Janice Hallett, author of 'The Appeal' - Sunday Times Bestseller discusses unique story structure, figuring out the murderer, and the moment of success

Janice Hallett career started as a magazine editor, journalist and speech writer. Her first feature film, Retreat, starred Cillian Murphy, Thandiwe Newton and Jamie Bell. She's written speeches for the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and many others. Her frustration at getting screenplays adapted for TV and film prompted her to start writing novels. What a decision.

Her debut, 'The Appeal', has achieved phenomenal success. It's been shared widely online by book communities, sold lots of copies and was one of Sunday Times Crime Novels of 2021.

It's a murder-mystery set in a tight-knit village community staging an amateur dramatic production, and is all told through emails and messages. We discuss why she set a book in this novel way, and how her career as a screenwriter helped with that.

We talk about the moment she knew her book might be taking off, also why she works seven days a week, and how much she reverse-engineers a murder mystery. You can hear how she figured out who the killer was, how her characters mirror different parts of her personality, and about her newest novel, 'The Twyford Code'.

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