CRIMINALLY GOOD: Interview with author Steph Broadribb

steph-broadribbSo, who are you & what have you written?

Okay, so I’m Steph Broadribb also known as Crime Thriller Girl. I’m an alumni of the MA Creative Writing at City University London and trained as a bounty hunter in California.

My debut novel Deep Down Dead is out now and is the first in the Lori Anderson action thriller series. Here’s the blurb:

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come keeping her career as a Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills rack up, she has no choice but to take a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things go wrong. The fugitive she’s chasing is JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her all she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

You can find out more about me at my blog, HERE , plus you can LIKE my FB page and follow me on Twitter as @CrimeThrillGirl.

Why do you write crime fiction?

I’ve always loved crime fiction ever since I first picked up a Sherlock Holmes novel when I was about eight years old. (It was The Hound of the Baskervilles – it scared me witless and I loved it!). Since then I’ve read all kinds of crime fiction – detective, action thrillers, historical, psychologicals and I have an especially soft spot for the books of the late Michael Crichton who wrote such a huge number of diverse thrillers during his career – from Jurassic Park, to A State of Fear, and Disclosure.

My first love is action thrillers though, and my heroes of the sub-genre are John D MacDonald [fav book = The Deep Blue Goodbye], Lee Child [fav book = Never Go Back], Zoe Sharp [fav book = Fifth Victim], Jeff Abbott [fav book = Run], and Mason Cross [fav book = A Time To Kill] – if you haven’t read them yet, really you should!

DEED DOWN DEAD BF AW.inddWhen I started as a student on the MA Crime Fiction at City University London and we got this massive reading list to work through before the course – seriously, about 100 novels – I decided to start a blog and write about my thoughts on them. That blog became Crime Thriller Girl and I’ve been lucky enough to read and review a huge number of brilliant books and met lots of fantastic crime writers.

Wanting to write crime fiction seemed like a natural progression from reading and loving the genre. In reality it took time, a lot of learning and a lot of practice!

What informs your crime writing?

I love ‘what ifs’ and I love putting my characters into difficult situations and seeing if I can get them out of them. I love puzzles, and I think that’s some of the attraction of crime fiction – there’s always a puzzle or mystery to solve.

I also, rather twistedly, like to take beautiful or fun, happy locations and make bad things happen. In Deep Down Dead some of the key scenes take place in a (fictional) theme park – I like scratching off the glitter and seeing what darkness might lie beneath.

When I started writing Deep Down Dead I also wanted to create a female protagonist who was independent and solved her own problems. Lori Anderson is a female bounty hunter – she’s a woman in a predominantly male world, and a single mom too. As part of my research for the book I went to California and trained as a bounty hunter. I also spent time with female bounty hunters and learnt about what it’s really like being a woman in that line of work. I’ve tried to use what I learnt in the book to make Lori as authentic as possible.

What’s your usual writing routine?

Well, I have a day job so I have to fit writing around that. Generally, I find I’m more creative if I write early in the morning before work, so I tend to get up around 5.30/6am, grab a coffee and get cracking. I write until about 7.30/8am, then rush to get ready for work and head to the office. I tend to write blog posts and reviews in the evening for the blog, but if I’m still fresh enough afterwards I’ll sometimes do a bit of editing in the evening.

Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?

I’m a huge fan of The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. It’s terrifying and devastatingly heart-wrenching all at the same time. From the moment I started reading it I couldn’t put it down, and it left me in floods of tears at the end (and I rarely cry from books!). It’s narratively very clever, and has utterly compelling characters. I am in awe of the writing, and some of the passages from it still stick with me even though I read it over two years ago. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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1 Comments

  1. David Liscio

    Wonderful interview. It’s very realistic because so many of us crime fiction writers have day jobs just like Crime Thriller Girl. We try to find time to write. The author here gets her time in during breakfast, or certainly before the workday begins. Her comments about writing were also interesting, especially the admission that she likes to take a happy scene and twist it into something nightmarish. Ha!

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