A quick background check reveals that Steph (aka Crime Thriller Girl) leads a double life:
By day I’m a corporate suit, but by night (and early morning) I’m a writer, avid reader, and book reviewer of all things crime thriller.
I was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of my working life has been spent between the UK and USA. I’m an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and trained as a bounty hunter in California. Currently, I live in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.
So, with the interview tape running and the formalities dispensed with, let’s get on with the 5WH interview:
Who would you entrust to complete your next novel for you if you were unable to do so (alive or dead, famous or not)?
I’m not sure I’d want anyone to complete it if I’m honest. Not because I think someone else couldn’t, there are many writers who’d do a great job, but more because I think it’s hard for someone else to write ‘in the style of’ another writer. I’m a huge fan of thriller writer Michael Crichton who died in 2008.
His last novel – MICRO – was only about a third written when he died, and so the manuscript was finished and edited by novelist Richard Preston. I can remember reading the book and, although it’s very much like a Michael Crichton book, it didn’t quite work for me. It was kind of like reading ‘Michael Crichton light’ – the diet version of the real thing.
What is the most surprising thing you learned about yourself when you wrote your first novel ?
I think the most surprising thing I learnt was that I could actually write a novel! I’m dyslexic, and although I’ve always been a massive reader, spelling, grammar and sequencing have always been a big challenge – so writing a book of my own seemed like a massive long shot. But, as I’ve got older (and my laptop has spellchecker!) I’ve grown more confident with my writing. I’m also of the view that if you want to do something then you should go for it. I love books and I love crime thrillers so I decided to go for it and see what happened – Deep Down Dead was the result!
When did you first experience writer’s block and how did you deal with it?
Why do you think crime fiction is so popular as a genre?
Where is the most unusual place you have found inspiration for your novels/characters?
How you did celebrate your first novel being accepted?
It all felt rather surreal though, and I think it took several weeks for it to sink in. In fact it’s only really now, having held a physical copy of Deep Down Dead in my hands, that it all seems real!
Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong.The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past. Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.
Next month Hull author Nick Quantrill has volunteered to join me in the 5WH Interview Room. I can’t wait!