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February 2014 crime author interview – Zach Abrams


1. How did you get started writing
I’ve been writing all my life but up until the last few years my writing has been confined to business letters, reports and presentations. Inspired by Elly Grant, I started writing novels two to three years ago and I must say I find it a more honourable use of fiction. Besides, the readers of my books tend to be far more tolerant to my use of metaphor and hyperbole than Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Revenue & Customs ever were.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I’ve always enjoyed reading crime fiction and I love that it gives me the opportunity to stretch my imagination, seeking original versions of crime and ‘larger then life’ characters.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
It’s difficult to say. My reading taste is eclectic and I believe, whether conscious or otherwise, I will be influenced in some way by anything I read or learn; fiction or non-fiction and whether or not I like it. I don’t consciously take inspiration or follow the style of any particular author.

4. What was the inspiration behind the Alex Warren Series
I truly don’t know. I knew I wanted to try writing a murder mystery and had the idea for the opening murder – it just took off from there.

5. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I went through the normal process of submitting manuscripts or samples and received the ‘to be expected’ rejections but I also received some positive feedback but with very onerous contract terms. Around the same time Elly Grant was also receiving offers which also were very demanding and what we considered to be unfair. We took the view if others were wanting to publish us then we had something worthwhile and decided to set up Author Way to publish our own works together with providing a fair service for other authors.

6. There are many interesting characters in the Alex Warren Series, do you have a particular favourite
I have a love/hate relationship with all of my characters often varying depending on what I’m writing at the time and its perspective. I probably feel closest to Alex and Sandra because I feel I’ve spent so much time with them but of the peripheral characters I enjoyed writing Carol in Made a Killing.

7. Do you think that with the amalgamation in April of the Scottish police force in to one organization could affect your books in the future
Not significantly. I have made reference to it in ‘A Measure of Trouble’ and the challenges, opportunities and threats of the consolidation

8. Why did you decide to set your books in Central Scotland Easy question to answer.
I was born and raised here and it’s easier and more accurate to write about what you know

9. What kind of research did you have to undertake for your book
The business aspects come from my own training, knowledge and experiences. This has been supplemented by much reading and talking to people with specific expertise. Research has included checking facts on the FBI website and having elements of my writing checked by Special Branch.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life
No, almost all are fictitious but various aspects of different individuals will have characteristics of real people. I have however used some real people in shops and cafes as peripheral to give it some extra authenticity fro people who know them. (eg Cathy and Norman in the Laurels and Rico at La Brava)

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice
I’ve attended readings and question sessions with some ‘better known’ authors and I am active in a number of author networks however I couldn’t say a specific yes to the question.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
Yes, but I’m not saying which bits (to protect the guilty)

13. What do you see for the future of Alex Warren in your books
The third in the series is in progress and I have preliminary ideas for others so I have plans for his character to develop – to know how you’ll have to wait and see

14. You have been compared in your writing to some of the big names in Scottish Crime Fiction, how does that make you feel
Afraid, very afraid. Seriously though, Scotland has and has always had a fantastic range of talented writers. It would be a great honour to be even spoken about in the same sentence

15. As a blossoming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
For any writer, irrespective of genre, I would advise the first word of advice is persevere. Try and write every day, even a little, and don’t get obsessive about corrections until you have a first draft complete, then check and edit as carefully as you are able


Alex Warren Murder Mysteries

Made a Killing
A Measure of Trouble

Twists and Turns with Elly Grant
Ring Fenced
The Source


Publisher website – Authorway

Made a Killing
A Measure of Trouble
Ring Fenced
SOURCE, Greed, Power, Revenge, or is it Economic Terrorism
Twists & Turns

Amazon Author Page


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