#Guest #Author #KateRhodes @K_RhodesWriter author of #TheBrutalTide #DIBenKitto #Series

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And what gave you the idea for The Brutal Tide?

KR; I loved reading as a child, without realising I was slowly developing into a writer. My parents were teachers, so I was lucky to grow up with plenty of books lying around. Being a voracious reader helps greatly when you start to write. It’s like taking a crash course in plotting, atmosphere, and character development. The learning just happens by default. I became an English teacher after university but had little confidence in writing. I began with poems, which are nice and short, slowly building my confidence to write something longer. I was 40 by the time I quit teaching to focus on writing, and take the risk that I could pay the mortgage by words alone.

The Brutal Tide came about because I wanted my protagonist’s past to catch up with him at last. DI Ben Kitto is leading a quiet life down in Scilly, with his girlfriend and his dog, when a vicious killer comes looking for him on the islands. She’s incensed that her father is behind bars, thanks to Kitto’s successful work exposing the brutal gang he led in London.

JW; How much research did you have to do for the DI Ben Kitto Series, and indeed for The Brutal Tide, there’s some close attention to being murdered several ways, which seems realistic!

KR; I love researching the Isles of Scilly series. I’ve been visiting them since I was small, but it’s never a hardship to go back. There are just 5 inhabited islands off the southern coast of Cornwall, 40 kilometers from the mainland, in the Atlantic. The smallest islands have less than a hundred permanent residents and they never feel busy. I’m often to be found taking ferries between the islands and interviewing people about subjects like beekeeping, silversmithing, and wildflower cultivation. The internet is a great source of information on ways to kill people. I just hope the police never come calling, because I regularly type questions like ‘how easy is it to drown someone?’ They must think I’m a full-time assassin!

JW; The cast of characters in The Brutal Tide and indeed through the whole Locked Island Mystery series is quite large and complex, how do you keep track! And can we have a list of them all in the next book, please!

KR; That’s such a good question, Jude! I keep a list of thumbnail sketches of each character living on each island. Only a small number of folk get mentioned repeatedly, like Ben’s family, friends, and colleagues, but I try to limit the cast for each book to a manageable number. I loved reading Hilary Mantels’ Wolf Hall but got lost by chapter 3, with so many names to remember. I’d hate to baffle people! I just want to tell a gripping story with the kind of varied characters we meet in real life.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Did any part of your childhood make you the writer you are?

KR; I have to be honest and admit that my childhood was scary. My dad was an alcoholic, so I spent plenty of evenings hiding in my room. Books were a great solace. I loved any story with a happy family at its core. I’m lucky that adult life has been far more fun, but back then I used both books and TV as escapism. Maybe I should be grateful for all that time I hid away in my room. It taught me not only the joy of immersing yourself in a story but the catharsis that comes from keeping a diary.

JW; As we are now in November, which book, that you’ve read this year has been your favorite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

KR; The latest book I’ve read is Cruel Acts, by Jane Casey. I love her Maeve Kerrigan series. She used to be an editor, so her writing style is beautifully polished, and she creates characters that are a hundred percent believable. I enjoy a lot of Irish and Scottish crime writers. It seems to me that they are leading the way right now, in detective fiction, but everyone has their own particular taste! I’m currently reading Rose Wilding’s debut crime novel, Speak of the Devil, which is a tremendous page-turner.

JW; Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?

KR; Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene. It’s one of the classiest crime novels ever! I was just twelve when I read it for the first time. He evokes the seedy, rundown glamour of Brighton in the inter-war years, and creates a terrifying crisis. The book also holds the first genuinely convincing teenage psychopath, whose remorseless violence is so chilling it gave me nightmares.

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

KR; Yes! I got to meet Lee Childs a few years ago, when I was on a panel at the Harrogate Crime Festival. At the time he was the most successful crime writer in the world, so I was quaking in my boots, but he was lovely to everyone he met. I love it when famous people turn out to be modest, decent folk. He gave me a hug after the event, and I almost fainted, like a very embarrassing super-fan!

Lee Child

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

KR; This is probably the worst cliché, but that would be my family. My husband Dave, plus my three stepsons and 4 grandkids mean the world to me. Whenever I see them it’s a salutary reminder that while it’s great fun writing books, spending time with the people you love and supporting them matters more than anything.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

KR; I’d love to be in St Tropez when Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and all their glamourous pals were down there partying. They’re among my favourite authors of all time, so I’d love to tune in to their conversations, and get swept along to the parties they threw, on a wave of champagne.

JW; Can you share a shelfie (photo of your bookshelf) with us?

KR; No problem. It’s tragically full of my own books right now, which makes me seem like a big ego. I try to give loads away, but the publishers send my boxes full, and I never know quite where to store them.

JW; You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

KR; Patricia Highsmith, Agatha Christie, Anne Cleeve, and Erin Kelly. I’d love to see some brilliant crime writers from the past chatting with some of today’s luminaries!

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

KR; Keep polishing until every word in your novel glistens. It’s such wise advice! There’s no point in racing to start the next book unless you are a hundred percent happy with the latest, so I do dozens of drafts.

JW; What’s next? Are you writing a new novel?

KR; I’m currently writing book number 8 in the Ben Kitto series. They’ve been optioned for TV, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all the books appear on our screens before too long!

Kate Rhodes is a crime novelist and award winning poet. Kate was born in south London, but now lives in Cambridge with her family. She studied English at university, and did a wide range of jobs including working in bars, being a theatre usherette, and teaching at a liberal arts college in Florida, before focusing on her writing.
Her latest crime novels are the acclaimed HELL BAY series set in the Isles of Scilly. Kate has been passionate about the islands since holidaying there as a child, and still returns for regular visits. Books in the series include HELL BAY, RUIN BEACH, and BURNT ISLAND.
Kate’s bestselling ALICE QUENTIN series includes CROSSBONES YARD, A KILLING OF ANGELS, THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, RIVER OF SOULS, BLOOD SYMMETRY and FATAL HARMONY.

You can follow Kate Rhodes on TWITTER & FACEBOOK

You can buy Kate Rhodes’s books HERE

#Guest #Author #RobynGigl @robyngigl author of #ByWayOfSorrow #ErinMcCabeSeries @VERVE_Books

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And what gave you the idea for By Way Of Sorrow?

RG; “Always” is probably not the right term, but since around the age of 25, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I started my first manuscript around 1980. I never finished it and it sits in a briefcase to this day, but that’s when I first had the itch to write. As to where the idea for By Way of Sorrow came from—after a 30-year hiatus, I started writing again in 2010. Around 2014, I finished a manuscript, which resulted in me finding an agent, who was shopping that manuscript around (thankfully it never sold). Since I had some time, I reread To Kill a Mockingbird. It had been a long time since I had read it and I had forgotten just how much of the story involved the trial of Tom Robinson—a young Black man in 1930s Alabama accused of raping a white woman. As I read it, I was frustrated because I wanted to know what Tom was thinking—he had to know he had no chance with a jury of all white men. But the whole book is told from the point of view of Scout, a six-year-old girl. As a result, we never get into Tom’s head or hear his point of view. So, I decided I wanted to write a novel involving a crime that dealt with race, gender identity, and the inequities in the legal system, where the accused had very little chance of being found not guilty. That’s how I came up with the basic story—a young trans woman of color (Sharise Barnes), accused of murdering the son of a very rich and powerful politician. But I quickly realized that couldn’t tell the story primarily from Sharise’s POV because I’m not a trans woman of color. However, since I am an attorney and a trans woman, I could come at the story from that perspective and that’s how Erin McCabe was born.

JW; How important is it for you to see transgender and members of the LGBTQ+ community written as lead characters in mainstream fiction?

RG; To me, it’s huge. LGBTQ+ people, and trans people, in particular, are marginalized in so many ways and so often when they do appear as characters in fiction, they’re there as nothing more than a prop or a victim. I wanted to normalize trans people because we are normal, despite rarely being portrayed that way. And while I think it’s critically important for LGBTQ+ folks to see a positive representation of themselves, I think it’s even more important for cisgender, heterosexual individuals to get an accurate representation of who we are and not an image distorted by the media or politicians.

JW; I adored Erin McCabe so much and found the legal side of the book really interesting and easy to understand, how much of Erin McCabe is you?!

RG; While Erin McCabe is not me, she certainly reflects many of my values and attitudes. It’s not a secret that I drew on some of my own experiences both as an attorney and as a transgender woman in developing her as a character, but I also took pains to make sure she’s not me. Erin is a young, attractive, and fearless woman—I’m not.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Did any part of your childhood make you the writer you are?

RG; Yes, I was both an avid reader and, although I don’t watch a lot of television now, I certainly watched a fair amount growing up. I guess the difference between the two, at least for me, is that television is visual and leaves nothing to the imagination. When I watch television or see a movie, I feel like I’m merely an observer, not a participant. Whereas, again, for me, a book is more participatory because I’m using my imagination to see the scene the author created and to visualize how the characters look, so I feel like I have a more active role in the story. As to whether any part of my childhood made me the writer I am today, I honestly can’t think of anything.

JW; As we’re now in November, which books that you’ve read this year have been your favorite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

RG; HELL OF A BOOK by Jason Mott—truly an amazing book!

JW; Do you have a favorite author or favorite book of all time?

RG; I won’t say that I have a favorite author, but my favorite book of all time is CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller. I read it when I was about 15, and it changed my view of what a novel could do. It was tragic, hysterically funny, satirical, and had a profound message. I had never read anything like it. The first manuscript that I started 40+ years ago was designed to be the CATCH-22 of the legal profession. Who knows, maybe I’ll still write that story.

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

RG; The answer is no. Not because I wouldn’t be starstruck, but because I’ve never had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes.

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

RG; My family. I know it may sound a cliche, but there is nothing more important to me than my kids, grandchildren, siblings and, although we have been separated for 14 years, my wife. I’m also passionate about my role as an advocate for the transgender community.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

RG; August 26, 1920, the day that the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote, became official. There was no huge celebration, but it was still a monumental historical event.

JW; Can you share a shelfie (photo of your bookshelf) with us?

RG; See Above – You’ll be sorry you asked. I’m shopping for new bookshelves.

JW; You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

RG; Barack and Michelle Obama, because they are two of the most intelligent and inspirational individuals I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Christine Jorgensen was the first famous transgender individual in the US. I’d love to discuss with her what her experiences were like.

Jesus, because there is no one more famous and I would love to meet the historical Jesus, find out what he truly believed in, and discuss how he feels about what has been done in his name over the centuries, up to the present day.

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

RG; Be yourself. It was given to me as advice on how to handle myself in a courtroom, but it is advice that I have tried to apply to all aspects of my life.

JW; What’s next? When can I read Erin McCabe 2? (I cannot wait!)

RG; Erin McCabe book 2, SURVIVOR’S GUILT, comes out as an ebook in the UK on March 16, 2023, the same day the paperback of BY WAY OF SORROW is published in the UK. SURVIVOR’S GUILT has been out in the states since January 2022, and book 3, REMAIN SILENT, comes out in the states on May 23, 2023. I’ve just started work on Erin McCabe book 4, which remains untitled.

Robyn Gigl (pronounced Guy-gull), the author of BY WAY OF SORROW and SURVIVOR’S GUILT, is an attorney, speaker and activist who has been honored by the ACLU-NJ and the NJ Pride Network for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Robyn is a partner at Gluck Walrath, LLP in Freehold, NJ, where she handles complex commercial and employment litigation. She has been selected as a NJ Super Lawyer since 2010 and as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in NJ in 2020 & 2021. Robyn is a member of the Board of Directors of Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organization. She is a graduate of Stonehill College and Villanova University School of Law and can be found online at RobynGigl.com or on Twitter @RobynGigl. A frequent lecturer on diversity issues, she lives in New Jersey where she continues to practice law by day, and work on her next novel by night. Fortunately, she has a very boring social life. 

You can follow Robyn Gigl on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Robyn Gigl has her own website HERE

You can buy By Way Of Sorrow HERE

My Review of By Way Of Sorrow is HERE

#Guest #Author #LousieMorrish @LouiseMorrish1 author of brilliant #OperationMoonlight @centurybooksuk

JW; Thank you so much for being a guest on my Blog Loise, I adored Operation Moonlight!

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of Operation Moonlight come from?

LM; I have always wanted to be an author, but when I was growing up this was not a career option for people like me at all! I read ALL the time, and wrote stuff in private, but didn’t show anyone or tell anyone of my secret dream, for years and years.

The idea for Operation Moonlight came from three different ‘sparks’: the first was when a friend told me about a 110-year-old woman she knew who was determined to become the oldest person in the world (she’s the oldest in Britain at this moment in time). The second was when my mum told me about a social club called The Coffin Club (you can make your own coffin and reminisce and make friends at the clubs, all over the world); and the third was when I stumbled across the story of a female secret agent in WW2 who had died all alone in 2010 and no one knew about her secret past. I put all three things together, and Betty emerged!

JW; How much research did you have to do for Operation Moonlight, did you get to visit any of the places mentioned in the book?

LM; Research is why I write historical fiction – I absolutely love it! I read more than 200 books on the war etc, and I visited a lot of the places in my novel. I was born and brought up in Guildford, and my family own a narrowboat on the River Wey, so all that was relatively easy. I also visited Wanborough Manor and Beaulieu, and Arisaig up in NW Scotland. But the worst experience was jumping out of a plane! I knew I had to do a parachute jump in order to write Elisabeth’s chapter authentically. But I have a paralysing fear of heights, and I almost passed out from terror. But I survived!

JW; How important to you was it to raise awareness of women’s roles during WW2 and how that impacted their lives?

LM; One of the main reasons I wrote Operation Moonlight was because I strongly believe that the women who helped win the war should be properly remembered. I hope I’ve honoured the female SOE agents in my novel. My writing is always inspired by real women who did extraordinary things in the past, but whose stories have vanished into obscurity.

JW; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Elisabeth & the older Betty, and also Tali and Jo, when Operation Moonlight is turned into a Movie? (It SO needs to be!)

LM; I’d love Operation Moonlight to be made into a film. Maybe Judi Dench or Maggie Smith for Betty? I haven’t got a clue about any of the other characters, though, as I don’t watch much telly or many films…sorry!

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

LM; I read A LOT.  But back in the 80s, there wasn’t the huge range of children’s books and young adult fiction that there is now, so I read a lot of stuff I maybe wasn’t quite ready for…and I also watched a lot of weird telly. Looking back, the children’s programmes that were shown were bonkers! I loved Monkey Magic, which was this utterly mad Japanese series about a human god called Monkey who lived on a cloud and had weird adventures with a bald female monk and another chap called Piggy who wore skulls around his neck. It was as strange as that sounds!

Monkey Magic

My favourite book as a child was probably Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I was a complete tomboy growing up (still am, actually), and I totally related to Jo March and her boyish ambitions.

JW; What is your favourite book or books that you have read so far in 2022, and why?

LM; So many! Loads of debuts this year have blown me away: No Country for Girls by Emma Styles, The Seawomen by Chloe Timms, The Hollow Sea by Annie Kirby, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter  by Lizzie Pook, Haven by Emma Donoghue, Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson, The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller, The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, V2 by Robert Harris

JW; Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?

LM; I love Sarah Waters. She is the queen of historical fiction in my opinion. But I can’t pick a favourite book of all time, there are too many that I’ve loved.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

LM; What a brilliant question! I think I’d quite like to be transported back to 1666, to witness the days leading up to the Great Fire of London and the plague (from a safe vantage point). Not because I want to see our capital city burnt to the ground, but because I want to know what life was like back then, what it actually looked, sounded, smelled and tasted like. I’d love to talk to people on the street, sit in Parliament, walk along the Thames and find out how life was really lived back then.

JW; When you’re writing do you like silence or do you listen to music?

LM; A bit of both. I can’t have talking while I’m writing, so songs with lyrics are out. But I do listen to instrumental music that matches the mood of what I’m trying to write. For the book I’m currently writing, I’m listening to a lot of music from the Edwardian period, orchestral stuff, and also music from films like They Shall Not Grow Old.

JW; If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

LM; Another brilliant question! Sylvia Pankhurst (because she has a cameo role in my next project, and her views on women’s suffrage and socialism would be really interesting to hear); Victoria Wood (because she was a genius, and made me laugh all the time); Ernest Shackleton (because I would question him in detail about how he survived such gruelling conditions in the South Pole, and what kept him going); a First World War soldier who actually fought in 1914 (because I want to know what it was really like then).

JW; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

LM; The Antarctic, to follow in Shackleton’s footsteps. Before it’s too late.

JW; Do you have a hidden talent?

LM; I love these questions! I’m a ninja speller.

JW; Can you share a shelfie with us?

JW; Are you currently writing another book, and when will it be released?

LM; I am writing another book, but I can’t tell you much about it yet as nothing has been finalised. What I can say is that it’s inspired by two real-life women who achieved extraordinary things over a hundred years ago, but who have been largely forgotten about.

You can follow Louise Morrish on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy Operation Moonlight HERE

You can read my review of Operation Moonlight HERE

Todays #Author answering Questions is #Guest #JohanaGustawsson @JoGustawsson #TheBleeding @OrendaBooks

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Bleeding come from?

JG: No, I didn’t know yet! At the time I was answering: an actress! Hahaha! I studied in Paris at a famous acting school at the same time as working as a journalist for the press and TV, and I dreamt of becoming an actress. I was on stage in Paris and had an agent, but I really didn’t like this business. I didn’t like learning the texts, or going to auditions, which was problematic, as you can imagine! It took me a while to realize that what I liked was the text itself! I have always been an avid reader and was very fond of crime novels so, years after that, I started writing and that, I tremendously enjoyed!

The idea of The Bleeding was a mix of crazy and completely different desires: writing about La Belle Epoque, Maxine, and Lina, who came first in my mind and had to be fleshed, setting up my characters in Québec, which I fell in love with thanks to Roxanne Bouchard a friend and fellow writer at Orenda Books.

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JG; It was a lot of research, about the Belle Epoque and witchcraft, but it was fun and I spent a few phenomenal months! I started researching something that had nothing to do with what The Bleeding ended up talking about: I wanted to write about the secret society of the Golden Dawn, and with this terrible habit I have to research more and more and some more with every detail which I find thrilling, I ended up in the caldron of quite a few witches!

JW; The 3 women in The Bleeding are all strong characters, was it important to you to portray them in this way even during the eras?

JG; It was key to me. I wanted to showcase the battles we, women, go through. Battles that can become wars. And some of those battles haven’t changed, despite changing centuries. We have still so much to fight for and against.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Did any part of your childhood make you the writer you are?

JG; I became an avid reader after plunging into my first Agatha Christie, around the age of 7. It was The Mysterious Affair at Styles that made me one. Then I devoured books. I don’t know how I became the writer I am today, but reading, from poetry to dark gritty crimes, surely played its role.

JW; As we’re now in September, which books that you’ve read this year have been your favorite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

JG; I have been reading quite a few but mostly for research for a project I cannot yet talk about. Reading about neurology mostly and memory. And I really found fascinating “Livewired” by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist explains how our brains work.

JW; Do you have a favorite Author or favorite book of all time?

JG: Agatha Christie and French poet Charles Baudelaire. French writer Marguerite Duras is too… “Murder on The Orient Express” and “Les Fleurs du Mal” (Flowers of Evil) are two of my favorites. And actually, traveling on the Orient Express train is still on our dream list with my father, who is also a big fan!

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

JG; As a journalist, I met Samuel L. Jackson with whom I shared breakfast (well, I did not eat a thing). I was interviewing him for the movie Snakes on the plane, and he welcomed me saying: “that was a shit movie, don’t you think? Let’s talk about something else. Where are you from?” And we ended up talking about Provence and golf, and god knows what else, whilst he ate his eggs and bacon! And I met Harlan Coben, in 2019 at the Harrogate festival, and there too: starstruck!

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

JG; Oh yes! Dancing! I used to be a ballet dancer, and I would love to go back to some sort of dancing: flamenco being my top choice, but I have absolutely no time to dive into anything but writing, which is also my passion, as my three boys take up all my time!

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

JG; Oh god. There are so many. But I’d chose Paris during La Belle Epoque, like in The Bleeding. The international fair. Another era. The Beauty of Paris in the making.

JW; Can you share a shelfie (photo of your bookshelf) with us?

JW: You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

JG: Agatha Christie. Almodóvar. Poirot (David Suchet will do if I’m not allowed to have a fictionalized character). Dalí. I think the night would be completely mad!

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

JG: That hard work is the key. Consistency and hard work always pay off. It was, of course, my parents. They taught me it is not over when you lose, it only is when you quit. And of course, they were right!

JW; What’s next? Are you writing a new novel?

JG; I just handed in my next novel to my French publisher, called The Island of Yule, which Karen Sullivan, my UK and US publisher Called “Christmas Island”, on the spot. The novel is taking place on the island of Storholmen, just in front of the one I live on, in Sweden, where a young girl is found hanged close to a manor said to be haunted. It is out in France in January 2023.

You can buy The Bleeding HERE from Orenda Books

You can follow Johana on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Johana Gustawsson has her own website HERE

This Months Guest #Author is @adamhamdy author of the upcoming novel #TheOtherSideOfNight @panmacmillan Published UK 15/09/2022

JW; Thank you so much Adam for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

AH; Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog, Jude. Without enthusiastic bloggers and reviewers, life would be quite difficult for authors in a world in which critical mass is essential to capture people’s attention, so I really appreciate all the support.

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And what was the inspiration for you starting to write?

AH; I’ve always written. My parents moved around a lot when I was a child, so I was always having to make new friends, which can be quite challenging. Writing stories gave me friends I could take with me. My family was working class (Tony Kent and I recently discovered we grew up on the same council estate) and we didn’t know any professional or creative people, so I never even realised being an author was a viable career. People can forget that exposure is essential for equal opportunity. If children don’t see people like them in certain professions, they simply won’t consider them as options. I kept writing for myself but finally decided to try to become a screenwriter and author after my father died suddenly. It was one of those ‘life’s too short not to do what you love moments.

JW; Where did the original inspiration for The Other Side Of Night come from?

AH; Our middle child, Elliot, asked me a question when we were out for a walk in the Peak District. He was eight years old and the question was so touching and profound I knew instantly there was a great story in it. I can’t reveal the question because it’s a spoiler, but I got to work on the first iteration of The Other Side of Night immediately. It took me five years to get it into shape, but I think I’ve done justice to Elliot’s question. He’s certainly given the book a big thumbs up – although it did make him cry.

The Peak District

JW; The Other Side Of Night is a different book in style from your usual thrillers, how easy was it to write?

AH; I wrote The Other Side of Night as a short story originally, then as a screenplay, then part of a book, then a screenplay again – it went through so many iterations and I didn’t realise what I was missing until I found it: perspective and voice. I needed David Asha, the storyteller, to elevate the book from a twisty procedural into something quite profound. I feel safe claiming it’s a profound read because I wrote it, must have read it more than fifty times, I know exactly what’s coming and there are still parts of the book that make me well up.

JW; When writing with James Patterson, does he mentor you? And how does it work from different corners of the World?

AH; I’ve learned a great deal from Jim, and co-writing with him has been a really positive experience. We’ve always been on different continents, so moving to Africa hasn’t changed much.

James Patterson

JW; Who would you like to see playing the parts of David Asha, Harriet Kealty, Sabih Khan, Ben Elmys and Elliott Asha if The Other Side Of Night is turned into a movie? (It HAS to be!!)

AH; I think The Other Side of Night would make a great film, but I’m going to be really boring and say I have no idea who should play the roles. There are people with greater expertise than me, casting directors, producers and directors who will spot a quality in an actor that I might not be aware of. More than the cast, I think the key to a successful adaptation is choosing the right people behind the camera. Then you have to trust their judgment as they bring the adaptation to life.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

AH; I took part in an event recently and almost every author pointed to Enid Blyton as their favourite childhood read. I know it’s heresy but I was never much of a fan. The children seemed to come from such an alien world and there was never any real sense of jeopardy. I grew up in some rough parts of London and saw people getting mugged, stabbed and shot, so tales of smugglers and helpful dogs seemed tame in comparison. I grew up reading my mum’s collection of John Wyndham books, and then moved on to James Herbert, Stephen King and Thomas Harris when I was twelve. I was a voracious reader and my favourite book of that time was probably Black Sunday. I also watched a lot of TV and my favourite childhood programme was probably Battlestar Galactica or the A-Team. I’m pleased to say our own children have all loved Enid Blyton, which is a testament to the more sheltered lives they’ve had.

JW; As we’re now in September which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

AH; My favourite book so far has been Peng Shepherd’s The Cartographers, and the one I’m most looking forward to reading is Anthony Horowitz’s The Twist of A Knife. Anthony is such a skilful writer and I always learn something from his books – as well as enjoying the tale.

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

AH; Authors are generally an approachable bunch, so I’ve never felt starstruck meeting a fellow writer. I was overwhelmed when I got to sit down with Sylvester Stallone to discuss a Rocky project a few years ago. I was in his office, surrounded by Rambo and Rocky memorabilia talking to a man who, in addition to being a movie icon, clearly has a very sharp mind. After the meeting, the producer and I bumped into Peter Weller right outside Stallone’s office, so I met Rocky, Rambo and Robocop all on the same day.

JW; What do you consider your greatest achievement?

AH; Gosh, these are difficult questions. I don’t tend to look back at the things I’ve accomplished. I enjoy the process of doing things, but I rarely try to hold on to achievements, because for me life isn’t about milestones or success as an event. It’s a journey, an experience to be enjoyed, and that means my mind is more on what’s to come than what’s behind me. That said, I look back fondly on parts of the journey, most fondly of all on my family.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

AH; The assassination of John F Kennedy. There are lots of historical events I’d be interested in going to change, but if I can only be a witness, I’d like to know what those guys were doing on the grassy knoll and why, after all these years, there are still questions hanging over what really happened that day.

JW; Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

AH; Sure. We moved continent recently. So nearly all of our books are still in the UK, but the collection is slowly building again here. Here are some of our shelves, complete with lazy dog.

JW; If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

AH; My dad. He never got to meet his grandchildren and I think he’d very much have liked to. It would be nice to have one last conversation with him. I probably wouldn’t invite anyone else because they wouldn’t get much of my attention. I’ll think of a new roster of guests if you have me on your blog again in future.

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

AH; I’ve had too much good advice from different people over the years, but the one that comes to mind today is learning to be patient. I’m not talking about standing in a queue politely or waiting virtuously for an Amazon parcel to arrive. I’m talking about patience as understanding. Taking the time and care to form a proper opinion of the world before speaking or acting. We live in an age of sound and fury, of attention deficit news, of everyone and their cute cats having a social media account to influence how we think and feel. We react, often too quickly, and our haste amplifies mistakes. The errors cascade because each can be shared with and felt by millions of people. Patience is about peace. Forming our opinions in the quiet peace offers. Acting only when we know we’re motivated by truth and that we’re being driven by the right reasons.

JW; What’s next? What are you currently working on??

AH; I’m working on a very unusual stand-alone crime thriller. It upends many expectations of the genre. I’ve just finished the first draft and am sending it out to trusted industry colleagues to see what they think.

Adam Hamdy is a Sunday Times, Kindle, and international bestselling author and screenwriter.
Adam writes the Scott Pearce series of contemporary espionage thrillers [Black 13, Red Wolves], and has written two Private books with James Patterson [Private Moscow, Private Rogue].
He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, a trilogy of conspiracy thriller novels. James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was a finalist for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction. Pendulum was chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and was selected for BBC Radio 2 Book Club.
Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.

You can follow Adam Hamdy on TWITTER FACEBOOK

You can find out more about Adam on his WEBSITE

You can PRE-Order The Other Side Of Night HERE

#Guest #Author #Alert The fantastic #WillDean @willrdean author of the #Upcoming #WolfPack #Tuva5 by @PointBlankCrime UK Publication 06/10/2022

Firstly I must say a huge thank you to Will for being a Blog guest, I’m a massive fan and this is a fabulous honour! Now on with the Q&A!

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Or have you had any other jobs?

WD; I’ve always been a reader. When I was a kid growing up in the Midlands I’d visit a mobile library truck and borrow as many books as I could (my parents were not readers and there were no books at home). It never really occurred to me I could be a writer one day. I didn’t think that option was available to someone like me and I was just happy to be a voracious reader. I worked many varied jobs (labourer on a building site, retail, bar work, selling haircut coupons on the streets, finance and technology) and then in my mid-30s I realised I’d like to try to write my own stories.

JW; In Wolf pack we see Tuva come up against a group of Survivalists, how much research went into writing this – and are you one!

WD; The Tuva books are partly inspired by my fascination and admiration of the Swedish wilderness. I live in a remote Swedish forest and I’m still in awe of the moose, the winters, local folklore, the wolves, and the scale of the landscape. Tuva herself came to me fully formed one day. I’m a visual writer and I ‘saw’ an overgrown elk forest from above. I zoomed in (in my mind’s eye) and saw a pickup truck snaking through the trees. I ‘looked’ through the driver’s side window and saw a young woman with hearing aids. I wanted to understand where she was driving from and what she was driving towards. I wanted to know her story.

I do a huge amount of research for each novel. I enjoy that phase – it’s very fruitful in terms of ideas and forming characters. I’m not a survivalist myself although living here off-grid we do grow a lot of our own food, take water from our well, and heat our wooden house with logs I cut.

JW; Who would you like to see playing the part of Tuva Moodyson, if and when the series is turned into a TV Show/Movie?

WD; I have an actress in mind but I can’t talk about it yet because the development process is underway. I’ll keep you updated!

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

WD; I loved (and continue to love) all forms of storytelling. My favourite childhood books were Danny, the Champion of the World, the Adrian Mole books, and Stephen King’s work (best read when you’re too young for them). My favourite childhood TV programs/movies were Round the Twist, X-Files, The Goonies, Tremors, Space Camp, Gremlins etc – the 80s were excellent for comedy-horror.

JW; As we’re now in September, which books that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

WD; That’s a tough question. My favourites so far are probably: Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell, Children of Men by PD James, and The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly.

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

WD; I’ve met so many writers I admire. The only time (I hope) that I made a complete idiot of myself was meeting Michael Connolly at Harrogate this summer. The wonderful Denise Mina introduced us and I mumbled something about being a huge fan.

Michael Connolly

JW; What do you consider your greatest achievement?

WD; Juggling being a writer with being a husband and Dad.

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

WD; I would like to go back to 1971. I’d be in Hampden Academy, Maine, and I’d be taught English by Stephen King. That would be tremendous.

Stephen King Ex English Teacher!

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

WD; I’m passionate about a lot of things. Nature. Old mechanical watches (I like to restore them). Chopping and stacking wood. Hiking (I walk off-trail every morning with my St Bernard and it’s a great way to start each day, especially when the weather is bad). Reading. Open-water swimming. Visiting faraway places and going to cinemas early in the day when they’re almost empty. Bonfires.

JW; Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

JW; If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

WD; Four is tough! First of all, I’d say my late Granddad. He was a fantastic man. He was raised as an orphan but later found out that wasn’t quite true. He was homeless for a while and left school at 14 to become a wheelwright’s apprentice. He grew much of his own food. He taught himself about the world by buying second-hand books. He was a painter and decorator but despite a tough start in life, he was incredibly warm and fun-loving. As for the other three: Robin Williams, Maya Angelou, and my 8-year-old son (so he can meet his great-grandad).

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

WD; Treat everyone with kindness and respect, no matter who they are or what they do. Give the benefit of the doubt as much as you can. Listen to advice but be wary of following it. Look after each other. Put your hands in the soil as often as you can. All advice from my Grandad.

JW; What’s next? What are you currently working on??

WD; I’m working on Tuva 6 right now. I have been working on my standalone next novel (set on an ocean liner) that will be out next year. I’ve also been working on my 2024 standalone (set in the Midlands). I like to keep busy here in the dark forest.

If you’d like to find out more about Will Dean you can follow him on Twitter Instagram Youtube Facebook TikTok

#Guest #Author #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 Author of the #DCIFrankMerlin series @midaspr

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Or have you had any other jobs?

ME: I studied law, became a barrister, corporate executive then with a partner started a computer services company. I had always wanted to write and when my computer company was sold in the early 2000s decided to give it a shot.

JW: Where did the inspiration for the Dead in The Water come from?

ME: I usually get inspiration for my book plots when doing my research. In the case of Dead In The Water, my reading about the chosen period, Summer 1942, opened my mind to various strands of history. These included the impact in Britain of the arrival of the American forces in that year, the theft of art from Jewish owners in the run-up to the war, and the continuing espionage intrigues of the various combatants.  My plot emerged from these strands.

JW: How much research was involved in Dead in the Water, as it is set during 1942 and WW2?

ME: I do a great deal of research before every book. I go to libraries, go online, read my own collection of wartime books, read new books etc.  I usually spend around 3 months researching before starting each book.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DCI Frank Merlin, if Dead In The Water is turned into a TV Show/Film?

ME: I always find this a difficult one. Spending much of my time as I do in the 1940s, the names that immediately spring to mind are actors of that vintage eg Ray Milland, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant. As they are all dead this is not much use! Of people who are alive there is a Welsh actor called Luke Evans who might fit the bill. Also maybe Christian Bale.

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

ME: I was both an avid reader and TV watcher. As regards books I loved The Wind In The Willows, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings and many others. I was a rather precocious reader. I remember reading and enjoying The Pickwick Papers when I was around 9 or 10. As for TV, I watched everything which was pretty easy then as there were only two channels. Champion the Wonder Horse was one favourite. Robin Hood and Ivanhoe were others.

JW: As we are now in May, which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

ME: Kolymsky Heights, a classic thriller by Lionel Davidson. I’ve also read a few very enjoyable books by Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson. I’m currently in the middle of the book I was most looking forward to this year, which is Don Winslow’s latest, City of Fire.

JW: Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

ME: I am Welsh and a keen rugby fan. Meeting Sir Gareth Edwards was good. Many years ago I spent a lot of time in California. I was once invited to a vintage Hollywood party. Among the people I met were Ginger Rogers, Rosalind Russell and Sophia Loren. I’m not sure I’d call them heroes of mine but I was certainly starstruck.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

ME: My children.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

ME: The first choice would have to be The London Blitz (from a safe vantage point!). The second would be something in Ancient Rome. Cicero giving one of his famous speeches perhaps. Or the assassination of Julius Caesar.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

ME: Reading. Watching rugby and cricket. Listening to music. Travel.

JW: Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

ME: Churchill, Dickens, Mozart, Van Morrison. Churchill was a flawed but great man and looms very large in what I write about. Dickens because he was such a fantastic writer. Mozart and Van because I love their music so much. Not sure how well this group would get on though!

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

ME: To be persistent in whatever you do, whether in business, writing or life in general. Very little is achieved without sticking at it.  ‘Keep buggering on’ in the words of Winston Churchill.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on?

ME: Currently researching Frank Merlin 6. No title as yet. Will be set in Spring 1943.

You can BUY Mark Ellis’s Books HERE

You can find Mark Ellis’s website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#Guest #Author #CJTudor @cjtudor #TheChalkMan #TheTakingOfAnnieThorne #TheOtherPeople #TheHidingPlace #TheBurningGirls #ASliverOfDarkness #TheDrift @MichaelJBooks answers my #Questions #Blogtalk

Thank you so much C.J for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And what was your first job?

I’ve always loved writing but thought that ‘being an author wasn’t a very realistic job for a girl from Nottingham. So, I thought that maybe I could be a reporter or work in advertising. Things that involved writing or being creative but paid a regular salary! However, I ended up leaving school at 16 (because I had a crap time at senior school) and working as a filing clerk for about a year, which I hated.

I’ve read and loved all your books so far, but which are you most proud of?

I would like to say my most recent book, The Drift because it’s a real departure and I really pushed myself. But also, The Chalk Man, because that was the one that got me published. The start of everything. And the one that Mr King tweeted about, so it will always have a special place in my dark heart!

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

Well, I’m so old that kids’ TV was only on for about two hours at teatime, and I could only watch certain adult TV programmes, so I used to read a lot: Enid Blyton (I loved Mallory Towers) and then I moved on to ghost stories and Agatha Christie. My favourite TV programmes were Scooby-Doo, Marmalade Atkins and later, I LOVED The A-Team and Tales of the Unexpected!!

Were nearly in May, which book has been your favourite so far in 2022? And is there one you are particularly looking forward to?

I haven’t read very much lately and I’m really out of the loop on new releases. Also, I’m kind of done with traditional psych thrillers, and always on the lookout for something a bit different. The book I most enjoyed recently is a book called ‘Sign Here’ by Claudia Luxe (out in October). It’s about a deal-broker in hell who just has to sign up one more member of the same family for a big bonus. But of course, things don’t go to plan. It’s part mystery, part fantasy and full of some wonderfully dark humour. It reminded me very much of early Michael Marshall Smith. Thoroughly recommended and it was so nice to read something original!!

Who do you most admire?

In writing – Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Michael Marshall Smith. Outside of writing – I love Tim Minchin for the words and music (and the Pope song). Very clever man. Right now, I admire people fighting against this vile, corrupt government and speaking up for those in desperate need, like Jack Monroe. Total hero.

Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

Crumbs! Tough one. Maybe the shooting of JFK, just to confirm whodunnit. Or the dinosaurs. I’d like to know what really wiped them out. Plus, if I could take some photos to annoy creationists that would be good!

What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

I don’t know about passionate, but I do get very angry about the state of the UK right now. It was only six years ago that I was working as a dog walker, earning £10 an hour. I lived for a decade in the red, with no savings, no money for emergencies or unexpected bills. It’s horrible. And that is nothing compared to the very poorest in society. It angers me that there is such disparity between the rich and poor. I got a break when I got published. I’m comfortable now – and I try to do my bit to pay it back. But not many people get that break. We need a massive change to redress the balance.

If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

Stephen King – because he’s my writing hero. Bill Hicks – because I would love his take on the world right now. Tim Minchin – he can provide music. Mary Shelley – because she was a cool goth chick who was ahead of her time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be kind.

What are you currently working on?

Book 6, which will be out in 2024! But I can’t say too much about it yet because I haven’t even shared it with my editor. All I can say is that it is a small-town murder mystery, set in Alaska. With bite. ; )


C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.
While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.
She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’
The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark’

You can pre-order A Sliver Of Darkness & The Drift HERE

You can follow CJ Tudor on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#Guest #Author #GrahamBartlett @gbpoliceadvisor author of his #Debut #Novel #BadForGood #published 23.06.2022 by @AllisonandBusby

Graham Bartlett after signing 1500 Limited Edition copies of Bad For Good at Goldsboro Books London

JW: Thank you so much Graham for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? In those days of fighting crime, did you think about writing a fiction novel then?

GB: I’m so unlike many authors in that I had no thoughts of being a writer until I was in my later 40s. As with most things in my life, it all happened by accident. Peter James had been a friend for a few years and saw a blog I wrote. He called me up and said he liked my writing style, describing it as ‘not quite of a commercial standard but workable.’ He followed that up with a suggestion that we write a non-fiction of the stories that inspired the Roy Grace novels. So, the Best Seller, Death Comes Knocking was born. I did most of the writing and he tidied it up, but I got the bug and am now so proud I’m going to be a solo published author.

JW: Where did the inspiration for Bad For Good come from, it is a quite unique and realistic plot!

GB: It all started with me getting angry with the swinging cuts the police were suffering. I imagined what would happen if it got much worse. Would vigilantism take over as the crime control method of choice? And what if that was sponsored by corrupt officials? That was the birth of Bad of Good and I weaved it into a world I was very familiar with so, hopefully, that’s where the terrifying authenticity comes from.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DS Jo Howe, if /when Bad For Good is made into a TV series?

GB; Keeley Hawes! She wasn’t in mind when I wrote Jo but I know she’d play such a complex, driven yet vulnerable character perfectly.

Keeley Hawes

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

GB: When I was very young, I loved the Narnia stories as the worlds and adventures they took me on were spellbinding. I remember then picking up When the Lion Feeds, by Wilbur Smith and similarly lost myself in this time a real, yet far away, world. His storytelling just drew me in and that started my love of books. In terms of the TV, it has to be The Professionals. I loved it so much that I remember my police -officer uncle, no doubt prompted by my dad, sitting me down to check that I knew the force I’d set my sights on joining wasn’t actually like that!

JW: As we’re now in May, which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

GB: Wow, there are so so many! I think I’ll plump for Truth be Told by Kia Abdullah. The themes she fearlessly explores around class, privilege, race and religion are so powerfully woven into a gripping race to the truth, it left me quite breathless.

I can’t wait for The Murder Book by Mark Billingham. His Thorne stories, and the standalone, are utterly addictive and so brilliantly written it makes me sick! He’s a friend so I can say that!

JW: Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

GB: I love Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X books. The whole concept of an orphan who escapes a black ops programme to go around helping desperate people, in the most violent ways you could imagine, is stunning. But it’s his writing which really brings it alive. There is not a wasted syllable, and his descriptive powers and similes are inspired. In 2018, I’d had a few beers at Harrogate Crime Festival when someone, out of the blue, introduced him to me. Well, I fawned over him, quoting brilliant lines I remembered. I could tell he was bored, despite smiling nicely. Thankfully someone ushered me away before I made a complete fool of myself!

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

GB: No hesitation – bringing up triplets to become the wonderful young adults they are now. My wife, Julie, and I always put them first. She gave up her job and I did what I could not to get unnecessarily sucked into work so we could be there for them. Now we have a police officer (who’s also a high-level football referee), a nurse and an astrophysics PhD (don’t ask!) We couldn’t be more proud of Conall, Niamh and Deaglan.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

GB: The 1966 World Cup final. I love football and it would have been great to see what would become a once in a lifetime victory for England. The young, poorly paid, un-pampered men who brought the country the pride we so needed, probably wasn’t as appreciated as it would have been if they’d known what footballing failures we’d become and how mollycoddled today’s players are.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

GB: It might sound corny, but my family. I still adore spending time with the ‘kids’ (I watch Conall being abused by players and crowds alike most Saturdays at Football) and just enjoying their company as funny, intelligent grown-ups. I love it that two still live at home, and they’re 25 in July!

JW: Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

GB: One of many bookshelves in my home.

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

GB: Wilbur Smith – to suck up every ounce of his advice and hopefully learn that he suffered from imposter syndrome too.

Alexander Hamilton – I’m fascinated with his story (borne from the musical, I’ll admit) but would love to know how it felt to build a nation amongst such hostility.

Doreen Lawrence – To say sorry on behalf of the police service (although I had nothing to do with the Metropolitan Police then or now) and to hear how a mother could show such dignity in the wake of such tragedy and injustice.

Oscar Wilde – He’d just be fascinating, but I’d love to hear how it was to suffer the horrors of being punished just for being who you were.

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

GB: Be kind and if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on??

GB: As well as advising dozens of authors and TV writers, I’m editing the second in the Jo Howe series and writing Book 3. I’m really putting her through it by the way!

You can find Graham Bartlett’s website HERE

You can follow Graham on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can BUY Bad For Good HERE

#Guest #Author #TinaOrrMunro @TinaOrrMunro Author of @BreakneckPoint published by @HQstories

Thank you so much Tina for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of Breakneck Point come from?

TOM: Yes, I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first ‘book’ at 14 which was a terrible plagiarised version of a novel I’d just read! Until I wrote Breakneck Point, I had always seen myself as a potential YA novelist. It was a friend who got me thinking when they asked me that as someone who’d been a CSI and then a police and crime journalist for twenty odd years, why had I never written a crime novel?

JW: Did you base Ally Dymond, the lead character in Breakneck Point on anyone?

TOM: No, she isn’t based on anyone, but I would say she shares a few qualities with one of my sisters including that strong sense of pursuing something because it is the right thing to do even though it could cost you.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of Ally Dymond if Breakneck Point was turned into a TV series or movie?

TOM: I think Eve Myles would make a great Ally Dymond.

Eve Myles

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

TOM: I grew up in rural Devon in the 70s when television wasn’t on 24 hours a day and children’s programmes took up a small part of the schedule, so television was far less significant than it is now. Both my parents were huge readers and passed their love of books onto their children. I would look forward to the weekly mobile library visit with far more anticipation than any television programme. I loved Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2022, has been your favourite?

TOM: I’ve read some great debuts this year, but the one that stands out for me is The Storytellers by Caron McKinlay (out in May) which I had early sight of. It’s a grab-you by-the-scruff-of-the-neck-and-not-let-you-go-kind-of-book about three women who find themselves in the afterlife where they must face the reckoning of the relationships they had when they were alive. It is a bold, dark, witty tale.

JW: Who do you most admire?

TOM: My grandmother. She was orphaned as a baby during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. She faced enormous hardship in her early life, but she survived it all and went on to create a family that she adored and meant the world to her. She had a steely spirit, but she was incredibly warm and generous, and she loved to laugh.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

TOM: My children, although it’s an ongoing project!

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

TOM: I’d like to visit The Globe on the opening night of A Midsummers Night’s Dream. I love Shakespeare and I’ve seen several versions of this play, but I’d love to see how it was originally produced and to experience the atmosphere of an Elizabethan theatre.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

TOM: Greece. I spend a lot of time there and just love it.

JW: If you could invite 4 people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

TOM: Robin Williams who I first saw in Mork and Mindy and just thought he was the funniest person I’d ever come across. A brilliantly inventive comedian, he’d keep us entertained, but he always struck me as a nice guy too. Charles Dickens because I’m endlessly fascinated by the era he was writing in and would want to know more about that thin veneer of Victorian prosperity and propriety that masked incredible poverty and deprivation. Elvis because I love live music and go as often as I can, but I was too young to see Elvis. I would ask him very nicely to sing Only Fools Fall in Love. Gerald Durrell because I adored My Family and Other Animals and he’d regale me with brilliant tales of growing up on Corfu which I first visited and fell in love with when I was ten years old.

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

TOM: The best piece of advice I was ever given is “that it is better to do something than to regret not doing it.”

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on??

TOM: I’m currently writing book 2 in the CSI Ally Dymond series. I’m also working on my grandmother’s memoir.

Breakneck Point introduces the character of Ally Dymond, a tough, but flawed Crime Scene Investigator (or Scenes of Crime Officer) consigned to minor crimes in a North Devon backwater after blowing the whistle on corruption. I hadn’t read many novels that had a CSI as their main protagonist and as I used to be a SOCO many years ago (long enough ago that it was more Sherlock Holmes than CSI Miami!) I decided I would write one.
I am a massive fan of urban crime, but I specifically wanted to set Breakneck Point in North Devon. North Devon is area that is very close to my heart. I grew up there in the 70s and had what I call an ‘Enid Blyton’ upbringing in a tiny village called Wembworthy. I now live in Barnstaple with my own family. It is as beautiful as the postcards show you, but I wanted to write crime a novel that shows the reality for many, of living in a rural area, a reality that is often at odds with those stunning views. I hope Breakneck Point will be the first of many novels featuring Ally Dymond that I’ll be adding to my author page. Thank you for reading.
I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter @Tinaorrmunro or Instagram @tinaorrmunro I also run a blog called Cocktails With My Characters (www.cocktailswithmycharacters.com) where authors drop by the imaginary Tequila Mockingbird Cocktail Bar to give us the inside line on one of their characters. You can also find us on Twitter @cocktails_my and instagram @cocktails_with_my_characters. Join us for a Gin Eyre (sorry!) and chat.

You can buy Breakneck Point HERE

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