Inside the Whispers – A J Waines
Today I am pleased to be able to participate in one of the final stops on this blog tour for Inside the Whispers by A J Waines. My thanks go to Bloodhound Books for my spot on this tour.
About the Book
The most dangerous place is inside your own head…
Dr Samantha Willerby, a specialist in Post Traumatic Stress, has never seen anything like this before. Following a fire on the London Underground, three survivors seek her help - but although unmistakably traumatised, their stories don’t match the facts. Are they ‘faking it’? Sam’s confusion turns to horror when one by one, instead of recovering, they are driven to suicide.
When her lover, Conrad, begins to suffer the same terrifying flashbacks, Sam is desperate to find out what’s causing them. As a mysterious and chilling conspiracy begins to unravel the nightmares begin for Sam…
Today I am pleased to be joined by A J Waines who is sharing her thoughts on shining the Spotlight on the series lead character.
The book is described as ‘The crisp, pacey writing grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let go’ which makes me want to pick up this book and curl up and read. The above quote is from EM Powell, No 1 Bestselling Author of the Stanton and Barling Mystery series, and has certainly pipped my interest.
Now before we find out all about the lead character, a little bit of background for you.
AJ Waines has written five standalone psychological thrillers to date, but Inside the Whispers, introduces a gutsy amateur sleuth, clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby. Dr Sam is set to appear in at least two more psychological thrillers, Lost in the Lake (later this month) and Perfect Bones, (to be released in November 2018).
Now to shine that Spotlight and find out, who is Dr Sam and why will readers want to root for her? AJ takes it from here…
Who is your series lead character?
Name: Dr Samantha Willerby (Sam to her friends, Sammie to her best mate)
Job: Dr Sam is a clinical psychologist in an NHS hospital in London - a trauma specialist for victims who’ve been caught up in shocking incidents. As well as offering ‘talking therapy’, Dr Sam helps patients recover memories of their chilling experiences. Sam’s intrepid nature, her professional curiosity and drive to get to the bottom of things inevitably lead her into situations where she finds herself seriously out of her depth…
Role: Sam unwittingly becomes an ‘amateur sleuth’ as she tries to unravel the deadly mysteries she’s faced with in this series. In the first book, Inside the Whispers, survivors seek her help in the aftermath of a fire in the London Underground, but it isn’t long before Sam realises their stories don’t match the facts. Why are they lying? Sam gets caught up in a dark conspiracy that threatens far more than her career.
Why did you create Dr Samantha Willerby?
I love reading psychological thrillers and as a former psychotherapist myself, I know how fascinating and intriguing that world can be! I wanted a character who could show readers an aspect of psychology that’s usually kept behind closed doors, so they could be a fly on the wall and observe what really goes on when someone goes to see a ‘shrink’. Having a lead character with a range of unusual skills gives her a unique edge: Sam is able to read body-language, she can often tell when people are faking it, she listens intently and notices details. I didn’t want to create a traditional detective, so Sam is a different kind of ‘detective’. Writing about a psychologist opens up a huge range of plot possibilities. I love secrets, lies, hidden vices, hidden motives and moral dilemmas. It’s great having the scope to explore all these themes in my novels!
What about Sam’s personal life?
Sam isn’t married, largely because she’s been too focused on her career, but she also has a dreadful history of choosing the wrong men. She lives in a rundown flat in Clapham, always thinking about moving somewhere more upmarket, but never getting around to it. Sam’s own sister has schizophrenia and is the reason Sam trained in psychology in the first place. Miranda is two years older; she’s flighty, erratic and often irresponsible, but Sam adores her. Their history is turbulent due to misunderstandings about Miranda’s diagnosis and she’s wary of Sam, who only wants to help and support her sister, but who is often accused of interfering. Their stormy relationship is an ongoing theme in the books.
How does Dr Sam develop through the novels?
Sam Willerby is keen to learn and has always wants to be an expert, so new areas of training shift her into fresh terrain in terms of her patients. In Inside the Whispers, she focuses on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), whereas in book two, Lost in the Lake (out late October 2018), she gains new skills in memory recall. With special techniques, she helps victims to ‘step back’ into traumatic situations and relive them as though they’re actually happening. Unexpected and shocking consequences follow!
What do you like most about her?
She’s really good at her job and is always striving to help people in distress. People expect her to stay calm and professional in all situations and she can often appear detached, but inside she’s bubbling over with emotions, struggling with fraught decisions and quandaries. I feel for her, because she’s vulnerable and scared (just like anyone else), but she feels she has to hide it and be strong. She’ll put on a brave face and always go the extra mile for people.
What do you like least about her?
The truth is Sam often feels lost, lonely and desperate to find love and happiness. Because she pretends to be fine, she never asks for help, so at times she can appear arrogant or cold. Only on rare occasions does she allow her polished front to slip. She can also be naïve. In Inside the Whispers, her lover starts to suffer the same flashbacks as her patients – flashbacks to events that never actually took place. Then she, too, begins to have nightmares… It turns her world upside down.
Does she share any similarities with you?!
Yes! I think most people would think I’m pretty together and organised, but most of the time I don’t feel like that under the surface! Like Sam, I’m keen to learn and push myself and I’m very dedicated and disciplined. Sam is much tougher than me, though. She’s really good in a crisis, but I’m not sure I would be! She digs beneath the surface and ends up unearthing all kinds of horrors and I’m sure I’d have hurried away back to my bolthole long before then!
Wow that sounds like a great spotlight on the character and has me wanting to know more. Another one added to my ever growing TBR pile and hopefully in 2019 I can play catch up on some of this fabulous authors work.
About the Author
AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with . Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books).
Her fourth psychological thriller, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and has been ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
She lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. Find her books , or join her on , or on her . and visit her and
Her next thriller, Lost in the Lake, will be re-released by Bloodhound Books on 24 October 2018.
Social Media Links
Find AJ Waines books at:
Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fabulous blogs:
My thanks to A J Waines for joining me on my blog today and giving us the lovely insight into Dr Samantha Willerbyfor my spot on the blog tour.