1) So, who are you & what have you written?
I’m a physiotherapist turned English teacher turned writer. Crime fiction wasn’t where my writing career started, though. The first fifty-odd times I saw my name in print, it was attached to a romantic short story in a magazine. I don’t know why it took me so long to start experimenting with my favourite book genre, psychological suspense, but when I did, that was it. Adieu short stories… I now have seven suspense novels published, and I’m working on number eight. Check out my website for both crime and feel-good fiction. My suspense books are all here on Amazon, HERE.
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
It’s the characters. People are permanently fascinating. Why do they do what they do? What would happen if…? And we see people all around us, every day. I catch myself watching a couple on a train, wondering why the man’s expression is so gloomy while his companion is chatting away. Maybe all he wants is to get rid of her. Maybe she has some kind of hold over him. Maybe he – etc etc. In crime writing, the darker side of people’s personalities can be uppermost, the side we rarely see, in real life. And because writing crime is fun, too!
3) What informs your crime writing?
I used to be a physiotherapist, and for a while I worked with neurosurgical patients. So I had plenty of opportunity to meet people – patients and their relatives – who were in the middle of a very stressful time. Most people coped admirably, but some didn’t, which stated me thinking about people’s reactions in any bad situation. It only needs one wrong reaction to spark off a chain of horrible life-changing events, which people then react to again. For a crime writer, the possibilities are endless.
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
In the mornings I do emails and social media first, then writing. In the afternoons it’s other stuff, writing, and social media again. Evenings are flexible, and of course I have the notebook and pencil at the ready in case I wake up at 2 a.m. with a brilliant idea – or any idea. I have to fit 4-6 hours of teaching in every week, too. My one ‘rule’ is that I write at least 1,000 words a day. That’s the theory, anyway. It works some days.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
Val McDermid’s A Place of Execution. It’s a book that has everything. A horrible crime, an intense, gloomy location that is almost another character in the book, a mystery and a past that is interwoven with the present. And all with a cast of real characters, the kind of people you know or remember from your childhood. Brilliant.