Hi Felicity, welcome to Café Cala,
It’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I’ve Ioved all of your books and am looking forward to reading The Insanlty of Murder which I’ve just downloaded. I can’t wait to meeting Dody McCleland again. She’s a fascinating character. I’ve been making an apple and cinnamon cake this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?
Good morning, Maggie, and thanks for the invitation. I’d like tea please, as long as it’s not Earl Grey! Mmmm, apple and cinnamon cake, my favourite.
Where did you get the idea for The Insanity of Murder?
My Dody books tend to feature, among other things, society’s attitude to women in the Edwardian era. I’ve had a list in my head of the issues I wanted to cover in the series and the next topic on the list was insanity. Here is the book’s blurb:
To Doctor Dody McCleland, the gruesome job of dealing with the results of an explosion at the Necropolis Railway Station is testing enough. But when her suffragette sister Florence is implicated in the crime, matters worsen and Dody finds her loyalty cruelly divided. Can she choose between love for her sister and her secret love for Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, the investigating officer on the case? Dody and Pike’s investigations lead them to a women’s rest home where patients are not encouraged to read or think and where clandestine treatments and operations are conducted in an unethical and inhumane manner. Together Dody and Pike must uncover such foul play before their secret liaisons become public knowledge – and before Florence becomes the rest home’s next victim.
What have you found most rewarding about your writing?
This series has allowed me to dig so deeply into my favourite period of history, so deeply in fact, it’s almost as good as having my own time machine. The thing I like most about the writing in general is the wonderful people I have met along the way, be it readers, other writers and bloggers, editors publishers and journalists. The writing journey has been a tremendous experience through which I have made lifetime friends. And, speaking as a frustrated actor and musician, writing has also satisfied an inherent need I seem to have to entertain.
How did you start writing?
I’d always wanted to be a writer and studied English lit at Uni in the days before there were such things as creative writing courses. Studying the classics might have taught me critical reading, but it didn’t prepare me much for authorship, I mean, how could I ever hope to match the literary greats I’d studied? It took quite a bit more life experience and a move to the country to make me realise I didn’t need to ‘change the world,’ with my writing and that I could write to entertain.
What would you say has helped you most?
More like ‘who’, really! I could not have written even one word without my husband Mick’s support. My eldest son Ben, is also a (screen) writer and director and a huge font of inspiration
What are you working on at the moment?
Just finished number 5 in the series, A Donation of Murder, and am starting the research for number 6 as yet untitled.
What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
Read, read and read again. It’s amazing how many people who are not great readers strive to become writes. You also need resilience (the strength to get back up when you’ve been knocked down) and drive. Talent helps too, but if you don’t have the other attributes talent alone won’t get you very far.
Which authors do you enjoy reading?
Quite a variety, depending on my mood: Kate Atkinson, James Lee Burke, Amanda Curtin, Hilary Mantel, Ellie Griffiths, Frances Fyfield, Peter James, Minette Walters, PD James, Sebastien Faulk, Thomas Hardy, Nicci French, Stephen Fry etc.
The Insanity of Murder can be purchased online in all ebook formats
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