Q&A with Maria Hoey

Today it’s time for my second post for the St Patrick’s Day blog tour from SpellBound books. I’m sharing my Q&A with author of Bad Sweet Things, Maria Hoey, with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell and the team at SpellBound books for inviting me on the tour and to Maria Hoey for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

For as long as I could read, I think. I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling.  I was forever writing stories as a child and making little books from them. Witing a book and having it published has always been my dream. 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

I worked in offices for most of my life, most often as a legal secretary. I absolutely hated it. The desire to escape that environment certainly fed my urge to write and I wrote great chunks of my first novel while at work.  

What was your inspiration for Bad Sweet Things?

An old friend of mine told me that her primary school class were meeting up to retake a photo of them all as adults. They were going to recreate the original old photo by standing in the same place as they had all those years ago. I suddenly thought – oh, what if…. A lot of my ideas come from that what if. 

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

I do use traits from people I know, family members and bosses, but quite often characters sort of spring to life and reveal themselves over time. They often surprise me as much as anyone. That’s one of the mysteries of writing.

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Without a doubt I am a pantser. I am trying to be more plotter, but I am a naturally messy writer. I hop about all over the place, so I’ll quite often write an ending before I even have a decent plot. But I always begin at the beginning, even if it’s just an opening line.  

How did you research Bad Sweet Things? Did you enjoy it?

I did quite a lot of research around police procedurals and aspects of law necessary to the plot. I really did enjoy it, because I was writing some obnoxious characters. But most of all  I enjoyed creating my first real detective, Tina Bassett. I have to admit that most of my research comes form the internet, although I got some good police stuff from a writer pal.  It was also fun researching way of murdering people…

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

Agatha Christie fed my love of crime at a very early age, and I still rate her as the Queen of Crime.  I also greatly admire PD James, Ruth Rendell, Ann Cleeves, Henning Mankell and other Scandi-noir authors. I am a huge fan of Hilary Mantel, John Banville, William Trevor, Daphne du Maurier and the nineteenth century classics – the Brontes, Austen, Hardy, Trollope, Galsworthy.  

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

If I can include fictional people, then Hercule Poirot. But definitely Agatha Christie and John Thaw/Inspector Wexford.  And Chris Hemsworth, because he is just so beautiful….

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

An ex-boss whom I truly disliked. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Gerry Adams, a deranged elevator killer…

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Bad Sweet Things?

Jessie Buckley for Tina Bassett, although she would have to gain weights…. I think perhaps Catriona Balfe for Anna (both wonderful Irish actors. Now I would really have to think about who would play JP… Ben Whishaw or Josh Bowman might do…

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Read, watch TV, walk in nature as much as possible

What is next for you?

Write four more DI Tina Bassets crime novel (as contracted for with SpellBound). I would also love to write an historical novel and I have two literary novels on the go as well.


Book?        Jane Eyre and Wolf Hall (I can’t pick just one)

Film?        Body Heat ties with The Godfather

Band/Singer?    Eagles/Boz Scaggs

TV show?    Sopranos closely followed by Line of Duty 

Colour?    Red

Place?        Italy

Biscuit?     Raisin & Oat Cookies


You can read my review of Bad Sweet Things which I published in December 2021 here.

Bad Sweet Things is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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