1) So, who are you & what have you written?
My name is Rebecca Bradley and I’m a retired police detective. After 16 years’ service, 8 years in uniform and 8 in a specialist unit, I was medically retired, last year. This experience has given me a good grounding for the police procedural novels I write, with protagonist DI Hannah Robbins which are set in the city of Nottingham. I wrote the first book, Shallow Waters while I was still a serving police officer, but didn’t release it until I was in the retirement process. Check out my website HERE and you can follow me on Twitter as @RebeccaJBradley.
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
Crime is a genre I have always read and is obviously something I have always been drawn to. So, when it came to sitting down and writing, the natural choice was crime. In fact, the only ideas in my head were crime stories.
3) What informs your crime writing?
I’m lucky to be able to draw on 16 years’ service when I write, though having not actively worked for nearly 3 years now, I do have to be careful to check with ex-colleagues that procedures themselves haven’t changed within that time frame!
It’s not just the procedures that I’m able to draw on though. Being there with victims, witnesses and offenders as we entered their lives gave me emotional experience, because when police enter a person’s life, it’s usually unexpected and means events have been taken out of their hands. Everyone reacts differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all response to bad news. I will clarify that I have not taken any real event or person and placed them into my books, but recognise the emotional impact that crime plays on lives.
I think with crime you have huge scope for exploring a vast array of human emotions and ensuing actions. At the heart of any story is the character and there is nothing quite like crime to touch a character.
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
This is always a difficult question for me. Because of poor health I don’t have a routine as such as I have to listen to my body, but I have a routine in that I will write every day. What time of day that is completely depends on how I’m feeling, it can be early, the middle of the day or I can leave it until the end of the day when it’s starting to look as though nothing is actually going to get done. But it does. I do write every day. Routine is making sure I progress my work in some way.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, because it was beautiful, haunting and it had me in floods of tears – which is something I love to do with a good book – and I’d love to write a book completely out my comfort zone like that.