S. J. Watson

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S. J. Watson
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Steve "S. J." Watson (born 1971)[1] is an English writer. He debuted in 2011 with the thriller novel Before I Go to Sleep. Rights to publish the book have been sold in 42 different countries around the world[2] and it has continued to be an international bestseller.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Watson was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire (now West Midlands). He studied Physics at the University of Birmingham and then moved to London, where he worked in various hospitals and specialized as an audiologist[4] in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing-impaired children. In the evenings and weekends he wrote fiction.[5]

Writing career[edit]

In 2009 Watson was accepted for the first course Writing a Novel at the Faber Academy. The result was his debut, Before I Go to Sleep. He was introduced to literary agent Clare Conville on the last night of the course and she agreed to represent him.[6] The book was published in 2011. In the same year, the rights to adapt the film for the big screen by was purchased. The film was released in 2014.[7]

Watson's second novel, Second Life, was published in February 2015, with two further books scheduled for 2017 and 2019.[8]

S J Watson published his third novel with Transworld, Final Cut, about a documentary film-maker who starts to uncover a seaside community's "dark and extraordinary secret".[9]

Media interest[edit]

Media interest in Before I Go to Sleep was considerable and Watson himself was the subject of a profile in the Sunday Times before its UK publication,[10] and The Wall Street Journal before its US publication.[1] Watson has been profiled by Bookseller+Publisher,[11] and interviewed by Kirsty Lang on BBC Radio 4's Front Row.[12] He has also been interviewed by Simon Mayo, when Before I Go to Sleep was chosen as Mayo's bookclub book of the month.[13]


  • Watson, S. J. (2011), Before I Go to Sleep, Text Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1-921758-15-7
  • Watson, S. J. (2015), Second Life, Transworld Publishers, ISBN 978-0-857-52020-3
  • Watson, S. J. (2020), Final Cut, Transworld Publishers, ISBN 9780062382160


  1. ^ a b S. J. Watson Turns Memory Loss Into Thriller. The Wall Street Journal. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  2. ^ Karl Quinn, "Memories are made of this", The Age, 18 October 2014, Spectrum, p. 18
  3. ^ Best sellers . The New York Times, 3 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Paperback Q&A: SJ Watson on Before I Go to Sleep". The Guardian. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  5. ^ Hollywood Beckons for Stourbridge Scientist Turned Writer. Stourbridge News. 13 October 2000. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  6. ^ Author Interview - S J Watson. publisher-magazine/2011/05/09/author-interview-s-j-Watson-on-before-i-go-to-sleep-text-publishing/ Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Bookseller+Publisher, April 2011.
  7. ^ S J Watson. Random House Group Press Centre. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  8. ^ S J Watson signs two-book deal Transworld The Bookseller July 2014. Retrieved September 2014.
  9. ^ "Transworld reveals new S J Watson thriller | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  10. ^ Remember the name. Sunday Times Culture. 24 April 2011.
  11. ^ Author Interview – S J Watson. Bookseller+Publisher, April 2011.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Front Row, Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in Arthur". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  13. ^ The Radio 2 Book Club BBC Radio 2. 9 May 2011.