Category Archives: Author Influences

Author Influences With Mark Tilbury

Chase away those mid-week blues with some bookish chat. Mark Tilbury joins me for this week’s Author Influences.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I loved Enid Blyton, particularly the Famous Five. I used to devour the adventures of the four children and their dog, Timmy, then write my own stories. I can’t really remember much about them, but I can guess they were probably in a very similar vein, and the plots were more than likely nothing short of plagiarism.
I also loved Agatha Christie as I got a bit older. She used to live about a mile away from me on the edge of town. We’d sometimes go carol singing at her house at Christmas hoping to see her and have untold riches bestowed upon us. No such luck!

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I loved English. I was naturally good and didn’t really have to work too hard to get good marks. To be honest, there’s quite a gulf between being good at English and creative writing, as I’m learning on a daily basis.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love horror, dark humour and psychological thrillers. I think my novels are a combination of all three, although they are predominantly psychological thrillers.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’d like to have a go at children’s books one day. I have an idea for a series, so you never know. The birth of my first grandson in January seems like an excellent reason to seriously think about doing so.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Without doubt Stephen King’s Misery. Annie Wilkes was the first antagonist I’d ever read who made me think wow! This is someone who really inspires me. Her contradictions. The way she hated profanity, yet could chop a man’s foot off and make him suffer. Annie had the lot for me.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Stephen King is the usual, but there are so many great authors out there. Shani Struthers, Mel Comley, Mark Wilson, Sarah England, Tony Forder and David MacCaffery.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
As I said earlier, Misery by Stephen King. Also The Green Mile because of the way King ties the whole book up with the characters in the prison. I could probably list at least half a dozen of his books. But my favourite is From the Corner of his Eye by Dean Koontz. The antagonist, Junior Caine, made me laugh and scream in equal measure. This book has everything, and I urge anyone who hasn’t yet read it to do so.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
The Abattoir of Dreams was influenced by some bigwig being named as an abuser by a guy who used to be in a children’s home. Then, the guy said he’d made a mistake and got the wrong man. As far as I was concerned, the abused guy was leaned on and forced to retract his accusation. It got me to thinking how these disgusting bastards get away with it just by virtue of their standing in society. It made me so angry, The Abattoir of Dreams poured out of me in less than three months as a result.

All my other stories have been purely a product of my imagination, but I’m sure there have been many influences on a subconscious level.

Thank you for taking part, Mark. 

Mark’s latest book, The Liar’s Promise, is out now. You can grab a copy HERE.

The Blurb

How does a mother protect her child from the unknown?
During a visit to a local theatre, four-year-old Chloe Hollis becomes hysterical. But her mother, Mel, doesn’t realise that this is just the beginning of the nightmare. In the coming weeks, Chloe talks of The Tall Man – Of death.
At her wit’s end, Mel confides in Charles Honeywell, the headmaster at the school where she works. But what Mel doesn’t know is that Charles is linked to what is happening to her daughter.
Will Mel learn the terrible truth? And can she overcome her own tragic past and save her daughter before it’s too late?
The Liar’s Promise is a story of past lives and future torment.

About Mark Tilbury

I grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire, but moved to the beautiful county of Cumbria two years ago with my girlfriend. I have two daughters and a beautiful grandson, George who is nine months old.
I’ve had a love of writing from an early age, but it was only a few years ago, with the introduction of Amazon kindle, that I started to seriously attempt to get published. I self-published my first two novels, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused, and then Bloodhound Books published my third book, The Abattoir of Dreams and republished the first two. My fourth novel, The Liar’s Promise was published by Bloodhound on 28th November.

My blog: www.marktilbury.com
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor/
Twitter: @MTilburyAuthor

Author Influences With Liz Mistry

It’s Wednesday which can mean only one thing … it’s time for this week’s Author Influences. I am delighted to be joined by Liz Mistry for today’s book chat.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I was a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys fan or if you go earlier than that I loved Mr Pinkwhistle followed by The Famous Five and the Secret Seven. In my teens I loved Agatha Christie and Alastair MacLean.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
Loved it and was good at it. Did Catcher in The Rye for my sixth-year study dissertation (Scottish after Higher qualification). Loved EM Forster and Jane Austen.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I read mainly crime fiction but I read a wide selection of Crime Fiction genres sub genres. I love YA crime and I love futuristic and paranormal crime. My favourite though are noir police procedurals.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Eek! Maybe try my hand at futuristic crime…. Maybe not.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Every author I loved over the years contributed to my writing bug. Nowadays Northern noir writers like Stuart MacBride and Val McDermid or US writers like Michael Connolly or Harlen Coben or Canadian Linwood Barclay.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Stuart MacBride definitely. Also, JD Robb who writes futuristic police procedurals with a dose of romance. MJ Arlidge too and Val McDermid and James Carol and Graham smith and…. The list is endless. Too many really great books and too few hours.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
I recently read Mark Billingham’s Love Like Blood and was ‘Wow that is so good’. It wasn’t just the book itself that got me. It was the message from the book about Honour Killings and FGM. A brilliant book full of rage and passion!

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Everything I write is influenced to a greater or lesser extent by people I meet, conversations I over hear and things I’ve done. Hopefully my creative juices make them unique enough to not be obvious.

Massive thanks for taking part, Liz. I have a copy of Love Like Blood and will have to push it up the TBR pile after hearing this.

Liz’s latest book, Untainted Blood, is out now and you can grab a copy HERE.

The Blurb

In a city that is already volatile, tensions mount after a Tory MP in Bradford Central is discredited leaving the door open for the extreme right-wing candidate, Graeme Weston, to stand in the resultant by-election.
However, Graeme Weston is not what he appears to be and with secrets jeopardising his political career, he must tread very carefully.
Meanwhile, a serial killer targets Asian men who lead alternatives lifestyles and delivers his own form of torture.
As DI Gus McGuire’s team close in, the deranged killer begins to unravel and in an unexpected twist the stakes are raised for Gus.
Are the murders linked to the political scandals or is there another motive behind them?
DI Gus McGuire and his team are back and this might be their toughest case yet.

About Liz Mistry

I am an author from Bradford but originally from Scotland. My gritty crime novels draw on the richness of Bradford’s diverse cultures. My writing is influenced by Tartan Noir writers like Stuart MacBride and Val McDermid.
I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University. My three novels are Unquiet Souls, Uncoiled Lies and Untainted Blood.
Twitter: @LizCrimeWarp
FB : @LizMistrybooks Website: https://lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com/

Author Influences With Jan Harvey

Welcome, welcome to another Author Influences. This week we are joined by Jan Harvey for the mid-week book talk.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I was eight when I read The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. I very quickly read the whole set of Narnia books and then read them over again. I loved them and still do.

At the end of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe C.S.Lewis says he hopes one day I will pick up my copy again, blow the dust off it and read it to my own children. I was so looking forward to that but my son sadly didn’t like the Narnia books at all and I can’t express how disappointed I was, because Harry Potter had won the day!

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I loved it. I was hopeless at maths and science (I still am) but I adored English and Art. I have always loved all things cultural. When I was twelve the school took us to see Twelfth Night, it was my first Shakespeare play. I was completed hooked and knew my life would be about art, theatre, music and literature. As for science? Well I married a physicist who tells me maths is beautiful so we can cover all bases between us, it’s very handy for Trivial Pursuit.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love mystery novels, a good thriller and any book that is beautifully written. I just picked up The Loney, I have absolutely no idea what it’s about but I loved the cover and when I started reading it I was hooked, because the writing is exquisite.

All the books I have read have impacted on my own novel. I think a writer takes a lot in subconsciously, which then comes out in her work. Good books will do that to a person.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’d write a thriller. I have no idea if I’d be good at it, but people have commented that my novel, The Seven Letters, is ‘unputdownable’ and that’s because each chapter leaves you in suspense. Put it this way, I would enjoy giving it a go.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Daphne du Maurier. Her writing is so beautiful I often go back and re-read a paragraph to enjoy it again. When my friend Myra told me that she had done that with The Seven Letters I thought, ‘I’ve done it. I’ve achieved the highest praise possible.’

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Barbara Erskine, queen of the time-split novel. Also Kate Morton who is a masterful writer and plotter. The House at Riverton is in my top ten. However, the contemporary author I simply ‘can’t wait to read’ is Patrick Gale, he is awesome.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Nicole uses language so creatively that she is a true master. I buy spare copies of the book from second hand shops to give to people who need a good read.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Oh, that would be telling! One of my characters has elements of a well-known actor who I have admired since childhood and another, Madame Odile, was written for a famous actress who kept coming into my mind. I know she would play her so perfectly.

Film companies have already shown interest so you never know what might happen. I have learnt one thing about writing a book, you have no idea what will happen next, it is tremendously exciting.

Thank you for taking part, Jan. I am the same as you in that I loved English but am hopeless at maths and science. Great choices with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Du Maurier.

Jan’s debut novel, The Seven Letters, is out now. You can grab a copy HERE

The Blurb

Claudette Bourvil is a shy country girl recruited by the Resistance to work in Paris. Claudette must quickly learn to survive in a city ravaged by war as she works undercover in a bordello for the cold, calculating Madame Odile. Claudette falls in love with one of the visitors to the bordello. Fritz Keber is a Nazi officer. He is complicated, sophisticated, powerful and, at the same time, a lost soul. He does not tell Claudette that he is linked to Madame Odile and when she finds out his dark secret she is horrified. It is she who is forced to pick up the pieces. Claudette falls foul of timing, betrayal and the need to do what is right. She is wrongly punished and pays a heavy price. In England, 2014, Connie Webber witnesses her friend the playwright, Freddie March, commit suicide. A kind stranger, Matt Verney, comforts her and becomes her friend. Together they sort out Freddy’s belongings and uncover the mystery of his mother. They find seven letters which lead them to Paris and one of the former prostitutes who tells them she remembers a maid who was with the French Resistance. Connie and Matt trace Freddy’s mother to the quiet village in Normandy where they find out the terrible truth of how she died…

 

About Jan Harvey

Jan Harvey was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire in 1961. After a career as a magazine editor/designer working on various business publications she became an author five years ago. The Seven Letters is her debut novel and her fans will be pleased to hear that her second novel is underway. The two books are linked by Paris, the city that inspires her work.
www.janharveyauthor.com

Author Influences with Nick Quantrill

Hello and welcome to another Author Influences. I’m chuffed to be joined today by crime writer and fellow Hullian (is that what you call people from Hull?) Nick Quantrill to talk books.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I was a big reader as a child and would make my mum take me to the local library every week. I loved the Famous Five, devoured them all, and couldn’t be more delighted that my six-year-old daughter is discovering them and their brilliance. From there I moved on to Sherlock Holmes, so I guess crime stories are in my blood…

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
There’s a loaded question! I don’t recall massively enjoying English at school, but like a lot of teenage boys, I simply stopped reading for pleasure, unable to find books that appealed to me at the time. Maybe it was the sense of enforced reading and other things in life becoming more interesting, but I guess the reading bug was always there, even if it was dormant for a few years.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I’m proud to say I’m a crime writer and love reading around the genre. The beauty of it is that it’s so varied. One week it might be a Lee Child thriller, the next it might be a psychological novel or a police procedural. The choice is endless. It was always going to be crime when I started to write. I see the reading I did in my twenties as my apprenticeship.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’ve dabbled with writing for children and it was definitely fun. I’d also really like to try to write a non-fiction book. I’ve lived with Nick Triplow’s Getting Carter project for a decade, so have seen the effort that goes into such a thing. It clearly needs to be a subject you’re passionate about, but I keep looking around…

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
In many ways it was Ian Rankin. I love the way he blends together razor sharp views on society with such a strong sense of place. His work sets the bar, in my opinion. Maybe the actual prompt was reading a really bad crime novel and thinking I could do better, that it couldn’t be that hard … turns out it is incredibly hard…

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
I have so many favourites! From the big hitters, Rankin, Child and Connelly are must buys. I’m also a huge fan of Graham Hurley and will buy anything he writes. Lesser well-known, but Ray Banks is a brilliant modern noir writer. He keeps a low profile, but a new book from him is an event in my world.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
I think it’s largely as above, but a recently blagged a copy of Eva Dolan’s new one, This Is How It Ends. It’s so sharp and astute. Her eye for what’s happening in the world and what needs exploring in crime fiction is exceptional. On a wider note, Grapes of Wrath and To Kill A Mocking Bird still resonate with their power and anger. Who wouldn’t want to leave a legacy like that behind?

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Ha! I think when you write about a specific, real life location like I do with Hull, you can’t help but be influenced by events and people. I’m fortunate that the city has changed hugely over the last decade – from UK Crap Town to UK City of Culture – so I’ve had plenty of material to go at from regeneration to cigarette smuggling. Follow the money…

A huge thanks for taking part, Nick. I’m also a fan of Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Nick’s latest book The Dead Can’t Talk is out now. Here’s what it’s about…

How far will Anna Stone, a disillusioned police officer on the brink of leaving her job, go to uncover the truth about her sister’s disappearance? Approached by Luke Carver, an ex-Army drifter she’s previously sent to prison, he claims to have information which will help her. As the trail leads from Hull and the Humber’s desperate and downtrodden to its great and good, an unsolved murder twenty-five years ago places their lives in danger, leaving Stone to decide if she can really trust a man who has his own reasons for helping.

About Nick

Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial city in East Yorkshire. His crime novels are published by Caffeine Nights, the latest being The Dead Can’t Talk. A prolific short story writer, Nick’s work has appeared in various volumes of The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime. Nick is also the co-founder of the Hull Noir festival and regularly writes for the official 2017 UK City of Culture website.

Website: www.nickquantrill.co.uk

Twitter: @nickquantrill

Author Influences with Denise Deegan

Happy hump day and welcome to another Author Influences. Today I am delighted to be joined by Denise Deegan who tells us all about the books and authors that have inspired her.

What authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I was obsessed with The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. Feels like I read it every day. Also loved the Happy Prince.

I was also particularly fond of Irish Fairy Tales by Sinead DeValera. There was a lot of mischief in these stories.

I remember adoring the illustrations in The Water Babies.

I loved all the Ladybird classic fairytales. My favourites were: The Elves and the Shoemaker, Rumplestiltskin and the Magic Porridge Pot.

(I am having the best time checking out all these books on Amazon and remembering all the illustrations.)

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I was an honours student but didn’t particularly shine; our teacher never read out my work, for example. I loved all of the stories we read: Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, even Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Macbeth. I didn’t like analyzing the stories, though. For me, it got in the way of a good story. I have the sneakiest feeling that the authors just wanted their work loved not analyzed. But maybe that’s just me.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love books for young people – from teenage novels right through middle-grade and down to picture books. I think some of the best writing falls into these categories.

I also love smart, contemporary stories for adults such as The Rosie Project.

I cannot explain my fascination with WWII books, across genre.

Rather than being influenced by what I read, I would say that I am drawn to read the same kinds of stories that I am drawn to write.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I am smiling here because I’ve written for adults, teenagers and children. I’ve also written both contemporary and historical. If anything, I should stick to one genre! But I write the stories that come.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
Consciously, no. Subconsciously, I would say, yes. The trauma of watching Bambi’s mum die must have had a big impact! I continually write about loss.

I also think that The Selfish Giant has left its mark. My stories make people feel – as The Selfish Giant did to me, day after day after day.

And look at all those fairy tales I grew up on…. Not such a surprise, maybe, that I’ve written The Prince and the Pea.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Two great Irish, Young Adult authors: Deirdre Sullivan and Claire Hennessy. I’ve also just stumbled on an American writer of teen fiction called Adam Silvera. I will be reading all of his backlist.

Which books have you read that have made you think ‘Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
I wish I had written a picture book called Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson because it’s fun and clever and joyous.

I also wish I’d written The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because I loved those characters so incredibly much.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people?
Just one, Through the Barricades. My historical novel is based on a revolution that happened in 1916 in Ireland called The Easter Rising. It is also based on life in the trenches of WW1 in Gallipoli. I researched this story for two years.

Through the Barricades has changed my experience of the city I live in. Every time I go into Dublin now, the old buildings jump out at me and I imagine rebels and soldiers on the streets and on the buildings. I love Dublin even more now and feel so connected to its past. It’s a wonderful feeling.

A huge thank you for taking part.
A huge thank you for having me, Abbie.

Denise’s current novel, Through the Barricades, is out now. Here is what it’s about:

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. She is still carrying them in her heart, years later, when she signs up to become a freedom fighter.

‘Don’t go getting distracted,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says after seeing Daniel with the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

About Denise

Denise Deegan lives in Dublin with her family where she regularly dreams of sunshine, a life without cooking and her novels being made into movies.
Denise has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was being a checkout girl, although ultimately this experience did inspire a short story…
Denise writes for both adults and teenagers. Her novels have been published by Penguin, Random House, Hachette and Lake Union Publishing. Writing under the pen name Aimee Alexander, Denise’s contemporary family dramas have become international best-sellers on Kindle.

Denise’s most recent novel, Through the Barricades, won the SCBWI Spark Award 2017.
Her writing for Young Adults includes the much-loved contemporary trilogy, The Butterfly Novels: And By The Way, And For Your Information and And Actually.
Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander including Pause to Rewind, The Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.

website: http://denisedeegan.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/denise.deegan.3

twitter: https://twitter.com/denisedeegan

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denisedeegan/

Author Influences with Linda Huber

Happy hump day, I’m back with another Author Influences this week with the lovely Linda Huber.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I started with Enid Blyton’s Noddy, then moved on to The Famous Five, and then her school stories… to The Chalet School books… on to Agatha Christie – and that was me hooked on crime fiction!

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I loved English. I wasn’t especially brilliant at it, but I was usually in the top half of the class. We used to get home readers, and this was great because they were often books I wouldn’t otherwise have found.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I mostly read crime fiction – I just love psychological suspense. As a girl, I discovered Mary Higgins Clark and her books, and I would snap them up as soon as they came on the market. Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine was another. Nowadays there are so many great books out there I couldn’t begin to list my favourites of the past couple of years.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I dabble a little in romance, too. Sometimes it just does your soul good to get away from the blood and guts and grim reality of crime fiction… My first published writing was romantic short stories for womens’ mags. But the suspense/thriller writing definitely takes precedence!

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I started writing novels around the turn of the century, I can’t remember exactly when. It was more of a gradual process; I’d had some success with the short stories, and I loved Mary Higgins Clark and her books, and I suppose I just thought – why not try? So I did.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Val McDermid’s Tony Hill series, and Elizabeth George and her Lynley. And I’ve made so many crime fiction-writing friends since 2013 when my first book was published, and I always get their books too. Jane Isaac, Bea Davenport, Alison Gray – and now I have a whole lot more at Bloodhound Books! It’s lovely.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes comes to mind. It’s an old one; it was a school reader, and the story is told as seen by eleven-year-old Emily. Hughes gets right into the child’s point of view; it’s amazing writing. And the ending is chilling.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Not real people, but real stories. I had the idea for Baby Dear when I saw a news story about a woman who had lost her own baby, and then abducted another woman’s child from the maternity hospital. The idea for The Cold Cold Sea came when I was researching my family tree, and discovered a child in my extended family had drowned in the 1940s. I’d known nothing about her.

A huge thank you Linda for taking part.

Linda’s latest book Baby Dear is out now. Here is what it’s about…

 

Caro and Jeff Horne seem to have it all until they learn that Jeff is infertile. Caro married Jeff because her biggest wish was to be a mother, and he had the means to give their children a better life than she’d had. Jeff, who is besotted with Caro, is terrified he will lose her now they can’t have a baby.
Across town, Sharon is eight months pregnant and unsure if she really wants to be a mother. Soon her world will collide with Jeff’s. He wants to keep Caro happy and decides that getting a baby is the only way.
Then Caro is accidently drawn into an underworld of drugs…
Meanwhile, Jeff is increasingly desperate to find a baby – but what lengths is he prepared to go to?
Is Sharon in danger, and will Caro ever have the family she’s always dreamed of?

About Linda

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty feel-good short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she discovered the love of her writing life – psychological suspense fiction. Her first novel was published in 2013, and was followed by five others. She has also published a charity collection of feel-good short stories.

website: http://lindahuber.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlindahuber
Amazon Author Page: viewAuthor.at/LindaHuber

 

Author Influences with Joanne Griffiths

I am very pleased to be back with Author Influences and welcome Joanne Griffiths as the first author of 2018 to take part. 

Which authors / books did you like to read as a child?
One of my favourite books, when I was around 10 or 11 was Dodie Smith’s 101 Dalmations. I loved this book and can remember reading it several times.

By the time I was a teenager, I had moved on to Agatha Christie and it was after this that I became hooked on crime fiction more than the happily ever after innocence of childhood stories!

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I don’t really have happy memories of school. I have always liked English and was in top set but my school years were difficult ones and I didn’t really apply myself as well as I might have done. That said, the one teacher who I can say helped me focus leading up to exams, was an English teacher and she encouraged me to do well in that subject.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love crime fiction and have been an avid reader of this genre for many years now so it’s not surprising really, that my own genre of writing is also crime fiction.

I do enjoy different genres and feel-good stories, a bit of romance, or a nice easy read can be found amongst my collection of books but I have to say that crime fiction outnumbers them.

I feel more comfortable writing a whodunnit and although I have tried my hand at romance, the temptation to throw a murder or two into the mix, was very tempting.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I would choose a happily ever after feel good story. Perhaps someone overcoming a difficult situation or succeeding in the face of adversity. Sometimes, I think we all need those feel-good moments and taking inspiration from a book of that nature can allow the reader to leave their own troubles behind, at least for a while.

Did any authors work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who and why?
Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder was the first of her books to capture my attention and I loved how an unassuming little old lady could actually go on to solve something so serious as murder. The way Christie took her readers on a journey to solving the crime stuck with me and a desire to become a crime writer stemmed from there.

There have been several writers since then; the late Colin Dexter, Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin and John Grisham amongst others, who I would say encouraged me to put pen to paper.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
There are authors whose books I like to read but I don’t automatically go out and buy the new release as soon as it’s published. I am more likely to buy it if I have enjoyed a previous novel but I also like reading books from authors I have never heard of before but have been recommended or received a good review.

Which books have you read that have made you think ‘Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
There are several detective series that I have read and wished that I could have written it. Apart from Agatha Christie’s Marple or Poirot, there’s Ian Rankin’s Rebus or Ruth Rendell’s Wexford and Colin Dexter’s Morse.

I would love to write a detective series, developing his character (I would choose a male detective) throughout the books so that the reader can identify with him, live through his ups and downs as he solves each case. I think it takes a lot of skill to carry the same detective through several novels.

Have any of your plots / characters been influenced by real life events / people?
I do think that lots of real life situations can give you material for your writing. For example, something that someone said in conversation once, gave me a broad idea for my second novel. Developing the characters and story line all stemmed from that single remark.

As far as characters go, they are all fictitious but probably share certain mannerisms or characteristics with people I might have come across at some point. I wouldn’t say x character is y person but they certainly show some similarities.

Thank you for taking part, Joanne. 

Joanne’s debut novel A Deadly Game is out now. Here’s what it’s about:

A chilling serial killer thriller
Kate Palmer, an undergraduate student, discovers that she is pregnant and makes the decision to drop out of university. However, on the evening before she returns home, her body is discovered in Aston park. She is the first victim of several murders that will rock the city of Birmingham.
DS James “Jim” Wardell, who has his own issues to contend with, is given the case.
When Eddie Carter, a popular talk show host on Birmingham’s radio station, is contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, it is the start of a cat and mouse game between a deranged killer and the police.

After a second body is discovered the pressure mounts on the police to capture the person responsible.
Who is killing these women and why?
Can Jim apprehend the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?

About Joanne

I had often dreamed about becoming a writer and started writing my first novel some 25 years ago. I never seemed to have the time to commit to it though as everyday life would get in the way.

It was only after a serious health issue in 2014, that I began to focus on what I wanted to achieve in life and the desire to become a writer featured highly again.

Dusting off my manuscript, I finally finished writing A Deadly Game (published by Bloodhound books on 20/06/2017) and I am now working on my second novel, An Easy Target.

If I’m not writing, I enjoy reading and always have a book on the go. I also enjoy watching many of the police / detective / thriller series on television, and often find myself trying to work out the plot before the programme’s conclusion.

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/JJGAuthor/

Twitter: @Tazer129

Author Influences with Ann Girdharry

It’s the last Wednesday before Christmas (can you believe it?) and this is the last Author Influences until the new year. I am delighted to welcome Ann Girdharry, author of the Kal Medi series, to the blog today to talk books and writing.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I was a huge fan of the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton and enjoyed them again reading them with my own children.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I loved English at school and enjoyed writing stories.

At middle school, I had a wonderful teacher who loved poetry and I remember him encouraging me to read a book every week during the summer holidays. The library was one of my best friends.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I like to read widely – in particular science fiction, women’s fiction and memoir – as well as my own genre of crime, suspense thriller.

There’s a separation in my mind between what I like to read for pleasure and what I like to write, so one doesn’t much influence the other.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I used to like writing children’s stories and the first novel I completed (it has never been published) was for middle grade, so I’d probably like to do that.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
My motivation to write came from my own need to put my ideas onto paper.

If I’ve been encouraged by other authors, it’s been by others who’ve made a success out of the independent path – such as Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Er, well, no not really. Though I’ve always got my eye open for new Karin Slaughter books but I can wait my time until I buy.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
I’ve read hundreds of crime and thriller books and the one which consistently stays top of the recommendation pile is Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. That’s the one I’d like my thrillers to be like.The author created a wonderful character – a loyal KGB Agent, Leo Demidov, who becomes obsessed with tracking down a child serial killer. This obsession takes over his life, threatens his party loyalties and puts his own family and Leo in grave danger. Even better, the ending has a twist that is utterly unpredictable and masterly!

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
One of the characters in the Kal Medi series, or at least the character’s traits, was strongly influenced by my older sister and her ability to be reasonable and calm people down (and if that isn’t a huge clue to which character I’m talking about, I don’t know what is…)

Hahaha, yes it’s fairly easy to work out – I bet your sister is pleased! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. 

My pleasure, Abbie, thanks for asking!

Book two in the Kal Medi series, London Noir, is out now alongside the first book in the series, Good Girl Bad Girl (click on the titles to read my reviews).

A serial killer hiding in plain sight…

Kal is reeling. From the shock of her mother. From clinging on to hope for Marty’s survival.

When Kal meets Sophie, a young girl in trouble, Kal feels an instant connection.
The young girl has a terrible secret. Her friends are being murdered one by one.

The London Cartel are calling in Kal’s debt. Can Kal survive the Cartel’s demands?

And is someone really after the girl, or is the girl after someone?

About Ann Girdharry

Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and worked in the not-for-profit sector for many years, for agencies working with survivors of abuse, carers, and victims of racial attacks. She is a British, crime suspense thriller author. The first book in her Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl, is an Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist 2017. The second book in the series, London Noir, was published October 2017.
You can connect with her on social media –

Website
www.girdharry.com
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/AnnGirdharry
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/AnnGirdharry
London Noir on Amazon
Good Girl Bad Girl on Amazon

Author Influences with Sharon Dempsey

Happy hump day, bookish folk! It’s Author Influences time and I’m delighted to be joined by thriller author Sharon Dempsey today. So, without further ado, I will hand you over to Sharon to tell you about the books and authors she loves.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I loved Enid Blyton. Her books were pure escapism for me and I’m sure they laid the ground work for my love of mysteries and crime fiction.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
Yes, like many writers, I was good at English and I loved it. The books we studied in junior years, To Kill a Mockingbird and Call my Brother Back had a huge influence on me. I achieved A grades in my English GCSEs, Literature and Language and studied English as part of my degree at Queen’s University.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I read a lot of crime, across the sub-genres: police procedurals, mysteries, thrillers but I also enjoy dystopian and speculative fiction, historical fiction and literary fiction. Everything I read as an impact on my writing. It is one of my greatest pleasures to read good book and feel inspired.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Ooh maybe young adult because I love the sense of discovering the world through fresh eyes; a good YA book can make me laugh and cry and remind me of being at that stage in life when everything feels so intense. I also love a bit of gothic horror so I can definitely see me exploring a story within the gothic genre.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I suppose Stuart Neville’s crime novels had an impact on me in that sense. He was writing about Belfast without the tired old cliches and his work encouraged me to see that the stories I wanted to write could have a readership and that Belfast is a place worth exploring.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Two Southern Irish crime writers –Tana French and Louise Phillips. But there are lots of authors who I’m always desperate to read.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Faithful Place by Tana French, felt so real to me. I like books that make me feel uneasy and The Roanoke Girls achieved that in spades.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Yes, my novel Little Bird, opens with a murder at wedding. The idea came to me while I was leaving my cousin’s wedding party. It was a gorgeous balmy night and I could hear the music and chatter within the hotel as I was leaving. It was in a beautiful semi-rural setting and I just thought, mmm what a great place to have a murder!

Sharon’s debut crime novel, Little Bird, was published on 26 July 2017 by Bloodhound Books. Here’s what it’s about:

Forensic psychologist, Declan Wells, is dealing with the aftermath of a car bomb during the Troubles in Belfast, which has left him in a wheelchair. But that is only the start of his problems.
Welsh Detective, Anna Cole is running away from a dead-end relationship and the guilt of her mother’s death. She hopes secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland will provide a distraction.
There is a killer on the streets targeting young women and leaving behind macabre mementoes to taunt the police.
Can Declan and Anna work together to catch the deranged killer before he strikes again?
And is it ever possible to leave the past behind you?

About Sharon

Sharon Dempsey’s debut crime novel Little Bird was published by Bloodhound Books on July 26th. She writes fiction and non-fiction books and teaches creative writing. Sharon has lived in London and Cardiff but has now settled in her native city of Belfast with her family and a tailless cat called Scruffy.

Twitter: svjdempz@twitter

Website: https://1stchapterdempsey.wordpress.com

A huge thank you, Sharon, for taking part.

Author Influences with GB Williams

Happy hump day folks! I’m joined by GB Williams today for more bookish talk in this week’s Author Influences.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
Odd ones. I read a fair bit of Enid Blyton, but I’ve always been a very slow reader, so didn’t even read all of those. The books that I remember most – because I’ve struggled to get hold of them as an adult – were Fattypuffs and Thinifers and Bottersnikes and Gumbles. As I got into my teens, I turned to authors like Paul Zindel, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, Weis and Hickmen, David Eddings and a lot of other writers no one now will ever have heard off.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
Oh definite mixed answer to that one. I cannot spell for toffee, my handwriting is awful, and grammar isn’t my forte, so I wasn’t exactly popular with the English teachers. However, when they could read my writing – they tended to like my compositions. Even once wrote a play they wanted to send to the drama department to put on. I was never the top of the class, but I always could tell a good story. I did not enjoy English Literature classes. Take a book, analyse it to death, tell me my interpretations were wrong just because I didn’t see it the way they did, leading to good books and poetry permanently ruined for me.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
Mostly crime, but also steampunk/fantasy. Well the old adage is write what you know, so I guess it has influenced what I write because these are the genres I chose to work in.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
This is a surprisingly difficult question because while most of my stuff is contemporary crime, I already write (and get published) in steampunk and erotica. I guess if I went anywhere else it would be horror. Deep dark, can’t-sell-because-they’d-lock-you-up, dangerous, gory horror. Mind, I also have two such stories in two horror anthologies, so not really sure where to go with this now…

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
No one from my youth springs to mind, but I do remember thinking at lot when I was teens and twenties that some of the stuff was so bad I couldn’t see how it was getting published and being certain that I could do better, but I couldn’t give you the names of those authors now. But of late I think Simon Kernick is the one I would have to say I would most like to write like. He’s got that easy of flow and readability that really does keep me turning the pages and I’d love to have the same affect on my readers.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
Not so much these days. Used to be that I’d have to have anything by Simon Kernick, but I still haven’t got the last couple. Have to say this is mostly because I have a To Be Read pile that’s taller than I am. Similarly with Christopher Brookmyre, from the first of his I read (The Sacred Art of Stealing) I was hooked on his style and I brought everything he published – right up to Pandaemonium, which I didn’t even bother to finish reading. Have not read with one since, though I’m assured that if you skip Pandaemonium, the later ones are great again. So maybe once the TBR pile is down again…

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Can’t say I’ve ever thought that about any book I’ve read, because if I’d have written that book, the twists wouldn’t have surprised me. But as I’ve said would love to be able to write like Simon Kernick, so for pace, characters and action, I guess The Business of Dying would be the closest thing to a book I wish I could have written.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Yes. There was a robbery in my home town of Tonbridge a few years ago and there is a detail from that that I wrote into the second book of the Locked Series Locked In, but I’m not giving away what the detail was. As for people, there is a character in an unpublished physiological thriller which I have, who is a direct interpretation of a teacher of mine from secondary school. Doubtless there are others, but mostly that will be subconsciously.

Thank you for taking part Gail. Great answers. I can say that Chris Brookmyre’s later books are brilliant!

GB’s latest book Locked Up is out now. Here is what it’s about:

An unmissable crime thriller
A prison officer and a convicted killer must work together to solve a brutal murder and expose conspiracy inside a prison.
Ariadne Teddington is surrounded by people who lie but that is to be expected when you work in prison where every man claims to be innocent.
Charlie Bell, an ex Detective, now finds himself in that prison serving time for murder after having taken the law into his own hands.
When a fellow inmate is killed Charlie is asked to investigate the case from the inside. Soon Charlie finds himself working with Ariande but she is a guard, he is an inmate and some lines should never be crossed…
Can two people on different sides of the law come together to solve the case?
And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

About GB Williams

GB lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are absolutely wonderful. With a vivid imagination fuelled by a near death experience at the age of three, there was really no other choice for Gail than to write, something she’s been doing her for as long as she can remember. She’s tried not doing it, but it never works for long, her brain gets itchy if she hasn’t written anything for a couple of days. A freelance editor and keen reader, she really needs to learn to sleep.

Originally from Kent, GB moved to South Wales as a supposed first step on a year around the world. Then she met a guy. Kept the guy, kissed the travel goodbye. Besides, GB knows the best way to travel is by book. GB now has two grown-up children, the world’s most imperious cat, a house full of books and a hard drive full of manuscripts (though some will never be allowed out of the dungeon).

Books:
Locked In 
Shades of Aether 
Last Cut Casebook
Steel & Bone

Twitter: @GailBWilliams
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gail-Williams/261748000603425
Blog: https://thewriteroute.wordpress.com/
Website: https://www.gailbwilliams.com