Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Fatal Fix. My post is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Graham Morse for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
I have always enjoyed writing, but only thought about writing a book late in my life.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I began my career selling advertising at the Sunday Times, but for most of my career I worked in advertising and sales promotion agencies. This often involved me in the creation of ideas and writing copy. It has given me confidence in my ability to use my imagination and to write in an engaging way.
What was your inspiration for Fatal Fix?
Newspapers provide a constant source of ideas for stories. I read about the death of Gary Speed, who was found hanged at his home. He was an ex- international footballer and the manager of the Welsh national team. He seemed to have everything and it shocked everyone. It was assumed to be suicide, but the coroner pronounced an open verdict. No one ever knew what had happened. I created a fictional football manager and began to imagine what could have happened.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
Well I begin with a plot and know the characters I am looking for but they are not fully formed when I begin. As I am writing I often find that the character develops in my mind and I am able to give them more depth and bring out aspects I had not expected. Of course we learn a lot about character traits from the people we have met and parts will appear in the fictional characters.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I think you have to be when you are writing crime fiction. I have to have a clear idea of the plot before I begin: to know what the main character wants, what obstacles are stopping him, and how he will overcome them. Of course I have to know who did it and how it will end. It’s like a jig saw. At the end all the parts have to fit. The first draft was terrible but it gives me something to work with as I go through the process of redrafting many times.
How did you research Fatal Fix? Did you enjoy it?
To be honest I enjoyed doing the research more than the writing. I soon realised there was so much expert knowledge I didn’t have. What is the life of a sports journalist like? I was lucky enough to spend a week with Daily Mail Sports desk writers and went in the press box at matches, to press conferences and training grounds. I loved it! I had expert advice from a pathologist on murder, a psychiatrist on suicide and an Ex Met detective on police procedures. The all gave their time and support generously
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, PD James, Ian Rankin, Dick Francis. No, I can’t write like them. We all develop our own writing style.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Melvyn Bragg. He is fascinating to listen to and makes complex issues sound simple.
John Thaw, as Morse is my favourite detective. For me, John Thaw is Morse. I love him for all his flaws.
Roy Strong. I saw him speak at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and he was a riveting speaker and a man rich in intellect and emotion.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Donald Trump. Not enough space to give all the reasons
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Fatal Fix?
A reader suggested Tom Hardy playing Matt Riley. I thought that sounded good.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Walk my dog and sing in a choir.
What is next for you?
That might depend on how well Fatal Fix does and whether we see Matt Riley again.
Book? The Mayor of Casterbridge
Film? The Deer Hunter
Band/Singer? Elton John
TV show? Only Fools and Horses
Biscuit? Not allowed
Football team? Swindon Town
Fatal Fix is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: