Making Sense of Chaos – Giulia Skye – This Writing Life #17

Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome Giulia Skye, whose debut novel, When Adam Met Evie, was published on 7th February, with a guest post about her writing process.
Over to Guilia …

Making Sense of Chaos
Giulia Skye

New FINAL Book Cover - When Adam Met Evie (Dec 2019) (1)Have you ever disturbed a trail of ants and watched the ensuing chaos? The once uniform line turns into a mass of scattered dots, patches here and there that have no shape or pattern, then after a few minutes of reordering, the ants fall into line again, the trail restored into a seamless flowing line. Every ant slotting into place.

This pretty much sums up my writing process! That uniform line of ants is the germ of my story idea. It’s neat, tidy and making oh-so-much sense in my head – until I disturb it by writing it down. It then turns into a mass of scattered sentences and frantic scenes that make absolutely no sense. It’s a mess! The once uniform line is such a distant memory that I lose sight of it. There are so many lose threads and options. Which way do I turn? I scrabble around trying to find direction until, somehow, I begin to detect a flow. The scattered sentences and frantic scenes eventually fall in to line. And, slowly, so does everything else.

Very slowly indeed!

Ants reform their orderly trail within seconds and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all write novels that quickly?

When Adam Met Evie is my first completed novel and I learnt so much about myself as a writer during the countless hours I spent sitting at my desk writing it.

Firstly, I’m not a detailed plotter. I play about with scene ideas in my head, mulling them over until they stick. Secondly, I can’t move on to the next scene or chapter without getting the previous scene to a level I’m happy with. There’s a lot of going back and forth. And thirdly, because I write character driven romances, I discovered that I’ve got to know my characters really well before the story can properly take shape. So much of the plot and action depends on how they react to whatever I throw at them.

When Adam Met Evie_BTS (1)One thing that I really noticed while writing When Adam Met Evie was how much all the writing tips and advice I’d absorbed over the years was actually true. Phrases like “writing is re-writing”, “write the book you’d like to read”, and “things are so because characters are so” really made sense. I was so encouraged by such advice that I put together a Behind the Scenes look at the making of the novel, in which I highlight my favourite writing tips and how they helped me. It’s geared towards giving new writers like me an example of someone’s writing process and is available via my website when readers subscribe to my newsletter. It also contains my terrible first drafts! It was quite nerve wracking exposing these but I honestly believe that if I had seen examples of other writers’ first drafts when I first started writing myself, it would have helped me gain a better understanding of the writing process – in particular, that words don’t magically spill out of a writer’s brain and on to the page in a uniform line of perfect prose!

Thanks so much, Giulia, for giving us an insight into your writing process and your writing life.

New FINAL Book Cover - When Adam Met Evie (Dec 2019) (1)

When former Olympic Swimmer, Michael Adams—now reluctantly Canada’s hottest reality TV star— insults his fake showbiz wife on social media, he escapes the ensuing scandal and jumps on the first flight to Australia. Desperate to experience ordinary life again—if only for a few weeks—he becomes “Adam”, just another tourist traveling through the Outback. But with a reward out for his safe return and his fame’s nasty habit of catching up with him when he least expects, he needs a disguise… and he’s just found it.
Sweet and scruffy British backpacker, Evie Blake, is taking a year out of her busy London life. Tired of lies and liars, she’s looking for adventure to heal her broken heart. So when the hot Canadian she meets at the campground offers to be her travel partner through Western Australia’s wild Kimberley region, she grabs the chance, unaware he’s got the world out looking for him.
He’s just a down-on-his-luck traveler, right?
To read When Adam Met Evie, please go to:

https://books2read.com/WhenAdamMetEvie

Please click on links or copy and paste into your browser

Website – http://www.giuliaskye.com

Connect with Giulia:
On Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/giulia-skye
On Twitter – @GiuliaSkye
On Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/giuliaskye

Giulia Skye - Profile Photo (1)Italian-born Giulia Skye spent her childhood watching classic Hollywood films and thinking up her own romantic stories. After two decades working in TV production, she knew turning those stories into novels would be much more enjoyable – and far cheaper – than turning them into films. She still keeps her hand in TV production but is at her happiest being a stay-at-home mum, spending time with her family, growing her own vegetables, and conjuring up sizzling stories about sexy heroes meeting feisty heroines who aren’t always as they at first appear. When Adam Met Evie is her first novel, Book 1 of her “Take a Holiday” series.

How Family Feeds My Fiction – Vivien Brown – ThisWriting Life #16

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Vivien Brown to my blog, with a fab guest post.                  Over to Vivien …

How Family Feeds My Fiction

Vivien Brown

NO SISTER OF MINE cover (1)

Since giving up the day job and becoming a full-time writer, it’s been hard to separate the two halves of my life – family and work. After all, they exist side by side under the same roof. My ‘office’ is a bedroom upstairs, my ‘works canteen’ is my home kitchen, and a call arriving on the phone on my desk is just as likely to be from a friend or relative as it is a writing contact.

It’s a fuzzy line (and I don’t mean the phone connection!) which is only too easy to cross when I move away from my laptop and within a few yards find myself in front of the TV, getting distracted by a crossword or newspaper, or popping the laundry into the machine. But, on the plus side, I don’t have to ask a boss for time off or have a daily commute to worry about. I can even work in my pyjamas if I choose to!

They say you can only really write well about what you know. I don’t fully support that theory, as research and imagination can always fill in the blanks. Still, even before I was surrounded by it 24 hours a day, what I know best is family life, and that’s why I write about domestic themes and the drama that goes on, often unseen, within the walls of ordinary homes.

In my first novel, ‘Lily Alone’, I explored the mother/child relationship in its many incarnations – a lonely elderly woman estranged from her son; a young single mum who grew up in care because her mother was an alcoholic and is now struggling to cope with a toddler of her own; a middle-aged widow still wondering about the child she gave up for adoption forty years earlier; and a career girl about to get married but not sure she is ready to take on a step-child.

In ‘Five Unforgivable Things’, I looked at what it felt like not to be able to hold that precious longed-for baby. I wrote about infertility and IVF, miscarriage and still birth, and their lasting effects, not only on the would-be parents but the wider family network. It’s the story of a long marriage too, from young love through heartbreak and betrayal to the brink of divorce. I have experienced many of those things myself, and although it is not my story, a lot of the background, and the emotion, came from real life.

And now there’s ‘No Sister of Mine’, a novel about two sisters, very close as children, yet very different in temperament and ambitions, and of the man who tears them apart. My family is packed with sisters. My mum, myself, my daughters, and my granddaughters, all grew up in two-girl households. No brothers at all. So, of course I know about sisters – the closeness, the rivalries, the fallings-out, maybe even the revenge – and that’s why I just had to bring their story to the page!

Thank you, Vivien, for such an interesting post about your writing life.

NO SISTER OF MINE

NO SISTER OF MINE cover (1)The gripping and emotional page-turner from the author of Lily Alone.

Two sisters, both emerging into womanhood, but they couldn’t be more different; Eve, the mature and sensible one. Sarah, headstrong and eager for a taste of life.

Eve is struggling to recover from a bad experience with a boy at a party and embarks on university life determined that nothing like that will happen to her again.

Sarah can’t wait to grow up, she’s sick of Eve’s lectures and is determined to make a grab at life despite being barely out of school.

When Eve brings a new face home for the holidays, Sarah does something that will change both of their lives forever. Something that Eve can never forget – or forgive. But life won’t keep them apart forever and decades later, one of them will have to choose whether to put the past behind her, or to hold on to hate forever…

If you would like to purchase No Sister of Mine, please click on the following link or copy and past into your browser:
Amazon link: http://www.amzn.to/33XCnNq

author Vivien Brown 2 (1)VIVIEN BROWN

Originally trained in finance and banking, but more recently working with young children and their families in libraries and children’s centres, Vivien started her writing career, using her then name of Vivien Hampshire, with a 150-word paragraph that won the Mail on Sunday ‘Best Opening to a Novel’ competition in 1993. Since then she has sold more than 140 short stories to UK women’s magazines and 250 articles about working with children to professional nursery and childcare magazines, and has had two novels and a pocket novel published as Vivien Hampshire, along with a book about how to ‘crack’ cryptic crosswords.

 

As Vivien Brown, she has two women’s contemporary novels, ‘Lily Alone’ and ‘Five Unforgivable Things’ published by Harper Impulse in e-book and paperback, while her third, ‘No Sister of Mine’ is being published by One More Chapter on 17 January 2020. Vivien lives in Middlesex with her husband and two cats. She has IVF twin daughters, now grown-up, and two young granddaughters who keep her busy and entertained. When not writing she loves reading, watching TV quizzes, hospital and period dramas (Holby City, Call the Midwife and Poldark are her favourites) and tackling and compiling tricky crosswords. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and a fellow of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ).

To follow Vivien on social media please click on the following links or copy and paste into your browser:
BLOG: https://vivienbrownauthor.wordpress.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/viv.hampshire
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/VivBrownAuthor

The Killer Touch – This Writing Life #15 – Lorraine Mace

Today, I’m delighted to host a guest post from Lorraine Mace about her writing life as an author of hard-boiled crime fiction.

Over to Lorraine…

The Killer Touch – Lorraine Mace

1. Retriever of Souls (1)I write what is termed hard-boiled crime and I’m often asked how I come up with story ideas. I always give the same response: I have an evil mind. The knowledge that I know more ways to kill people and cover up the crime than the average woman doesn’t help my partner to a restful night. I think he’s worried I might one day help him to a permanent rest.

This fear was reinforced when I tried to record dialogue in the middle of the night. I often wake with the words of characters ringing in my head, but find I’ve lost the vibrancy of the voices by the time morning comes. Rather than switch the light on and wake him, I thought I’d be considerate and whisper the conversation between my killer and his victim into my phone.

I was well into my stride when the room lit up.

“What on earth are you doing?” Chris demanded. “Have you any idea how creepy it is to wake up hearing you threaten to cut off body parts and fry them?”

“But I was whispering,” I said, annoyed that he hadn’t appreciated my consideration. “And that was supposed to make it better?” he asked, switching the light off again with more force than I thought necessary.

2. Children in Chains (1)Chris is one of the few people I know who has no ambition to appear in one of my D.I. Sterling books. My local butcher wants to feature as a drug lord, while his apprentice says I should use his name for a rent boy. When I told the young lad I thought he had the perfect name for my next murderer he was overjoyed.

George, who lives next door, says he’d like to be a con artist. Josie, his wife, would rather be a modern-day Bonnie, but doesn’t want George to feature as Clyde.

“If I’m going to have a fantasy come true, I don’t want him in it,” she whispered while the poor man was in the kitchen making tea.

3. Injections of Insanity (1)

 

I check the internet to make sure my criminals’ actions are credible. The best advice, though, comes from experts. I was in a hospital waiting room one day, having walked past the sign for the morgue, when I wondered if it was possible to kill by injecting someone with embalming fluid. Fortunately, I knew a doctor to ask – sadly, the answer was no because it would have to go in the femoral artery and that wasn’t feasible if the person was still alive.

“What about warfarin?” I asked, but that has to be taken orally and I needed something to inject for the killer in book three of my D.I. Sterling series, Injections of Insanity. The doctor came to my rescue.

“The easiest injectable drug for a murderer would be insulin. It’s difficult to spot unless the forensic pathologist is specifically looking for it in overdose and you can buy it on the internet.”

I told Chris about it and he looked terrified.

“Stop being such a wimp,” I said. “If I was going to murder you, I wouldn’t tell you in advance about the method I’d use.”

He shook his head and said I needed professional help. I can’t imagine what he means!

Thank you, Lorraine, for giving us such a wonderful insight into your writing life.

Here is the blurb for Retriever of Souls – the first in the D.I. Sterling series

Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption. Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

Rage_&_Retribution_FC (1)Series links (please click on the link below)

Retriever of Souls: https://amzn.to/2WX0aLS

Children in Chains: https://amzn.to/2Nr2xTU

Injections of Insanity: https://amzn.to/2NrClbG

Rage and Retribution: https://amzn.to/33wkbLI

Lorraine Mace (1)

 

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Find Lorraine at:

Website: http://www.lorrainemace.com

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52

This Writing Life #14 – Tom Williams – From Historical to Magical

Today, I’m delighted to welcome author Tom Williams to my blog, with a guest post about his writing life and his new novel, Dark Magic. 

Over to Tom …

NPG 1559; Sir James Brooke by Sir Francis GrantEven when I was young, so long ago that the history I write about these days was practically current affairs, I wanted to be a writer. What eventually inspired me to put words on paper was a visit to Borneo where I discovered James Brooke, the first White Rajah. His story was crying out to be made into a novel. In fact it was crying out to be made into a novel so much that it had already been done several times. Conrad’s Lucky Jim is loosely based on him and he appears in MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman’s Lady. There’s even a pornographic version. But I reckoned that there was room for one more and it’s fair to say my take on the story is different from everybody else’s.

Some people (including some mainstream publishers) have even said very nice things about it, but the consensus of mainstream publishers was that it was “too difficult” for a first book from an unknown author. My agent (I had an agent back in those days) told me to write something easier but to keep it historical.

This started me down the path of historical novel writing. So far six of my historical novels have been published – still none of them by mainstream publishers. Even so, they’ve got out into the world and people read them and some people have even been awfully nice about them. I don’t have any regrets about the efforts that I put into them. That said, writing historical novels is hard work. Mine are closely based in historical fact. I wouldn’t like to say how many hours are spent researching for every hour that is actually spent writing, but it’s quite a lot.

I kept envying people who write contemporary stories. And eventually, inevitably, I decided to try to do that too.

DarkMagicCoverDark Magic grew out of an evening with a bunch of magicians and a reasonable amount of alcohol and once the idea had taken root, it wouldn’t go away. It’s a simple idea (a troupe of regular stage magicians are trying to take down a group who are using Black Magic in their act) and it’s a short book. (That’s another nice thing about contemporary fiction: most historical novels are just very long.) In the end, I told the story in 33,000 words. That counts as a novella. I don’t know why novellas are unpopular with publishers, but they are. It’s strange because in this world of short attention spans and instant gratification the idea of a book that doesn’t demand a significant chunk of your life to read it should be popular.

 

Dark Magic let me have fun writing. I hope you have fun reading. There are more serious historical novels on the way, but if you like this I may try another book set in the 21st century.

Thanks, Tom, for telling about your writing life. – L

If you would like to purchase, Dark Magic, please click on the link below:

DSC_0105

TOM WILLIAMS has published six books of historical fiction but DARK MAGIC is his first contemporary story and his first novella (33,000 words). He has spent far too much time hanging round with magicians.

Website: http://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams/

Twitter: @TomCW99

 

This Writing Life #13 – Gilli Allan – Buried Treasure Is Not Always What It Seems

Many different things can inspire a work of fiction, and today I’m delighted to welcome Gilli Allan to my blog with a guest post about the intriguing true story behind her latest novel, Buried Treasure.

Over to Gilli . . .

51-lToECF+L

 

Not many people dig up treasure, but my uncle did …. or did he?

Even as a small girl I was fascinated by archaeology.  I even chose it as the subject of my project in the final year of junior school and won the only prize I’ve ever received in my life. My very sketchy overview of the subject, ranged from Cave paintings to Romans (in Verulameum) to Tutankhamen.  What I didn’t mention was my family’s connection to a famous find.

Syd FordIt was many decades before I decided to write about archaeology again, but this time, when I came to devise the plot of BURIED TREASURE, I immediately wondered if I could incorporate the story of my uncle’s discovery of the Mildenhall Treasure – the iconic 4th Century AD hoard of Roman silver tableware– into my story. What I already knew – and heard it confirmed by the man himself – was that my Uncle Syd (Sydney Ford) was working on his farm in Mildenhall, Suffolk during WW2, and the plough hit a large metal dish.

On closer inspection this turned out to be the largest item of a hoard of goblets, plates and dishes. He dug it up, took it home and cleaned it, thinking it must be pewter.  After a wasted journey to the British Museum in London and finding it closed because of the war, he apparently decided he had done as much as he could, and decided to keep the hoard displayed on his sideboard. At Christmas he kept his oranges and nuts in the big bowl. treasure

After the war, a nosy neighbour tipped off the police and the hoard was confiscated.  Syd was always aggrieved that not only was his treasure “snatched”, he never got any credit for finding it and never received any reward.

I believed his account as everyone in the family did, and I had never thought to investigate further, until I came to write BURIED TREASURE. What my researches immediately revealed is that the history of the discovery of the Mildenhall Treasure contains many more questions than answers, and paints my dear old Uncle Syd in a very different, and obscured light.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquaries-journal/article/secret-history-of-the-mildenhall-treasure/

It was not Sydney Ford but his ploughman, Gordon Butcher, who turned up the treasure. It wasn’t even found on my uncle’s farm at all, but on neighbouring land that he was looking after. Unable or unwilling to be clear about the specific location of where it was unearthed, Syd’s account changed every time he was interviewed.  Because of this lack of clarity there has even been doubt cast over the fact the hoard originated in the Mildenhall area at all!  Roman villas have been found around there, but excavations have uncovered none of sufficient grandeur to have owned such a service.  Perhaps the hoard was hidden in or near Syd’s farm by twentieth century villains who’d stolen it – but from whom or from where has never been established.  Or perhaps it was lifted during the depredations of war in Italy, and flown by airman into the airfield at Mildenhall.

Mildenhall_treasure 2The treasure was not “snatched” from Syd unexpectedly.  He did know he was going to be relieved of his fruit bowl and the rest.   Declared treasure trove, the Mildenhall Treasure can now be seen in the British Museum.  And contrary to Uncle Syd’s claim, he was recompensed – £2,000 divided between Sydney Ford and Gordon Butcher, but he was denied any credit for the find.  You won’t see his name attached to the display case at the British Museum.

We loved uncle Syd, he was funny and cheeky and mischievous. But since learning of the inconsistencies in his story I have recalled the twinkle in his eye, and wonder what he knew that he wasn’t telling us.

Thank you, Gilli, for a fascinating insight into the inspiration for Buried Treasure.

P1010802 - Copy (2)Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage years. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

She is published by Headline Accent and each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

51-lToECF+LBURIED TREASURE : mybook.to/BURIEDTREASURE
Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more
different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference
planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even
want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever
have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked
them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories
intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.

If you would like to find out more about Gilli and her writing, please click on the links below or copy and paste into your browser:

mybook.to/BURIEDTREASURE

https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/gilli-allan

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gilli-Allan/e/B004W7GG7I

http://twitter.com/gilliallan   (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1027644.Gilli_Allan

https://romanticnovelistsassociation.org/rna_author/gilli-allan/

LIFE CLASS:    http://myBook.to/LifeClass

FLY OR FALL:  myBook.to/GilliAllan

TORN:   MyBook.to/gilliallansTORN   Trailer:  http://youtu.be/u2eIP16ERcI

 

 

 

 

 

Why? – Colette McCormick – This Writing Life #12

I’m always fascinated to know what inspires authors to write their books. Today, I’m delighted to welcome Colette McCormick to my blog with a guest post about why she writes. Her latest book, An Uncomplicated Man, is published 5th December.

Over to you, Colette …

It’s a well-known fact amongst writers that the big bucks are reserved for the lucky few while the rest of use fight for the scraps. So why do we do it? That’s a question that I’ve been asked more than once, and for me the answer is simple – because I enjoy it. There is something really satisfying about starting out with the kernel of an idea and turning it into the finished product that’s out there for anyone to read.

AUMMy first three books all started life in a conversation. Things I Should Have said and Done is the result of a throw away comment that my husband made during a phone call. I was away from home when he joked (I think) that they could manage without me. Within minutes of putting the phone down, Ellen was dead and her husband was a single parent.

Ribbons in Her Hair came to life when I was talking to a colleague who said that she had never felt loved by her mother. Susan came into my head and that book was her story.

I have something that my youngest son said to thank for Not My Brother’s Keeper. He was talking about clearing up the mess that his brother had left in the bedroom when he left home but I gave the younger brother in my story a bigger ‘mess’ to deal with and the story went from there. All just random conversations that the other people probably don’t even remember resulted in me holding a book that I’d written in my hand and you can’t put a price on how that made me feel.

If I was in it for the money, I’d have given up long ago. Apparently, the average amount a writer earns from their books is something like £11,000 per annum but I can only dream of earning that much. The chance would be a fine thing. However, when I see that my rating has gone up on Amazon it gives me such a thrill and oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how happy a good review makes me feel. These are the reasons that I write books.

Would I still do it even if there wasn’t the promise of publication? Of course I would. If I didn’t my head would be full of characters doing all sorts of things and there’s only so much space in there.

The idea for my latest book came just as randomly too. Back in the ‘bad old days’ when I had to do dialysis three times a week, I spent a lot of time just sitting there, thinking about all sorts of things. On one occasion, my dad came to mind and was quickly followed by his favourite song Danny Boy. I thought that would make a great title for a book. The idea that I came up with that night didn’t work out but one of the secondary characters, Daniel Laither, came to the fore and it became his story. I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hand, think of my dad and remember walking down the aisle to his favourite song. Priceless.

Colette blue

Originally a city girl, Colette has made her home in a one of the many former mining villages in County Durham. When not working as a retail manager for a large children’s charity she will more than likely be writing, even if it’s only a shopping list. She also enjoys cooking, gardening and taking the dog on long walks in the countryside near her home. She has been married for almost forty years and has two grown up sons.

Facebook Author page

Twitter: @colettemcauthor

Website:  Colette McCormick on Books and Life in General

If you would like to purchase An Uncomplicated Man, please click on the link below:

Buy An Uncomplicated Man on Amazon

This Writing Life #11 – Jane Risdon – This Crime-Writing Life

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Jane Risdon to my blog, with a guest post about her (writing!) life of crime. Her latest book is Undercover: Crime Shorts, a collection of short stories.

Over to you Jane…

This Crime-Writing Life

Jane Risdon - undercover shortsI’ve an inquisitive mind, a criminal mind you might say because I love to delve deeply into things which interest me. Being a crime writer, although not exclusively, I love anything to do with crime. I read about it, study it and its causes, and those who commit crimes and solve them.

A few years ago I undertook seven courses with various universities, tutored by the very best in their field, to better inform myself about Forensic Science and Criminal Justice, as well as a course in Archaeology, to ensure my crime writing is as accurate as it can be in regards to the detection and investigation of crime, the identification of the dead and how to follow a case from the crime scene to the court room.

Crime and criminals fascinate me, miscarriages of justice intrigue me; how can the detectives and the courts get things so wrong? I’ve studied this and much more in detail and so when I come to write I feel I have armed myself, as a writer and not an expert, with the very best tools to ensure my crimes and criminals are as realistic as possible.

I don’t write police procedurals, however, but I do call upon friends who have backgrounds in Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism to fill any gaps in my knowledge.

Where I writePlotting and setting red-herrings is both enjoyable and a headache. I need to guide the reader through a story without giving the game away until the very last minute. Agatha Christie was fantastic at doing this. I’m not comparing myself to her, but she is a great plotter who lays red-herrings all through her work. I can twist myself into knots trying to do this.

Undercover: Crime Shorts represents a very small number of stories I have written and each one is different, has a very carefully plotted crime at its heart and is designed to keep the reader guessing. I researched poisons which don’t leave a trace after a period of time, thus enabling the killer to be miles away when the actual ‘murder’ happens. I’ve devised unusual methods of murder which appear to be unfortunate ‘accidents,’ and I try to ensure that the crimes are believable and practical.

I’ve sufficient short stories to fill several more collections as well as five crime novels completed. Many have elements of espionage in them. I’m a great lover of Spy novels, and often there is a musical theme too. I’ve worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as enjoying a long career in the international music industry. Both careers have influenced my writing greatly.

~ Jane Risdon

Thank you, Jane, for guesting on my blog and writing such a fascinating piece about your crime-writing life. I very much enjoyed reading your earlier book,  Only One Woman, and I look forward to reading Undercover: Crime Shorts. 

About Jane Risdon:

Jane RisdonJane Risdon has spent most of her life in the international music business, travelling the world and experiencing many events, meeting a variety of peoples upon whom she often draws for inspiration for her crime writing. She writes in a variety of genres when the story dictates. She and her musician husband have managed the careers of recording artists, singer-songwriters, musicians, record producers and have placed music on movie and television soundtracks around the world.

She has contributed to 15 anthologies, many online and print newsletters and magazines and has co-authored the women’s fiction novel, Only One Woman, with Christina Jones, (Headline Accent) which is set in the late 1960s UK music Scene, and it’s their experiences and involvement in that era which both women have tapped into when writing together.

 

Jane is also the author of Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd) which features a small collection of short stories written specifically for the reader to enjoy when a longer story is not convenient.

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She is writing the sequel to Only One Woman, taking the story beyond the late 1960s and has recently completed a series of novels featuring a former MI5 Intelligence Officer, Ms Birdsong, desperate to find her way back into the Security Services following a disastrous joint operation with MI6 resulting in her ‘voluntary’ retirement.

 

 

If you would like to purchase Undercover Crime Shorts and Only One Woman, please click on the links below or copy and paste into your browser.

Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd) Jane Risdon:

https://books2read.com/b/4jD0wo

Available in Paperback from Waterstones and in paperback and eBook from most digital platforms.

ISBN: 9780359397839

ASIN: BO7RFRVL4P

Undercover for the first time: a collection of crime shorts from Jane Risdon with more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction – a must for those who enjoy gripping yarns with edge-of-your-seat stories and adrenaline soaring plots with last page surprises in this cleverly crafted mix of crime fiction stories.

Only One Woman: (Headline Accent) Christina Jones  Jane Risdon:

https://books2read.com/b/mlegkP

Available in Paperback from Waterstones and WH Smith and in paperback and eBooks from most digital platforms

ISBN: 9781783757312

ASIN: BO75D88JBP

If you would like to find out more about Jane Risdon and her writing, please click on the following links or copy and paste into your browser.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8

Website: https://janerisdon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/janerisdon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janerisdonwriter/

MeWe: mewe.com/i/janerisdon