Polly Phillips is the author of My Best Friend’s Murder which was published by Simon and Schuster in ebook format on 22 January 2021. It was published in paperback on 8 July 2021.
Polly kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about My Best Friend’s Murder.
My Best Friend’s Murder is a psychological thriller about two women, who’ve been best friends since childhood. It opens with one of them, Izzy, lying at the bottom of the stairs, with her BFF Bec watching her die. Pretty brutal! The novel then goes back three months, taking the reader on the journey of their toxic friendship and challenging them to work out if Bec killed Izzy – and why. And if she didn’t, then who did?
2. What inspired the book?
Is it a bit scary if I tell you it was a real-life friendship that inspired the book!? There was no murder involved but I was involved in quite a toxic friendship in my teens and early 20s and it made me really want to write about the competitive, destructive way women can be with each other and how much power we give those closest to us to hurt us.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
I definitely plan – I’m not brave enough not to!! That said, often a fair few things in my books surprise me as I go. I was surprised by some of Bec’s behaviour in My Best Friend’s Murder and in my next book, something major happened to one of the main characters about half way through that I never saw coming!
4. Is there anything about the process of publishing a book that surprised you?
How lovely other writers are! It’s been so amazing to interact with writers whose books I’ve read and re-read and see how generous they are with their responses. I’ve made some lovely friends on my publication journey, which has been a huge bonus. On a slightly less Pollyanna sunshine note, I’ve also been surprised by how long everything takes!!
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I absolutely love running and I recent joined a running group, which has taken it to the next level. Embarrassingly, there is a race scene in My Best Friend’s Murder that I obviously wrote long before I joined the group and they’ve all been taking the mickey out of me for how quickly Bec trains up for it!
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
What a brilliant question! There are so many amazing books out there that it’s incredibly hard to answer but I think I might go with The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons – can I have a trilogy if they’re all in one volume?! It’s set in WW2 in the siege of Leningrad and it’s so vivid that I learn something new each time I read it. It also covers the most epic love story between Tatiana and Alexander that has me in tears by the end. They just don’t make them like that anymore!
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
Another fabulous question! I suppose I wish I was asked about the inspiration for the male characters in the book. I get asked quite often if I’m Bec or Izzy but nobody asks about Rich or Ed. In truth, with his easy charm and privileged lifestyle, Rich is an amalgamation of all the rugby playing boys from the local boys’ school next to the girls’ school I went to. And Ed is a pure figment of my imagination, which will be a great relief to my husband, who claims that all of the my slightly dubious characters are based on him!
About the Book
There are so many ways to kill a friendship . . .
You’re lying, sprawled at the bottom of the stairs, legs bent, arms wide.
And while this could be a tragic accident, if anyone’s got a motive to hurt you, it’s me.
Bec and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. They have been through a lot together – from the death of Bec’s mother to the birth of Izzy’s daughter. But there is a darker side to their friendship. And Bec is about to reach breaking point.
Then Izzy’s body is found at the bottom of the stairs. It could have been an accident – perhaps she fell – but if the police decide to look for a killer, Bec is certain she will be the prime suspect. Because she knows better than anyone that those closest to you can hurt you the most. And that someone can only be pushed so far before they snap . . .
About the Author
Polly Phillips currently lives in Australia, although she is originally from the UK. My Best Friend’s Murder won the Montegrappa Writing Prize at the Emirates Literature Festival in 2019. Polly has worked as a journalist in Australia, Dubai, Denmark and the UK. This is her debut novel.