Nell Pattison – Q&A

Nell Pattison’s novel, Hide was published by Avon on 9 December 2021.

Nell kindly answered a few of my questions.

1. Tell us a little about Hide.

It’s a psychological thriller set on a nature reserve and it all takes place over one night. A group of nature enthusiasts go for a walk on Boxing Day in order to see a Starling murmuration, but then a gunshot rings out at dusk…

2. What inspired the book?

This one came from a real place, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve called Potteric Carr. My husband and I love walking there, and it seemed like a perfect setting for a novel, then the plot gradually came into being the longer I thought about it. The reserve in Hide is loosely based on the same footprint, though I’ve made it bigger and added some obstacles, because it’s no fun if you make it easy for your characters.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?

I’m a thorough planner! I outline every chapter before I write anything, and I need to know where the novel is going before I start. This one has seven different points of view, so I had chapter outlines on different coloured sticky notes all over my desk before they were transferred into Scrivener.

4. Is there anything about the process of publishing a book that still surprises you?

The time it can take to get a book into print, I think. I work to a pretty tight timescale, so I finished writing this book at the start of 2021, the same year it’s being published, whereas for some authors they might have two years between a completed draft and publication date. I don’t think I’d remember my own plots for that long!

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

Reading is the obvious one for all writers, I think! I’m trying to keep up with some of the current crime releases, though I’ll never manage to read everything on my list. I also love to spend time outside with my little boy, and I’m a huge stationery obsessive so you’ll rarely see me without a notebook or planner in my hands.

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

This is a really difficult one, because I’m sure I’d get bored pretty quickly! Agatha Christie books are my go-to comfort reads, ones I can read over and over again, so probably one of those. I might cheat and say something like the combined Hercule Poirot short stories, just to bulk up the size a bit!

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?

What’s your most pointless skill? I can say my alphabet backwards as fast as I can forwards.

About the Book

Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…

It’s Boxing Day and your friendship group has planned a hike.

You know tensions are running high. You’ve heard the rumours flying around.

But this trip is a chance for you to reconnect.

As you head into the reserve, everyone is quiet. It almost feels like you’ve imagined the rift.

But as the sun sets, you hear a gun shot.

One of your group is dead.

And someone you know killed them…


Nell’s next novel, Friends Don’t Lie, is published on 29 September 2022.

My name is Isabella Butterworth. Your name is Isabella Butterworth.

We’re around the same age. We live in the same town.

But your life is more exciting than mine, isn’t it? Richer, dramatic, more fulfilling.

Imagine if I’d never found out about you…

But I have. Because someone mistook me for you.

And now I can’t stop thinking about you because I know you’re in trouble. You need my help.

And I need a way to get to know you.

To save you.

To be you…

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