What started you writing ?
It was an out-of-work period when an actress that got me started. I conceived the brilliant idea of writing a best-seller which would be published immediately to world-wide acclaim and make me a fortune.
‘Deadly Nevergreen’ is an intriguing title : could you tell us something about its meaning ?
It was one of the popular names for the gallows – a fine example of gallows humour.
What is your usual writing routine ? Do you start from notebooks or do you type straight onto a computer ?
I write the plot out long-hand and keep a note-book handy for any ideas which might arise when I’m away from the computer. The bulk of the writing is done straight onto the computer and printed out for each read-through – somehow it never looks right on the screen.
How do/did you plan the plot?
I think of a situation which might drive someone to murder, then consider what sort of person that would be – personal character traits as well as outside influences, such as social class and family. For me the particular crime dictates the characters and even the setting of the book. Everything is built around it.
Are there particular authors who you feel influenced you in your writing ?
It was a love of reading that made me want to write, especially Dickens. I read him more than any other author and am ashamed to say I tried at one time to copy him, even to the extent of giving the dear reader a damn good lecturing. If I were to live a thousand lifetimes I’d never be a Dickens but if anyone’s to blame for me writing, it’s him.
How did you come to set the book in the Isle of Wight ?
It’s my favourite place in the world – any excuse, even to think about it.
Can you tell us where the character of Naomi springs from ?
Partly from imagination and partly from reality – say no more.
Is there a sequel involving Inspector Chaudhuri in the planning ?
There is, though it’s not as easy as the first. The plot insists on travelling in a straight line and refuses to be twisted.
Do you have a favourite place for writing ?
I write anywhere – on a train, in a pub, the dentist’s waiting room. The only thing that distracts me is music.
Which comes first: images, plot or characters ? Or other ?
Plot. Perhaps even the title.
Anything you’d like to pass onto budding authors re writing their first novel ?
Join Authonomy or a similar site. I learned more there in a week than in my entire time of self-editing.
Do you find the internet has helped with the whole business of writing and getting published ?
Yes to both. Though whether it helps with getting read by the public is another matter.
Where can we find your work ?
‘Deadly Nevergreen’ is published by Endaxi Press and will be available in Spring 2012.
Website links :