1. So, who are you and what have you written?
My name is Valerie Dickenson, I’m a registered nurse working in a nursing home outside Bath, UK. I’ve written and self-published seven novels in total – two different series, with three novels in each and a stand-alone novel.
Because one of my series features a nurse who is also a serial killer I use a pen name, Valerie Keogh. I’d hate for people to get the wrong idea!
My first series is set in Ireland: That One May Smile; Close Ranks and Murder on Clare Island. The other series is set in the UK: Deadly Sleep; The Devil has Power and Such Bitter Business. My stand alone psychological thriller is Exit Five from Charing Cross and it’s set in London.
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2. Why do you write crime fiction?
My mother had every Agatha Christie novel, so they were the first adult books I read. When I started to write, I thought I would write romances but it just didn’t work for me. I like the puzzle of a crime novel, love trying to come up with challenges for the reader.
3. What informs your crime writing?
I think that early start with Agatha Christie probably did.
4. What is your usual writing routine?
I work 3 long days a week so have 4 off. For my latest novel, Murder on Clare Island, I set myself a target to write at least 2k words a day when not working and managed to get that novel published in 4 months. I’ve recently started the next and am trying to get back into the same routine. Sometimes it’s not easy.
5. What crime novel do you wish you’d written and why?
Any of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. I love his writing, it flows so well and can be almost poetic at times. I also like the element of supernatural in it. My Nicola Connolly character – her surname is in homage to him.