Q&A with Desmond P Ryan

Today I’m joining the blog tour for 10-33 Assist PC. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Desmond P Ryan for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

I get asked this a lot, and I used to think not but, the more I get asked, the more I think about it and yes, I DID always want to write (I just didn’t know what).

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

I was a police officer for almost thirty years. I spent half of that time in uniform as a front-line officer, foot-patrol officer, and uniformed road sergeant, and the other half as a detective. While this certainly gave me lots of insight into policing and crime, it also provided me with a tremendous opportunity to write. As a uniform constable, most of my time was spent writing reports in response to the calls to service I had attended. As a detective, I spent a lot of time writing synopses for guilty pleas, documenting investigations, and generating reports. So, short answer: yes, policing is a great way to develop your writing process!

What was your inspiration for 10-33 Assist PC?

I draw heavily on my own experiences as a police detective. It was suggested that I could market the books as ‘based on a true story’, but then I’d likely have to provide a bit more ‘true’ detail. I enjoy writing police procedurals because they allow me to provide happy/happier endings than the actual true stories did.

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

The characters in my books are based upon people I’ve worked with or dealt with in a professional capacity. Given that I had a long career in policing, I’m lucky to have a lot of characters to draw from!

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

Ha! I’m a ‘lazy’ plotter, which is to say, I do a brief outline of my book, breaking it down into chapters, listing a few lines of what has to happen in each chapter (more as prompts than anything else), and then I go. Increasingly, I’m finding that I stray from the original plot and end up going off in another direction, usually driven by the characters (they can get out of hand once they’re let loose on the page!). I trust that my original plan was good, so I usually refer back to it to pull things back, but I do tend to stray a bit.

How did you research? Did you enjoy it?

I pretty much drew from a couple of cases I had been involved in for both 10-33 Assist PC and Death Before Coffee and just sort of ‘filled in the blanks’ to make it a bit more entertaining. I did enjoy writing the books because I didn’t have to stick to the facts, as I did when I was involved in the investigations. I also really liked creating the secondary and tertiary characters because, when you’re doing an actual criminal investigation, you don’t get to know these people very much at all. 

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

I love Charles Dickens because of his characters, his plots and subplots, the pacing of his writing, and the way things resolve in the end. I am no Charles Dickens, but he’s certainly an influence. I find that my ‘favourite writers’ seem to change as I develop as a writer. I’m also wondering how much of that isn’t also to do with reading more. As a writer, I allow myself time to read a lot more than I used to, and I make a point of getting outside my ‘comfort genres’.

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

Excellent question and not one that I think I could answer, mostly because I’m not sure the three people I’d like to invite to dinner would be good dinner guests individually or as a group! Of course, I’d love to have Charles Dickens for dinner, and I used to think that Evelyn Waugh would be fun until I found out that he was a rather sour individual. Scratch him off the list! Virginia Woolf and/or Lillian Hellman might be tricky guests as well. And then there’s Ben Aaronovitch. I think he’d be a good dinner guest. But would F. Scott Fitzgerald? Unlikely. No, I don’t think I could pick three people.

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

I think being stuck in a lift with someone who was a “nervous talker” would be nightmarish. And exhausting. I could name names, but I won’t!

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of 10-33 Assist PC?

Gerard Butler would make a great Mike O’Shea, in my opinion. Would you mind giving him a call to see if he’s up for it after securing that movie deal? 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy hanging out with my kids. I have two sons: one is 29, the other is 7. Clearly, two very different experiences, but both equally fun in very different ways.

What is next for you?

Once The Mike O’Shea Series is done, I’ve got the Pint of Trouble series on the go. Having written two series at the same time, I anticipate creating another series once the first one is finished. I’ve already got an idea in mind and I’m hoping it works as well on paper as it does in my head and is nearly as funny as I imagine it to be.



A Christmas Carol


Forest Gump


Bruce Springsteen

TV show?

The Cuphead Show (see above re: 7-year-old son)






McVities (the ones with chocolate on top)


10-33 Assist PC is available from Amazon.

You can ffollow the rest of the blog tour here:

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