1) So, who are you & what have you written?
(LVH: You can also see my thoughts on Ava’s Untouchable, which made my ‘Best of 3’ Enigmatic Female Leads).
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
I guess, like most people, I love the pull of a mystery – the unanswered questions, the need to know what will happen next. Those are the kind of stories I like reading and watching, and so those are the kind of stories I like writing.
I’m also very squeamish, so I don’t go in for loving portrayals of violence, decomposing bodies and so on. I’m more interested in ‘why’ than ‘how’.
3) What informs your crime writing?
I guess I’m most attracted to the psychology of crime – what happens in the mind of victims, even more so than the perpetrators. How would I feel if I were in this or that situation? What would I do? What can we, as writers and readers, learn from this? What does it tell us about human nature?
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
I don’t really have one. I tend to write when the agony of not writing builds to a point where it breaks through my natural resistance. I particularly hate initial drafts – once we’re on to the polishing and tweaking stage, I’m hooked, but up to that point I find it a slog.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
Most recently, Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant. I listened to this in one great, glorious gulp while I was in France recently. Beautiful writing, and my favourite kind of narrator, a narcissistic and self-deceiving man – testament to Durrant’s prose that she can make him so odious, and yet leave us sympathising with his predicament. Alys Always by Harriet Lane was another novel that worked in a similar way.
Last year I had all the envy for Tuesday Falling by S Williams – a brilliant novel, both in terms of character, structure and beautiful prose.