Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Love You Bad. My post is shared with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Louise Mullins for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
No, I wanted to be a mechanic. I went to college to train in light vehicle mechanics, switched over to car spraying, then left to pursue a career in addiction. I was working as a forensic mental support worker when I joined AA (Alcoholics Anonymous, the human recovery team), and began studying psychology while bringing up my children single-handedly. I’d always written and used it as a conduit (writing therapy it’s termed now). I did a short course in how to write professionally while undertaking clinical training and wrote my first novel while working as a therapist. I didn’t plan to write full-time until I realised I could write (about 4 published books in) and make a living from something I enjoyed. Now I have the pleasure of being able to write and publish (I’m also the publishing director of Dark Edge Press). I get to read, write and oversee the production of books. It was never my dream until it became one.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
As well as the aforementioned, I’ve owned a cleaning company, an adult toy and lingerie business, and worked for a decade as a distributor for Kleeneze. Every job I’ve had, every battle I’ve fought, has at least once entered a book.
What was your inspiration for Love You Bad?
The time I spent living in Cornwall. Where pirates, smugglers, beachcombers, and wordsmiths have always seemed to roam among the forts and tin mines. And the chance to go back to my roots, to create a standalone psychological thriller set in a house filled with secrets and dark corners. I think gothic noir is my safe place.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
I don’t think any of my characters have been borne from people I know. They all come to me full-formed, from their looks to their personality traits, voices and foibles. I have no say in how they materialise or when. They’re kind of like actors and actresses, disloyal sometimes, unruly often.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I write a one page synopsis when a plot comes to mind. The characters pop in and introduce themselves as I’m writing up a paragraph for each chapter (to keep me focused). But I never know what will happen at the end. My husband helps me with this.
How did you research Love You Bad? Did you enjoy it?
I didn’t need to. This is the first book I’ve written where the house and it’s occupants, the area, and the story arose set in stone. I just had to write it. But I’d usually have to do a lot of Google Map strolls where a novel is located, check police procedure with my contacts, and research timelines, weather or events pertinent to the plot. Most of the action occurs within the house or the area surrounding it, the scenes insular and the address ambiguous.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
I love Chevy Stevens, Paula Daly, and Andrea Mara’s psychological thrillers because they’re about seemingly normal families who experience crime unexpectedly, and their reactions are realistic. Angela Marsons and Peter James write THE best procedurals because their characters are written sensitively and authentically. Though I don’t think any one author influences my writing. I read to keep up to date with styles, themes, and genre changes, and to ensure what I write is nothing like anything I’ve already read.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Alice Cooper. I love his theatrical music. And I’d like to know how he generates his ideas.
My nan. To show her I did it (I wrote my first book which includes a scene where she met my grandfather, immediately after she passed away).
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
A spider. They’re evil, fast-moving, long-legged creatures who I can never catch.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Love You Bad?
I’m absolutely terrible with names and don’t have a clue how to identify actors/actresses but a woman in her twenties with dark hair, and a man in his forties with a dark soul would be perfect.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a mermaid at heart. I need regular trips to the ocean to keep my vitamin sea levels up. If you don’t find me there I’ll have my head stuck in a book with some eighties rock, country and western, or Bounce Heaven music on in the background (dependent on mood).
What is next for you?
I’m currently working on my third police procedural, featuring Detective Inspector Emma Locke. After this I have to complete my Death Valley series, featuring Detective Geraldine Jackson, set in New Mexico, in the US. It’s much more hard-boiled, and action-packed, and a tad gorier than my UK titles.
Book? The good book (my bible) Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s like a life manual for lost souls. And I owe my sobriety to the authors (Bill and Ben).
Thelma and Louise
Alice Cooper, of course.
I’m going with the one I’ve watched the most re-runs of episodes of, never tire of, and watch any time I’m feeling sorry for myself. Friends.
Rich tea, dipped in hot tea. Nom nom.
Love You Bad is available from Amazon.
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