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S. J. Watson is a bestselling English author that is best known for ‘Before I Go To Sleep’, a thriller that has been published in dozens of countries around the world.
Order of S.J. Watson Standalone Novels
|1||Before I Go to Sleep||2011||Description / Buy|
|2||Second Life||2015||Description / Buy|
|3||Final Cut||2020||Description / Buy|
Watson was born in 1971 in Stourbridge. He attended the University of Birmingham where he studied physics. After plying his trade at several hospitals, he signed up for Faber Academy’s writing course.
His first novel was such a big hit that it became a movie a few years after. It garnered so much attention that Watson was profiled by publications like ‘The Sunday Times’ and ‘The Wall Street Journal’.
Writing was Watson’s passion long before he joined Faber Academy. As an audiologist who worked with hearing-impaired children, the author’s career was fulfilling. But it wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life.
He couldn’t find the time to write. While working at St Thomas’ Hospital, the author noticed that the more successful he became at his job, the more responsibility he was saddled with, the less time he had to focus on his fiction.
Watson also found that rarely saw his patients because he was too busy holding meetings to discuss budgets. He was almost 40 when he decided that something had to change. He did not want to look back on his life in the future only to regret the fact that he hadn’t even attempted to write fiction seriously.
Watson had always taken the safest route through life. His friends and family would never describe him as a risk-taker. He always made sensible decisions, which is why he surprised himself this time around by choosing to throw his career away.
Watson applied for a demotion. It was the only way to carve out some free time in his schedule to pursue his publishing dreams. During that same week, he came across Faber Academy’s ad for their creative writing course.
Watson is certain that he would have written ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ even if he hadn’t joined Faber Academy’s class. It would have taken longer but he would have done it all the same.
That being said, the creative writing class made a significant difference. It helped Watson focus. It also showed him the importance of hard work. He made new friends who supported his literary endeavors.
Clare Conville, Watson’s agent, came into his life on the final night of the course. She was the one who told him that his book was a thriller.
The idea for the novel was inspired by Henry Gustav Molaison’s story. He died in 2008. It was through his obituary that Watson learned that the man couldn’t form new memories. The author refused to research Henry’s life because he wanted to write an entirely fictional tale.
He eventually decided to make the protagonist female because, when he first discovered Henry’s story, Watson envisioned a woman who looked at her reflection in a mirror with the expectation of seeing a young girl. But the reflection showed a middle-aged woman.
S. J. Watson Awards
Watson’s accolades include the Galaxy National Book Award and Crime Writer’s Association Award.
S. J. Watson Books Into Movies
‘Before I Go To Sleep’ became a live-action psychological thriller of the same name starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. It came out in 2014.
Best S. J. Watson Books
Watson’s reading interests are quite broad. He likes everything from Lord of the Rings to Margaret Artwood. He dislikes literary snobs. Some of Watson’s best books include:
Before I Go To Sleep: Christine’s morning made no sense. She woke up to find a stranger in her bed. Then she looked in the mirror and found that she did not recognize the woman that looked back at her. The stranger, Ben, explained that he was her husband. He did this every day, reminding Christine of the accident that destroyed her ability to form new memories.
Second Life: Julia had an amazing life that included a husband she loved and an adopted son she adored. But then Kate, her sister, changed everything. Someone had murdered her.
The crime was bizarre because it seemed so random. The police couldn’t find answers. So Julia started digging, finally discovering a connection between Kate’s death and her sexual activities.
When Does The Next S.J. Watson book come out?
S.J. Watson doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Final Cut and was released on August, 25th 2020.