1. How did you get started writing? I’ve written all my life, really. Remember writing ‘novels’ on jotter pages tied with blue wool to get the attention of my adored, much older, brother. Most were set in America. This being one generic place to me at the time.
One line read, ‘Oh, Jim when will you realise I don’t see the colour of your skin, just the man inside?’ So right-on, baby.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel
Love them. Read them.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I think some might duck if I mentioned them by name – don’t want to associate them with producing me. But in Glasgow writers, I think we have a rich seam of great crime novelists. Denise Mina’s first trilogy (starting with Garnethill) made me tingle.
I love Phil Rickman’s style – I’m a bit obsessed and stalk him on Twitter. He writes spooky things that are full of real people and his policeman is Liverpudlian – so he cracks jokes like a Glaswegian. But I never read him before I wrote DM, but maybe he has influenced the edits! I love stuff that has humour – it’s a Glasgow must especially when things are dark. Some of the funniest people I ever knew were Pathology lab workers from a Glasgow hospital.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
I got quite a few publishers to request the whole book (s) – very exciting – but it didn’t come to anything. I finally decided to S-P after reading Konrath’s legendary blog. I put up a Regency Romance that I’d written strictly for the family many years ago just to learn how KDP worked. And unexpectedly, it did well. In the top ten in its category for a wee while. It encouraged me to go forward.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel,do you have a particular favourite one?
I love my central character Andromeda. She’s not particularly courageous, but she feels a sort of moral responsibility to get involved. And her much tougher friend Doll is someone who I feel we’d all like to be secretly. Bound only by her own opinion and fully active in any situation with no need whatsoever to be nice. My shadow self, maybe.
6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?
My life thus far, I suppose. Then my policemen began to takeover and I had to consult frequently with friends I knew. The religious background is fairly accurate – it’s what I’ve studied. A lot of the Wiccan stuff is made up (it’s a novel) because a) it’s not really serious Wicca or paganism – it’s dysfunctional, and b) Wicca is differently practised and though tracing back to older roots has broken paths –it’s hard to know where the traditions come from, hard to be accurate. I was helped though by some online neo-pagans who were very helpful.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
Churned up bits of loads of people I know – but I would never consciously model a character on someone real, only a characteristic, perhaps.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there?
I think that’s for my readers to decide. I hope there is some discussion on the ‘great beyond’.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Wee bits, but I’m not telling you. Well, Andromeda’s vintage clothes thing came from a time in my life, I suppose.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
There is the second in the series. It deals with events in my life. And it’s kind of a Freudian ‘wish-fulfilment’ version. In crime fiction many things are resolved.
11. Do you have a favourite scene if your novel and why?
I like the scene where Andromeda challenges DI Donnelly’s scepticism – and gives him a headache.
12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
I wouldn’t dream … Except to say, writing has to be a fuel for you before it is any use to anyone else
The evil that Andromeda saw in Glasgow Central Station and why she alone could see it was beyond her powers of explanation. But she told the police anyway and in that moment, the secrets of her past come back to try to destroy her. The karmic beasts arrive from all quarters, most of all from inside herself.
Donnelly investigates a gory murder in a Glasgow alley and has little more than Annie’s bizarre information to go on. Following it would make him crazy as her
Yet whatever he thinks, she knows a darker evil is haunting the city that police will have little power against.
But maybe she could see it coming.