1.How did you get started writing?
More by default than design. I went along to a local creative writing class thinking that I could use writing as a way of relaxing, of switching off the day job. We had a lovely teacher called Gavin Orr who was enthusiastic and complimentary. He helped build our confidence and set us on our separate ways. Since I’d written up a Ph.D I wasn’t daunted by a big word count and realized that writing a novel is not a destination, but the first stop on a journey.
2.What drew you to write a crime novel?
I have always been, a serial crime reader so it seemed like a natural place to start. Although, I don’t remember thinking at any time, I must write a crime novel.
3.Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
Everyone I’ve ever read has had an influence on me, and by proxy on what I write. Influence needn’t always be positive. For example, I’ve read a few things that felt like a wade through deep mud, and was reminded to avoid writing that kind of narrative. Life is too short to ask other people to do that. I like to keep my work pacy. I love so many writers that it’s hard to narrow them down, but Val McDermid’s Lindsay Gordon Mysteries, were where I was first hooked on crime. Louise Welsh, whom, I’m not sure would call herself a crime writer, tells a mean tale, which would have me unplug the phone. Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Jonanthan Kellerman, Laurie.R.King, Frank Tallis are a few who keep me awake at night, but I could go on and on.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
No. My first book, Freud’s Converts was accepted by one of the first two publishers I sent it to. Writing fiction is a whole different story. The novels have made there way to a few editorial committees, which is code for, the publisher liked the first three chapters enough to request a full MSS, they liked the MSS enough to send it out to readers, then the readers reports came in and were positive enough for it to go to an editorial committee, then at that last hurdle didn’t make it. I, like many authors, could paper my walls with the loveliest rejections. But on that note, I wouldn’t want to work in publishing, at the moment, for anything. It’s such a tough job.
5.There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite?
Strangely, I’ve learned to enjoy them all for different reasons, but Jules, who is a minor character, could be my alter ego.
6. What kind of research have you undertaken for your Novels?
For the first couple I’ve drawn on my own experience. But I have been on many writers’ retreats and done a couple of forensic science courses, but almost anything that happens in life is up for grabs to build a story.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any in real life?
No, all the characters are drawn by melding characteristics, or the traits of many people from my experience. I’m sure that every author gets accused of using real people. Since the books are mainly set in Edinburgh, my home town, I wouldn’t dare.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction out there?
I think having a female, bisexual protagonist with a few strange strings to her bow has helped.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
My readers think there’s a lot of me in Viv Fraser. I wish! She’s leggie and good looking. Of course the way she thinks has to come from someone, but her views don’t always echo mine. In fact, I can have lots of fun writing views which are opposed to my own.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?
Yes, I have the first draft of book three. Viv is having some time in the country.
11.What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why?
In book two, Viv has a fight with Lucy, which was good fun to imagine. I get a kick out of writing about things I’ve never done myself, which in crime writing, leaves me lots of scope.
12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
To paraphrase Jane Austen’s character, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, ‘If only she’d practiced she’d be a true proficient’. If you really enjoy the process of editing, being a writer won’t be difficult. Sitting down and writing a story is a piece of cake, it’s the editing that makes for hard work.
If you ever thought the life of a hairdresser was tranquil, then think again. This is no ordinary hairdresser. Viv Fraser Ph.D and stylist to the Edinburgh establishment, has a double life as an investigative journalist and finds herself involved in some hair-raising, not to mention explosive scenes, as she trawls the seamier side of her city.
In this fast-paced mystery Viv investigates the case of a missing teenage boy, but her efforts are hampered by people trying to save their own skin. Always top of his class, Andrew’s school blazer turns up on a river path without him. As she picks at the veneer of the Capital’s gay scene Viv discovers an unsavoury mix of lies, jealousy and sexual deceit. Determined to find Andrew, she ignores threats on her life and continues to dig in places that even Detective Marconi has yet to explore.
In this, the second of the Viv Fraser Mysteries, catch up with fast-moving hair-cutting sleuth Viv Fraser as she wrestles with the deceits of people she thought she knew. She goes in search of a missing girl, while tackling the consequences of a case of missing jewellery. An old friend finds himself professionally compromised and seeks Viv’s help. And how is she getting on with Sal, and Mac? Or is there somebody else on the scene?
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