Emma Kavanagh was born and raised in South Wales. After graduating with a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University, she spent many years working as a police and military psychologist, training firearms officers, command staff and military personnel throughout the UK and Europe. She lives in South Wales with her family.
1. How did you get started writing?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember, although for a long time I didn’t really think that I could make a career out of it. But then, after running my own business for a number of years, a story appeared in my head. I decided to see if I still had it in me to write. Turns out, I did.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel?
I’m interested in crime generally. One of my biggest passions is the way in which people deal with traumatic situations, and few things are more traumatic than being the victim of a crime. I wanted the opportunity to dissect a major crime and take a look at the impact it would have on those affected by it.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
One of the writers I most aspire to is Agatha Christie. Her plotting is absolutely sublime. When I’m a grown up, I want to be able to lay out a book the way she does.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Finding a publisher is always tough. It’s a tough industry. It took me writing two books that weren’t quite up to standard before I finally managed to get a publication deal with my third – After We Fall. I think that’s the most important thing to remember about becoming an author – your most valuable asset will be your persistence.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
Ooh, that’s like asking me to choose my favourite child! If I were forced, I would probably say Freya. I like her drive and her willingness to look at things others are too afraid to face.
6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
I spent a long time researching airplane crashes, particularly the psychology involved in them. I also had to make sure that what I was writing was factually plausible, so I spent a lot of time talking to a number of airline pilots and air crash investigators.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
No! I tried this, when I first started writing. But the problem with basing your characters on real people is that they then never get the chance to grow into the characters they are supposed to be. They are too curtailed by the person you have based them on.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Crime Fiction Novels out there?
My novels are very character based. Everything stems from the people in them and they are generally more about the people than about the crimes themselves.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
I think it’s inevitable that each of our characters have some of our traits as an author. That is part of the joy of writing – you get to explore those aspects of your personality that are less obvious.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
My second book, Hidden, has just been released in the UK. Hidden tells the story of a mass shooting, following four characters (including the shooter) in the days leading up to this disaster, and looks at what can push people to make such horrific choices.
11. Out of your two novels, do you have a favourite scene and why
The opening scene in Hidden is one of my favourites so far. It begins with the aftermath of the shooting and was one of those rare chapters that simply appeared in my head all ready to write.
12. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
Determination, determination, determination. Many people believe they can be authors, but what separates those who make it from those who don’t is generally the determination to succeed. It’s a tough industry. You cannot allow yourself the luxury of giving up if you hope to make it.
After We Fall
The Affair (Short Story)
Amazon Author Page