It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dave Sivers to the blog today as he publishes his third novel, Evil Unseen. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series and am looking forward to getting stuck into this one. Over to you, Dave.
Tell us about the new book
It’s the latest in a crime series set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale and featuring detectives Lizzie Archer and Dan Baines. It picks up a year or so on from the previous book, Dead in Deep Water, and sees changes in the personal lives of the two protagonists, as well as the relationship between them. In many ways, this book presents them with their biggest case together, with elements extending far beyond Aylesbury Vale.
This marks the third Archer and Baines novel in the series. Are there plans for a fourth?
Yes – I have plans for some more Archer and Baines books and have already made a start on Book Four, which I’m tremendously excited about. The glue that holds the series together is the two protagonists’ back stories, the impact the past has on their responses to situations, and the way their characters develop over time; so there’s a story arc I’m still exploring and taking forward.
Are there any elements of any of the characters, Archer and Baines, influenced by any real people you know/have met?
Not intentionally. I guess there must be a bit of me in each of them, but I haven’t set out to model any aspects of them on anybody. When the ideas for the characters first came to me, I started with a defining moment in each of their pasts. Dan Baines’s wife was murdered and his son abducted by a serial killer who was never caught; Lizzie Archer was a confident police officer with a high-flying career ahead of her who was facially disfigured in a split-second incident. Those defining moments have a huge affect on the characters and influence how they respond to the cases I plonk in front of them. I do know people who have had life-changing experiences, but I don’t think I draw on them in any way.
If you sold the TV rights to the books, who would be your ideal cast for the duo?
Oh, crikey! That really puts me on the spot. It’s a game I suspect all writers secretly play sometimes, but I’ve never come to any conclusions. I didn’t have any ‘real’ people in my mind’s eye when I sat down to write the books. I do know, whenever I’ve seen a TV adaptation of a book, the actors are seldom much like the characters in my head, and often a disappointment. I don’t want to have my own readers’ images being spoiled by me telling them which actors the characters look like – so can I turn the question on its head, Jane? Who would you like to see playing Archer and Baines?
Oooh, that’s a toughie. I’m pretty rubbish at casting characters, I’m afraid. Why don’t we open this one out to readers? If anyone has any ideas for casting, leave a message here or contact either Dave or myself on Facebook or Twitter (@DaveSivers , @janeisaacauthor )
I find it fascinating that we all approach the task of writing differently. What are the best and worst aspects of writing a novel for you?
Oh, one of the best aspects is having these ideas that have been living in your head for ages – usually since well before you finished the previous book – and finally starting to set them free on the page. Another thing I adore is seeing what direction the characters and the story take you in. I never do too much planning, beyond a rough outline in my head of what the story’s about – how it begins and how it’s likely to finish. So actually writing the thing is about throwing the crime at the characters, seeing how they respond to it, and where their investigations take them.
But there’s always the point, somewhere around the middle section, where it all feels like a slog, you’re not sure if it’s any good, and you may not even be sure how to make the story end up where it needs to. I pretty much hate writing at that point. Part of my routine is an hour’s writing before breakfast, six days a week, and it’s making myself do that that forces me to write through that awkward bit in the middle. I know really that I’ll be going back and doing tons more work on the manuscript once I’ve got a first draft, but this still seems to happen every single time.
Which leads to the best aspect of all – when the book is finally published and, with luck, people are reading and enjoying it. It still blows me away to get a good review or a kind piece of feedback. This is the best job in the world!
Please share your blurb with us.
EVEN THE DEAD HAVE THEIR SECRETS
A reformed teenage gang leader is gunned down in cold blood and an angry DS Dan Baines, who knew the victim well, reckons he knows who is responsible. But his boss, DI Lizzie Archer, wants to know the identity of the mystery man who died with him – and whether he was intended victim or innocent bystander.
When an officer from the National Crime Agency turns up and declares the case off limits to Archer and her team, it’s clear that there is more going on than meets the eye. Several conflicting agendas are in play and the body count is rising.
And Archer and Baines realise that the only people they can truly trust are each other.
Oooh, intriguing. Thanks for sharing with us, Dave. You can purchase a copy of Evil Unseen here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Sivers grew up in West London and left school at 16 to embark on a civil service career that took him to exotic places like Rhode Island USA, Cyprus, Brussels, Northern Norway and Sutton Coldfield.
Along the way, he moonlighted variously as nightclub bouncer, bookie’s clerk and freelance writer, as well as picking up a first class honours degree from the Open University. Writing has always been his passion and, since giving up the day job, he has launched a second career as a novelist.
The first two books in his popular Archer and Baines crime series set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale – The Scars Beneath the Soul and Dead in Deep Water – reached the top three in the Amazon Kindle Serial Killers chart and the third – Evil Unseen – has just been released. His other work includes two hybrid ‘crime fantasy’ novels featuring personal inquisitor Lowmar Dashiel.
Dave lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with his wife, Chris.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate Dave’s new release. You can find other posts here: