In Cold Crash, when Archaeologist Max Falkland, the Anglo-American daughter of a British peer, meets American John Knox in London in April 1952, her already troubled life takes on mystery. As the Cold War thriller progresses, Max finds herself in increasing danger, but three weeks after the events of Cold Crash, the point at which The Running Lie begins, Max has found an archaeological dig in London and John Knox has entered her life. But even now, can he be trusted? Max encounters both skulls and sexism on the dig site at the bombed out shell of St. Bride’s Church in London. A family request sends her to the Berlin International Film Festival, away from the dig and her growing relationship with John Knox. But after she sees John in Berlin with another woman, Max forces him to confess he is an American spy. When his current case collides with her family life, Max has to find a way to navigate layers of lies. As fireworks explode for the Fourth of July party, Max must make a dangerous choice if she wants to save both John and her family. The Running Lie is a page-turning Cold War spy thriller that reboots old school cloak and dagger Max Falkland is the James Bond of the 21st Century.
Which character would you like to be in this book?
John’s background is quite like mine (or at least my grandfather’s, more specifically), and I would love to be Max for her adventurous nature, but I think in actual fact I’m far more like Emma than anyone else. I’m really good at taking care of people!
Do you always take a book/erader wherever you go?
My kindle died a while back, so I just keep using the app on my phone. I do like that because I do have it with me all the time! I always have a very heavily laden bag (at least in normal times), so I usually leave print books to read at home.
I’m currently reading the longlist for the Comedy Women in Print prize. I’m a judge for the unpublished strand, so all of the books are electronic files. It’s the perfect cheerful reading list for a pandemic!
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
There are a lot of Jennifers in my generation – there was a baby name book that came out a few years after I was born called Beyond Jason and Jennifer. Given that there are so many of us, I think it would be excellent to have a really good baddie named Jennifer.
Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?
I started this series as a standalone novel with Cold Crash, but I very quickly started writing beyond the events of the first novel, even while I was still working on the first one. I recently found a file with a section for novel 3 that I started 4 years ago! I find it hard to let go of characters, so I think I’m likely to write another series after this one. I love finding a good series to read too.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Anywhere! I try to snatch reading time when I can, but I’m reliably reading in bed at night.
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
You can find me one of two places – either talking about writing and reading with my amazing colleagues and students in Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University, or playing with my seven year old daughter.
Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Not very often! I used to have to run past the Falmouth Bookseller every week on my way to collect my daughter from one of her afterschool activities, and it was always painful!
What are you most proud of?
I have a lot of things I’m proud of – I love my books, and it’s been my dream since childhood to be a published author. I’m incredibly proud of my daughter, and it is one of the great joys of my life to watch her grow. 2018 was a difficult year for me, and with the help of amazing friends, I came through it and have reached a real sense of happiness.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
The first time for me is all about the cover. I’ve seen images of it, but to see the colours and feel its smoothness is such a thrill. I knew this book was about 20,000 words longer than my first, but it was exciting to see the difference in thickness. Adam Craig is the designer at Cinnamon Press, and I absolutely adore the covers he does. I really like how the female face is a recurring theme. The details he picks out from the plot for the cover really fascinate me!
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The main advice is to keep going! My first novel came out after I turned 40, but I never gave up. Here’s a second piece of advice I always give my students: I want you to be happy and successful, with a nice place to live, plenty of food and money and people who love you. I want your characters to have none of those things, because happy characters are boring characters.
Thank you, Jennifer Young and damppebbles Blog Tours
Jennifer Young will be holding an online launch party at 6pm (BST) on 13th of May on Zoom.
About the author
Jennifer Young was born in a small textile town in North Carolina, USA, and moved to the UK in 2001. She has since completed a PhD, become the daughter-in-law of a Catholic priest, and gained British citizenship. Her degrees are from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Cardiff University and the University of Southampton. She is the Head of Writing and Journalism at the University of Falmouth. Jennifer lives in Cornwall with her daughter. Her novel Cold Crash won the Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Prize.
The Telegraph Bookshop: https://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/Jennifer-Young/Running-Lie-The/24376117