How did you get started writing?
As a child, I was a voracious reader, however it was only when I read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye that I was inspired to write. I wrote lots of short stories and poetry which all ended up stuffed in a drawer. I went on to study English Literature at university and later became a teacher. I began writing short stories again and eventually wrote Riven.
What drew you to write a crime novel?
I’ve always loved reading crime fiction and the idea of the outsider. Also, the story I wanted to tell in Riven suited the genre.
Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I enjoyed reading William McIlvanney, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Mo Hayder and many more. I also attended an Arvon course on crime writing (tutored by Louise Welsh and Allan Guthrie) which I found both helpful and inspiring.
When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I submitted writing to various competitions. Eventually, as a result of winning one, I was put in touch with my agent who then secured a publishing deal. Riven is the first in a series of novels featuring DIs Wheeler and Ross.
There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
I have two! My detectives Kat Wheeler and Steven Ross are my favourites, but I also have a soft spot for Andy Doyle.
What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?
I didn’t do a lot of research. I was brought up in the East End of Glasgow, so the geography was familiar to me but I did research both forensic and police procedures.
Are the characters in your books based on anyone in real life?
No, everyone is a product of my imagination. (Although my husband swears that aspects of DI Ross are based on him.)
What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there?
The location is very important in Riven. It’s set in the East End of Glasgow, a place which is incredibly interesting and atmospheric. Also the novel doesn’t rely solely on a ‘good versus evil’ narrative. As human beings we often have to deal with complex moral and ethical decisions which can result in uncomfortable compromise. I hope this is reflected in some way in Riven.
Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
I share Kat Wheeler’s love of Thelonious Monk and the Scottish Colourists but sadly not her discipline.
If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?
The next novel, Silenced, will be published in September 2015. When Wheeler and Ross hunt a killer who is targeting a vulnerable group within society, the killer then makes it personal.
What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why?
It was the opening scene of Riven. I write in an organic (messy!) way and wait to see where it may fit into the book, but once I’d written that first scene I knew that it was the beginning of a novel.
As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
Keep writing. Share your work with friends and fellow writers. Listen to feedback. These are your first readers. And edit, rewrite, edit! And if it interests you as a writer, find a decent course.
First he kills.
A psychologist is found brutally murdered, an addict jumps to his death and a student is found dead. These are the facts. And they are all that DIs Wheeler and Ross have.
As Wheeler and Ross weave through the layers of Glasgow’s underbelly they find a subculture where truth and lies are interchangeable commodities and violence is the favoured currency.
The killer stays one step ahead of them as Wheeler uncovers a web of deceit in which her own nephew is entangled.
He leaves his legacy…
And as the case draws to a close, Wheeler has to confront her own integrity and face the dilemma: is justice always served by the truth?
Amazon Author Page