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An Interview with Jo Fenton

I am thrilled to have one of my favourite authors, Jo fenton, visit the blog to have a chat. Thank you for your time Jo. Over to you!

Please tell my readers a little about yourself?

Firstly, thank you so much for hosting this interview. It’s lovely to have a chance to chat with you.

I wear a lot of different hats, but spend most of my weekday hours managing a team of Clinical Research Professionals. I love doing it, but it does eat into writing time! When I’m not at work or writing, I am usually to be found running (very slowly) or hiking or trying to train my new Golden Retriever Husky Cross puppy, who looks as though she’s just jumped out of an Andrex advert!

I live in Manchester with my husband and grown up youngest son, with frequent visits from my eldest son and his lovely girlfriend – frequency has noticeably increased since the arrival of the puppy though…

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always made up stories in my head, but it never really occurred to me that I could write a book until they started talking about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) on Breakfast TV in October 2011. My husband said why not give it a try and I sat down to work out the subject of my first book… the rest is history.

What is the best thing about being an author?

I’m dithering – I have two best bits really. I love the joy of crafting a story, particularly when it gets away from me and goes in unexpected directions. The other best part is hearing people say they loved my books.

What is your writing routine like?

Because of the day job, I usually write before work. Sometimes it’s only half an hour, or even 10-15 minutes, but when I’m in the middle of the writing part, I do try to write every day.

Editing is a bit different, as I don’t need to be feeling quite so creative, but it’s still easier to fit it in before work – or at least it was until the puppy arrived.

Routines need work, patience and flexibility – I need to find my rhythm again, but I’m sure I will.

How much time do you spend on research?

It varies. I tend to research as I go along on an ‘as needed’ basis. I deliberately went for a private detective so I could avoid police procedure, but Becky White still has numerous friends in the police, and they liaise far more than I predicted, so I can’t quite escape. Fortunately, her friends are quite high up and occasionally flexible about the rules.

I do plan to write historical crime fiction one day, but that will have to wait for retirement as I will need to do masses of research for that project.

How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?

I usually start with a concept and then write the first chapter or two. I then do chapter by chapter plans for the first half of the book. This changes and evolves as I go off-piste with the story. I usually know roughly how it ends when I get to two-thirds of the way through, but it’s not set in stone until I finish it!

What do you think is most important when writing a book?

All three really. Plot is important for any crime novel, but my characters drive that plot, and often in strange directions. Plot holes get resolved during the editing process! Setting has to be right for the situation, but I don’t go into too much detail unless it’s necessary for the plot.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book, Paparazzi, is set in Manchester in 2019, 30 years after Revelation, and about 6 months after Becky White has left the police force under difficult circumstances.

Becky forms a detective agency with an old friend, and this story deals with a young female photographer who goes to their agency because she fears she’s being stalked. Through her, we meet Troy, a musician whose family is being targeted by a vicious murderer. Meanwhile, certain aspects of Becky’s past continue to haunt her.

What inspired it?

I was sorting out some laundry one day, when I heard the song, Paparazzi, by Lady Gaga on the radio. It’s a favourite of mine, so I stopped to listen. A premise jumped into my head then and there, but it got twisted round quite a lot once I started writing.

Any new books or plans for the future?

I’m currently editing the sequel, Faberge, another novel in the Becky White series. After this, there’s another to be written in the same series, then we’ll see. I don’t ever plan to stop writing.

What genres do you read most often?

I do read a lot of crime and psychological thrillers, but my favourite genre to read is Regency Romance. I don’t think I could write it though. My characters just seem to want to do horrible things to each other!

Romance does creep into my crime novels, but in a more realistic form.

Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?

I can be found at my website or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (links below):

All my books are available from Amazon:

The Abbey Series:

The Becky White Thriller Series:

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