Big thanks to my lovely, writerly buddy, Susi Holliday (aka @SJIHolliday), for inviting me to join this blog tour. Susi is the Queen of suspenseful short stories and her debut psychological thriller novel, BLACK WOOD, will shortly be out for submission. I wish her all the best with this. I certainly can’t wait to read it!
It was great fun to sit back and think about my writing habits – or rather lack of them! Here are my answers:
What am I working on?
A new crime thriller set in the very picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon and thoroughly enjoying all the fields visits I ‘have to do’ for research!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My fascination lies with people, and how they react when you take them out of the realms of normality. Most of us live in a bubble, our lives relatively untouched by law enforcement. What happens if we are forced into such a situation? How would we react? When I start a new project I usually consider the opening – putting somebody normal, somebody like you or I, in an extraordinary situation. As the mystery unravels and we begin the police chase to solve case and track down the killer, we also explore the perspective from a victim’s point of view.
I’ve always been a great people watcher and can while away hours sitting in a café watching the world go by and creating real characters, so that we feel their journey. My mother always said I was nosey!
Why do I write what I do?
I was raised on Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and P D James and have always been a great lover of murder mysteries and psychological thrillers, so I set out to write a page turning, rollercoaster ride of a book with characters that feel real, and twists and turns aplenty. Basically, a book that I would like to read myself. I figured if I enjoyed the story, then perhaps others would too.
How does my writing process work?
I usually start with an idea for an opening. For An Unfamiliar Murder, it was the concept of a normal person coming home from work to find the body of a stranger in her flat. A broad outline then follows where I consider what themes and areas I want to cover, what characters will be involved and an idea of what research is required.
I’m not a methodical person and I don’t subscribe to daily word counts. I write in scenes and record whatever is in my head at the time which occasionally means jumping ahead to different parts of the novel and slotting them back in later. I’m about three quarters of the way through writing my current book and have already drafted the denouement chapter.
Thanks for reading about my writing process. I nominate the following writers’ to share their own approaches with us next week:
Linda Huber lives in north-east Switzerland where she writes suspense novels, currently in extremely cramped conditions in a temporary flat, and teaches English in a medieval castle on the banks of Lake Constance. Her inspiration comes from watching people and thinking ‘What if…’
Her books are set in the UK, where she grew up, and she enjoys ‘revisiting’ the locations while sitting at her desk.
Nicky Peacock works in advertising by day, and by night is a writer of stories in a wide range of genres including YA, paranormal romance and horror. Her work has been published in 5 countries and her short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers. In her marginal time Nicky runs a local writers’ group called Creative Minds.
M E Franco is an urban fantasy author of the widely acclaimed Dion series. The first book in the series, Where Will You Run?, was a 2013 eFestival of Words Awards nominee for The Harvey Award for Books We Most Want to See Made into a Movie, and the third, Where Will You Turn?, was released in December 2013.
Franco lives in California, US with her husband and children and a plethora of hairy friends. She has also written psychological suspense and historical romance.