I’d like to start with some personal questions for the readers to get a feel of who the author is. 🙂
-As an author you no doubt read a lot too. What do you like to read and what not?
I like to read crime novels and romances but I am not keen on science fiction or Christian fiction. You also would not catch me reading Andy McNabb and military style stuff. I like books by Agatha Christie, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Peter Lovesey, Peter James, Jo Nesbo and my very good friend, John Holt.
-Are you part of any reader or writer groups? If so, why and do you like it?
As I’m sure you know, writing can be lonely, although your characters are very real to you. I belong to a lot of writers and readers groups on Facebook but could not possibly list them all. I guess I must stop joining FB groups and spend more time actually writing. It gives me a chance to connect with fellow writers and exchange views and ideas.
-Now tell me, is writing all you do or do you have a day job too?
I have an evening office cleaning job during the week which pays peanuts and, to be honest, watching paint dry provides more mental stimulation.
-Are you a person who will go out for a big and long lunch or are you a dinner with friends and drinks type?
If I got paid a living wage I would eat out more but owing to severe budgetary constraints I’m more a ready meal for one home alone type.
-What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?
I’m afraid I don’t keep recipes because I tend to make it up as I go along so I can never exactly recreate it.
-And to finish the personal probing, tell me something about you no one has ever read before? 🙂
That’s tough because I lose track of what I have said in previous author interviews so I can’t guarantee this will be new. I absolutely LOATHE household chores especially washing up.
Hahaha, I can certainly relate to that.
-Now move this interview over to the writerly stuff. What is the title of the book you’d like to talk about?
Second Chances which is the first book in my DI Frank Lyle mystery series and if possible I would like to touch on the second book Heir to Misfortune as well.
-What is it about?
Second Chances is about a team of detectives based in the fictional town of Ashbeck (located between Reading – my hometown – and Oxford) trying to find the rapist and killer of a young girl back in1982 when forensic medicine was very basic. Along the way someone dies in custody and DI Frank Lyle pays a heavy professional and personal price. He does get his man in the end but it is someone he never suspected.
If I may mention Heir to Misfortune (my current WIP) it is about corruption, adultery blackmail and sex scandals among local dignitaries, involving young teenage girls, and features more or less the same police officer characters as Second Chances with one or two additions. It does NOT glorify such indecency though, all the investigating officers are thoroughly sickened by what they discover is going on.
-Where did you first get the idea for it?
I originally got the idea for Second Chances six or so years ago but back then it was a more paranormal mystery because the detective on the re-opened case team turned out to be a reincarnation of the original murder victim. But I decided that would be just too much what with working through the police procedural matters of solving the case. I did keep the reincarnation aspect to a degree because I have Hindu characters. Thankfully my friend, Malika Gandhi, was on hand to answer my endless questions about aspects of the Hindu faith.
I got the idea for Heir to Misfortune by wondering what would happen if police found a murdered vagrant and then discovered that he was actually the young heir to a corporate fortune. I wanted to look at what roads of investigation this would lead them down, especially when blackmail, domestic violence, adultery and indecent acts against young girls enter the equation. I hope to finish this WIP soon.
-If you ever had to change the genre, what would it be?
I don’t see how it would fit into any other genre to be honest. On Amazon it is classified under Hard boiled and police procedural.
How did you celebrate writing ‘The End’? If you already have, and if not, how did you celebrate finishing a particular tricky chapter?
I didn’t write The End, I ended it with the emboldened sentence DI Frank Lyle will return soon to solve another case. The end of Second Chances is far from being the end of DI Frank Lyle’s story. DI Lyle would be about 70 now in 2013 so I look on myself as a chronicler of his most testing cases, rather like Dr Watson is to Sherlock Holmes, although unfortunately not so well known or famous.
I celebrated with a glass of wine and a cigarette.
Thank you for this insight in you and the book(s). I hope you will want to come back when Heir to Misfortune is published.
For those who want, Juliet can be stalked, erm, I mean follow, yes, follow. 🙂 at her blog
You can even get an Authorgraph. Or find out more about Juliet & Second Chances on her Authors to Watch blog interview.
To give you a taste of Second Chances I’d like to end this feature with an excerpt of the book.
The shrill ringing of the telephone disturbed me close to 4 am. I grunted as I rolled over and grabbed the receiver. My head was thick with sleep.
“Frank Lyle’s phone,” I muttered; my tongue cleaving to the roof of my mouth. It was a warm night and as usual the bedclothes had ended up tangled on the floor.
“Boss,” It was Detective Sergeant Sunil Desai.
“Desai, you had better have a bloody good reason for waking me at this ungodly hour,”
“Is the murder of a young girl good enough, Boss?” Desai asked.
Sunil Desai was a second generation British Indian in his mid thirties. He was a good copper’; steady and thorough and he kept both his head and his temper which I sometimes failed to do especially since my wife, Sarah, had left me for some
I put down the phone after telling Desai I would be there within the hour. I had a hasty shower and dressed. I downed a cup of lukewarm tea because boiling the kettle was too much of a chore at this ungodly hour. I left the house with my jacket over my arm, running a comb through my blonde hair and nibbling on a shortcake biscuit.
That wraps up this feature, I hope you had fun reading my interview and look forward to hearing your opinion on author and book.