW: What is it you love about reading and writing psychological thrillers?

CD: I love the element of mystery, and trying to figure out a puzzle. This is definitely the biggest draw for me – I’m addicted to twists and turns and trying to work out where the story might go. But I also love writers who really delve into the dark side of people’s personalities, and dissect it on the page.

TW: If you had to change genres what do you think you'd write about?

CD: I have thought about this loads! I would love to write something more literary – perhaps a really detailed examination of a female friendship over a long period of time. I find I’m really drawn to writing about women and I’m fascinated by the dynamics between women.

TW: As well as being an novelist you run a successful website building business for authors. Why do you think it's so important for authors to have their own websites?

CD: Ooh, let me dust off my soap box! There are many reasons and I can wax lyrical about this at length, but the main reasons are: 
  • it shows you takes your work seriously
  • it’s the only place online you have complete control over your profile
  • it’s a place to house all your books under one roof so readers can find out easily what else you have written
  • it’s the easiest way to start building an author mailing list
  • and it provides the ideal place to list all your professional contact details so that important people can get in touch with the right people easily!
Also, with so much activity moving online thanks to our friend Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to have an up-to-date web presence.

TW: Can you tell us what book 3 will be about?

CD: Book 3 – The Perfect Father – is out in ebook in December and is about a stay-at-home dad, who’s not as perfect as he seems… 

Book 4 is a work in progress, but it’s set at a prenatal yoga retreat. 

Quick fire questions:

TW: Twitter or Instagram?
CD; Twitter

TW: Wine or beer?
CD: Gin!

TW: Quick thrills or the long game
CD: Long game

Thanks Charlotte!

More about Unfollow Me

You let them into your perfect family…
Now you can’t keep them out

You can’t stop watching her.

Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-influencer, with three young children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold.

Until the day she’s no longer there.
But one day she disappears from the online world - her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to Violet?

But do you really know who Violet is?
Her fans are obsessed with finding out the truth, but their search quickly reveals a web of lies, betrayal, and shocking consequences...

Keep in touch with Charlotte


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