1. How did you get started writing?
I think I’ve always enjoyed writing, even at school. But I never seriously thought about trying to be published until about four or five years ago, when I started writing short stories. I was lucky enough to be place in a couple of competitions, which gave me the confidence to go on.
2. What drew you to write a novel?
Someone commented that my short stories seemed like novels in miniature! And writing at novel length feels like the best way to explore my characters and what they get up to in more detail than a short story would.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’m not sure I’ve been influenced by anyone, but I did find Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ a tremendously helpful book when I started out.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Well, my route to publication was a little out of the ordinary. First of all I entered my short stories into various competitions, and did quite well with them. And then my debut novel, ‘Shadow Man’ won the Good Housekeeping First Novel competition 2016! The prize was publication by Orion and representation by LBA Books, so I haven’t gone the traditional route at all.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
With the exception of the murderer – or is that murderers? 😉 – I’m really quite fond of all of them! But Fergie, DI Lukas Mahler’s scruffy sidekick, always makes me smile.
6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel?
I don’t have a police background, but luckily I do have friends who are ex-‘Job’, so basically I just pester the life out of them for info. I do think a feeling of authenticity is very important, no matter what genre you’re writing in.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
Not directly, but they’re definitely influenced by people I have known!
8. How do you feel about being on being on the list for the not so booker prize?
Hah! Don’t see it happening, but it would be great!
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
I think there’s probably a bit of me in most of them. With, hopefully, the exception of the baddies … 😉
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you might planned?
Oh, there’s a lot more to learn about Lukas and his team. I’m currently working on book two, which opens with a grim discovery on the site of a new housing development near Inverness…
11. If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any crime writer alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Goodness, that’s hard. So many amazing current writers – but who wouldn’t want to write with the all-time queen of the whodunnit, Agatha Christie?
12. Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel?
Don’t leave it as late as I did! Seriously, don’t give up – but do be receptive to feedback, both positive and negative. And read. Read a lot, not just in your genre. Read critically, with an eye to studying technique, seeing what works and what doesn’t. And don’t be afraid to tear things up and start again, if you have to.
A gripping Scottish crime thriller from the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing competition 2016.
Just before her wedding day, Morven Murray, queen of daytime TV, is found murdered. All eyes are on her sister Anna, who was heard arguing with her hours before she was killed.
On the other side of Inverness, police informant Kevin Ramsay is killed in a gangland-style execution. But what exactly did he know?
As ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler digs deeper into both cases, he discovers that Morven’s life was closer to the Inverness underworld than anyone imagined. Caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is Lukas hunting one killer, or two?
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