I’m delighted to welcome fellow author Alison Gray to the blog on the publication day for her new book, Lady’s Slipper. This is the second novel in the DS Abby Foulkes series and if you haven’t read the first (Hibiscus Fruit) I’d highly recommend it. Here’s Alison to tell us a bit more about the new book.
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
A young child sees her mother killed in a forest in summertime and the sunlight she sees dappling through leaves and warming her comes to represent her mother’s love in place of the real thing; however, the darkness of evergreen forests instills a pervading fear in her and the release of her mother’s killer after twenty years sets in motion a series of events that reveal the truth.
Who is your favourite character and why?
My favourite character is DS Abby Foulkes. She is vulnerable and grieving and also a newly single mother. She is my favourite character because she is also caring and strong.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
So many to choose from but here goes – Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, Camilla Lackberg, Elly Griffiths and Kate Rhodes.
I’ve been a lover of suspense since I was a teen when I read Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. In my twenties I became a fan of Mary Higgins Clark. And much more recently I’ve discovered a love for Camilla Läckberg’s Patrik Hedström crime series set in Fjällbacka in Sweden and Elly Griffiths Dr Ruth Galloway series set in Norfolk and now Kate Rhodes’ Alice Quentin series set in London. These three latter inspirations are all series writers whose non-criminal characters grow and develop through the series alongside the individual crime stories in the books in the series and this is what I’m aiming to achieve in the DS Abby Foulkes stories.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
It’s like driving in the dark. I’d love to plan but I see only the immediate future of what I’m writing. It evolves in an iterative process. I tend to work online so there’s no paper flying about and I create and edit my books on the kindle. Reading the drafts that way makes me see the works as if they were finished books (I tend to read mainly on kindle).
Recently I have begun looking into something called beats – where you take the emotional scenes and write those, then hook them together. It’s a new thing for me so I’m not sure if it will work but it probably suits my personality more than a linear plan of scenes.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
It’s coffee most definitely. Sitting down to write with a steaming mug of hot coffee beside me is bliss! I often become engrossed and forget to drink it but having it there wen I start feels good.
Please share your blurb with us.
Caileigh Watson was two when she witnessed her mother’s murder in the woods. She longs to remember her mother but struggles with memory problems. Twenty years on the man who was imprisoned for the crime is up for release. And then a new witness appears, whose testimony could throw out the original conviction. When Caileigh and the witness go missing, DS Abby Foulkes is pulled into a hunt for the truth in a case which threatens to engulf her.
Oooh, thanks Alison. I pre-ordered and can’t wait to get stuck into my copy! You can buy Lady’s Slipper here
Alison Gray was born and grew up in Scotland, during the 1960s and 1970s. She now lives in the north-east of England with her husband, son and cat, Topaz and has lived there since the 1980s.
Lady’s Slipper is the second in a series of crime novels with DS Abigail Foulkes, set in the North East of England and in the Aegean.