Philippa East – Crime writer on keeping the doubt demon away

Philippa East’s debut, ‘Little White Lies’, was nominated for a CWA New Blood Dagger Award in 2020, one of the highest prizes in crime fiction.

She works as a clinical psychologist, using inspiration from her work to write thrillers. Her new one, ‘Safe and Sound’, was inspired by a documentary she saw. It tells the story of Sarah Jones – pretty, charismatic, and full of life, who is found dead in her home. The strange thing is… she’s been lying there for 10 months.

We talk about what she did after having the first idea, how did she turn a true story from a documentary into her own novel, also how the names in the novel really matter, and how she finally knew the novel was done.

Philippa is big into learning the craft. She vociferously reads writing books, talks to other authors and listens to this show. We chat about how consciously she makes the improvements that she learns about along the way.

You can support the show at

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