So who are you and what have you written?
My name is Mary-Jane Riley and I live on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. I have written two crime thrillers- THE BAD THINGS and AFTER SHE FELL – both set in East Anglia and both featuring a journalist, Alex Devlin as the protagonist. So I guess it’s a series! I’m writing the third at the moment.
Why do you write crime fiction?
I love reading it. And I want to write the books I would like to read in the hope that other people will want to read them too. I love thinking up plots, playing the ‘what if’ game, thinking about twisted minds, writing about characters for whom one bad decision changes their lives forever. I like to see how characters cope when bad things happen. Or how they don’t cope. Plus villains are interesting, don’t you think?
What informs your crime writing?
Having been a journalist for many years I have written a lot of stories about killers, murderers, serial killers and you realise it does happen. It happens because they are (a) psychopaths or (b) taken the wrong decision that leads them down the path of murder or manslaughter. I have also spoken to a fair few criminals that reinforced the point they can be as normal as you or me, but something leads them off the ‘right’ path. I like to try and find out what that is.
What is your usual routine?
Routine! Oh, how I wish I could say I have one, but I don’t. Actually, that’s a lie. After years and years of getting up, having to be in front of my desk at work at a certain time, it is liberating not to have to do that any more. I sit in front of my computer or iPad when I want to and it’s a pleasure. It seems to work. Somehow.
Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
What a hard question…. Looking to the past, Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca or anything Patricia Highsmith wrote – particularly involving her delicious anti-hero Tom Ripley. What a great invention he is!
In more recent years, Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Such clever characterisation, fabulous story, great characters – particularly as her main character is not a twenty or thirty-something detective type, but an older woman wanting more out of life than she was getting… and she gets a lot more than she bargains! As for the twist … Now that is ‘one you won’t see coming’!
Latest book AFTER SHE FELL out now as ebook and paperback.
THE BAD THINGS out in ebook and paperback.