Deborah Masson was born and bred in Aberdeen, Scotland. Always restless and fighting against being a responsible adult, she worked in several jobs including secretarial, marketing, reporting for the city’s freebie newspaper and a stint as a postie – to name but a few.
Through it all, she always read crime fiction and, when motherhood finally settled her into being an adult (maybe even a responsible one) she turned her hand to writing what she loved. Deborah started with short stories and flash fiction whilst her daughter napped and, when she later welcomed her son into the world, she decided to challenge her writing further through online courses with Professional Writing Academy and Faber Academy. Her debut novel, Hold Your Tongue, is the result of those courses.
How did you get started writing?
I always loved writing as a kid but, as life took over, I left it for a good while. I started writing again when my daughter was two years old. I was at home full-time and wanted something just for me that would keep the old grey matter ticking over whilst she napped. I began scribbling then moved to exploring flash fiction and short stories and then got up the courage to send it out to competitions. I was amazed when I experienced some success.
What drew you to write a novel?
I had embarked on a six-week online Professional Writing Academy course called ‘Introduction to Crime Fiction’ and it ignited a fire in my belly. This led me on to taking the seed of an idea that I created on that short course forward to a Faber online course ‘Write the First 15K of your novel’. By then I was excited to think I might actually be able to write a novel.
Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’ve always devoured crime fiction and there are too many writers, past and present, that have influenced my writing for me to be able to narrow it down. There’s a wealth of talent out there but I’m a sucker for a police procedural or a thriller. I guess Mark Billingham’s DI Tom Thorne was the first police procedural series that I was desperate to get my mitts on every book.
When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I was very lucky in that I sent out the opening chapters to four agents and then got a request for the full MS from my wonderful agent, Oli Munson, at AM Heath. This led to interest and an offer from Random House in Germany, followed by an offer from Transworld UK. It all happened in a matter of months and was a whirlwind to say the least.
There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
I’d have to say my main character, DI Eve Hunter. She has a special place in my heart. I’ve thrown so much at her and she’s always fought back and taken it on the chin. She’s a strong, determined, capable woman and I admire that about her.
What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?
I admit to not doing much research. My debut was born out of years of reading and watching crime. I did have to speak with a specialist at the University of Aberdeen to find out what would happen if your tongue was cut out. I think they were a tad worried it wasn’t purely for research!
Are the characters in your books based on any real in life?
No. I steered clear of that!
Do you have a particular favourite scene in the book and why?
It has to be the prologue. It was the first scene I wrote and that’s scene was pivotal for how the rest of the book would go. It was the first thing I posted to the Faber course forum and I was blown away by the tutor and fellow students’ feedback. That prologue largely stayed as it was when it hit the shelves.
Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
I think I’m quite a determined person and I’ve learned I’m much stronger and more capable than I think at times, so in that sense I do see some of myself in Eve.
If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you might have planned?
Book two in the DI Eve Hunter series, OUT FOR BLOOD, will be out in ebook in November 2020, followed by the paperback in December. It explores human trafficking and prostitution in Aberdeen and the glaring divide between the rich and poor. I’m about to start writing book three in the series.
If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any writer alive or dead, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Stephen King. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his books for years and own a very battered copy of his writing advice book ‘On Writing’. I love the way he writes and there’s so much to be learned from him – especially when it comes to characterisation and building suspense.
Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel?
Make time for it. Place as much importance on it as any other appointment in your week. Keep turning up even on the bad days, but most of all believe.
In the run up to Christmas, a serial killer stalks the streets of Aberdeen . . .
A brutal murder.
A young woman’s body is discovered with horrifying injuries, a recent newspaper cutting pinned to her clothing.
A detective with everything to prove.
This is her only chance to redeem herself.
A serial killer with nothing to lose.
He’s waited years, and his reign of terror has only just begun . . .
Introducing DI Eve Hunter, HOLD YOUR TONGUE is your new obsession.
Hold your Tongue Won the 2020 Scottish Crime Debut of the Year at this years Bloody scotland Crime Festival
You can watch a exclusive video of Deborah Masson reading from Hold your Tongue at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDyaL8iKq0g
Amazon Link – Hold Your Tongue: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hold-Your-Tongue-Eve-Hunter/dp/0552176524
A young man, the son of an influential businessman, is discovered dead in his central Aberdeen apartment.
Hours later, a teenaged girl with no identification is found hanged in a suspected suicide.
As DI Eve Hunter and her team investigate the two cases, they find themselves in a tug-of-war between privilege and poverty; between the elite and those on the fringes of society.
Then an unexpected breakthrough leads them to the shocking conclusion: that those in power have been at the top for too long – and now, someone is going to desperate lengths to bring them down…
Can they stop someone who is dead set on revenge, no matter the cost?
Amazon Link – Out For Blood: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Blood-addictive-detective-thriller-ebook/dp/B085RBVZ2L