Teddington author SE Lynes’ psychological thriller Valentina has been compared to mega successes Gone Girl and The Girl On the Train – not bad for a debut novel.

Lynes has just released her first book, based on the experiences of a first time mum stuck in an isolated cottage in Scotland, and it looks set to capitalize on the current hype for female lead psychological thrillers.

Her book launch was held at Richmond College, where she teaches creative writing.

She said: “People asked if I wanted a more glitzy location but it was important for me to hold it there.

"I was worried people were going to flake but it was full. It's all very, very exciting."

Lynes has been living in Richmond for 10 years but previously lived in Aberdeen where she got much of the inspiration, and the setting, for the novel.

“I used to live in Aberdeen; my partner would go offshore and when I first moved to Aberdeen I had no job and no friends,” she said.

“He was away two weeks out of every four so it was a very lonely time as I didn't know anyone.

“I took that as the point of departure looking at isolation and loneliness and how vulnerable that can make you.

“It's a case of using what you know as a backdrop so you can write with some authority.”

The book is packed with uncertainty, twists, and turns – and Lynes was determined not to give any of the plot points away.

She said: “On the deepest level it's [the novel] is about your own personal subjectivity against the world. What if the world is not as you think it is? What if you're not right?

“It's a thought that frightens me so I'm sure it frightens others.”

The book is already being compared to Gone Girl, and Lynes admits that she took a lot of inspiration from Gillian Flynn's bestseller.

She said: “It has two very story female characters; Gone Girl was a massive influence, there are loads of male baddies [In thrillers] so I really loved how Gillian Flynn really went for it.

“I wanted the reader to be ahead of the heroine, so you have the heroine's subjectivity and the reader filtering through that and knowing that something is amiss.

“It's like when you go to a pantomime, and you have the character on the stage and the baddie behind and the audience is shouting 'it's behind you!' and that's where the tension comes from.”

This was Lynes' fourth attempt to get a book published and she admitted that it was somewhat made or break.

She said: “Getting published was overwhelming, it's so hard out there. After my third book I was a bit dispirited so I guess this book was me giving it one last chance - I think if this book hadn't worked out I would have just consigned writing to a hobby.”

No matter how successful Valentina is, Lynes said she's committed to her work at Richmond College.

She said: “I would like to keep teaching no matter what, I love what the college does, it allows people to come and learn at a high level without the cost of masters or a degree.

“I teach all my students about writing, I'm sure they'll read it and go 'this is a load of rubbish' but the response so far has been really great.”

Valentina by SE Lynes is out now.

Your Local Guardian: