Meet Vikki Patis Author Of In The Dark

This week we welcome psychological suspense author Vikki Patis who, in her fifth novel In The Dark, tackles the thorny issue of a teenager sharing and inappropriate photo on social media. Discover why she wanted to tackle to subject, her advice for plotting thrillers and her favourite sweet treat!

The paperback and ebook of In The Dark are available from Amazon.

Image of the front cover of In The Dark by Vikki Patis

TW: Congratulations on the publication of In The Dark. Can you tell us a little about the story and what inspired you to write it? 

VP: The key theme is identity and how we are moulded into who we are, so at the centre of this story are the characters and the paths they find themselves on. Izzy is a vulnerable, confused teenage girl, Seb is troubled by his past and unsure about his future, Caitlyn is struggling to keep her head above water, and Liv has demons of her own to contend with. 

TW: 'Sins of the father' is a theme in the novel. Do you believe in nature or nurture? 

VP: I believe in both. I've always been interested in how your upbringing can determine your future, and how much control you have over your own path. I had a difficult childhood and I found myself on a particular path, but it took my moving across the country for university to discover who I truly am away from those influences. The way you grow up and the environment in which you live can really be a deciding factor for how you behave throughout your life, and when opportunities are not available in order to facilitate change, when you are disproportionately discriminated against within society, your options are even more limited. Jodie, for example, is a product of her environment, but she is not inherently bad, just as Seb is not inherently good. There are so many parts which make a whole.

TW: What research did you do to nail the teenage characters Seb, Izzy, Alicia and the others? 

VP: For certain aspects I spoke to my sister and her friend, who are in their early twenties but far more current than I am! But I think those feelings many of us felt as teenagers - the vulnerability, the loneliness, the anxieties - don't always go away when we hit adulthood, so we can relate to and empathise with them at any age.

TW: A key plot is the digital sharing of an inappropriate photo of a minor and its ramifications. What gave you the idea? 

In my debut, The Diary, a photo of Lauren is distributed via MSN. This was back in the mid-noughties and it reached far fewer people than it might do now, so I wanted to explore how social media has changed the way information is shared and how quickly things can get out of control.

TW: What advice would you give to writers about plotting and suspense in thrillers? 

VP: Even if you don't plan in great detail, getting the beats right is absolutely vital. I do a chapter breakdown which shows me where the book is going, and I always try to make sure I have the twists and events in the right places to keep the story moving forward. I also think the best domestic thrillers feature characters you really care about and who stay with you after you've finished reading.

TW: In The Dark is your fifth book. What's your key to longevity as an author? 

VP: Stubbornness most likely! As long as I keep getting ideas, I'll keep running with them. I just can't imagine not writing. I'm also fortunate that I have people who support me as an author and continue to give me opportunities.

TW: What are the best and worst aspects of being an author and if you weren't an author what would you be? 

VP: Personally I'm not a big fan of publication day! It's when I suddenly feel all of the pressure and expectations weighing quite heavily on my shoulders and it gets a bit much. If I wasn't an author, I'd probably focus on my day job as a regulatory and compliance manager within the medical device industry, though I quite like the idea of being a dog trainer!

TW: What's next in your career? Any scoops? 

VP: I can't say too much yet, but I am moving into a new genre under a different name. All will be revealed soon! I will continue to write psychological suspense too.

Quick fire questions:

TW: What are you reading now? 

VP: I just finished The Metal Heart by Caroline Lea. An exceptional book.

TW: Favourite end of writing day treat? 

VP: M&S gluten free Victoria sponge cake - delicious, and you can't tell it's gluten free!

TW: Your dream thing to happen in your career? 

VP: I have so many goals, but the dream would be to see one of my novels turned into a film or TV show.

TW: Ebooks or physical books? 

VP: Ebooks for the enlarged print so I can read in bed without my glasses on!

Thanks Vikki!

Photo of author Vikki Patis

More about In The Dark

Is a situation ever black and white?

Liv knows what kind of boy her grandson is. She knows Seb would never do anything to hurt his girlfriend, Izzy. But could the shadow cast by his father be influencing the boy she loves?

Caitlyn, Izzy's mother, is desperate to reach her daughter, but she only seems to push her further away. Can she help her daughter or are Caitlyn's own demons standing in the way?

When an inappropriate photo of Izzy is shared online, no one is prepared for the ripples that threaten to tear their lives apart. Will the truth come out before it's too late? Or is the damage already done?


We have lots of interviews with great writers coming soon on the blog making a it a perfect place to get for spring/summer reading ideas. So you don't miss any of them subscribe to receive a weekly update by clicking on the button at the top of the page and adding your email address.


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