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August Crime Author of the month 2014 with Helen Fitzgerald


1. How did you get started writing

I wrote a diary as a teenager, short stories as a young adult, poems in my twenties, and screenplays in my thirties. After I’d had my second baby I finally sat down to write a book. It came very quickly, and I wrote ten in seven years.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I didn’t really mean to. My screenplays were comedies and the first half of my first book, Dead Lovely, is mostly comedy. At the half way point, I remember coming downstairs and telling my husband that I’d just killed someone (i.e. in the book) and that it felt great. I’ve been killing people ever since.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
Books by women about women.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I’d struggled to get a film made, but those screenwriting years meant I had a screenwriting agent who helped me get a literary agent. He was very good at selling and I had several deals in three months.

5. So far all your Novels have been standalone,if your were given the chance to write a series would you go for it, or do you prefer writing standalone Novels
I tried a second Krissie novel on the advice of my agent (My Last Confession) but I wouldn’t do it again. I like to put my main character through hell, and you can’t do that more than once.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one

Krissie Donald (Dead Lovely) was my first character and I definitely have a soft spot for her. But I felt most connected with Joanna in The Cry. I couldn’t get out of her head, and it was a hellish place to be.

7. You have set your Novels in many different places and countries, do you have a particular favourite you like to use
I tend to set my books in Glasgow, because I’ve lived here for 23 years and am more familiar with it than anywhere else. But I loved writing about Point Lonsdale in The Cry. It was the first time I’d set a book in Australia and I found myself much more in tune with the landscape than I’ve ever been before.

8. As an author you are based in Glasgow, there are many authors that live in or write about Glasgow, what do you think makes your Novels stand out 
Nothing. All those other Weegie writers are genius.

9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels
I always find myself reading about three or four different issues/places/events for each book. At the moment I’m reading forums where adopted children from other countries are talking to each other. I’m also reading about South Korea, Magaluf nightclubs, and the laws which apply to online videos.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life 
No! (Yes)

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you
any advice
So many! I can’t get over how helpful giants like Denise Mina and Laura Lippman are.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
Yes. My female characters are usually guilt-ridden. That’s definitely me.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
The Exit is out in February 2014. Rose, 82, has dementia and is in a care home. No-one will believe her when she says something terrible is going on.

14. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you
The Cry. I felt like everything came together for that one.

15. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

The main thing is to write. That’s the fun part and the only thing that matters. Sit on the chair and write.

Dead Lovely (2007)
My Last Confession (2009)
The Devil’s Staircase (2009)
Bloody Women (2009)
Amelia O’Donohue Is So Not a Virgin (2010)
Hot Flush (2011)
The Donor (2011)
Deviant (2013)
The Cry (2013)
The Exit (2015)

The Duplicate (2012)

Amazon Author Page


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