Thank you, Val, for taking the time to join to answer a few questions for us. We wish you well with Hunter's Secret and I look forward to starting this series from the beginning soon!
What inspired you to write The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries?
Hi Deborah, thank you for having me to visit your blog today. I started writing Hunter’s Chase, the first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, while I was being treated for cancer. I was too exhausted and vulnerable to undertake my usual interests of travelling, swimming or walking, so I read even more books than usual and reviewed them to my blog, www.bookreviewstoday.info . Then, as I got a little better, my husband suggested I try my hand at writing a book and Hunter’s Chase was born.
Who is your favourite character in Hunter’s Blood and why?
For me the most interesting character in Hunter’s Blood is Andy Roberts. I ran a competition for a fan to have their name used in the novel and it was won by Andy Roberts. When I saw his name, I was thrilled. I had used the name Florence Roberts for one of the witnesses in Hunter’s Revenge. It was a complete co-incidence, but I was able to give Andy an imaginary grandmother in Hunter’s Blood because of this.
What was the first story you had published?
The first story I had published was called The Green Dress. It was about a new designer dress stolen from a charity shop and told from three different points of view. It was published in a quarterly publication which has since closed. I don’t think my story was the cause of that!
Do you have another story planned or in progress? When can we expect to see that?
I am working on a non-fiction book: Let’s Get Published. It will be published in April. However, my next novel, Hunter’s Secret, will be published in August. It will be the fifth book in my series, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.
Who is your favourite author?
I enjoy the works of many different authors. However, the three authors who have never let me down are Erin Kelly. Her novels The Poison Tree and He Said/She Said are excellent. Amit Dhand is a fine author whose novels are set in Bradford. I love the problems he creates for his protagonist, DCI Harry Virdee. However, my favourite novels for 2018 and 2019 were The Secret and The Suspects. Both were written by the English author Katharine Johnson. She writes gripping books.
Which writers have influenced you?
I have been most fortunate to have been mentored by some marvellous writers. The three who have assisted me most fundamentally are Peter Robinson, whose DCI Banks series is a joy to read. Simon Hall, who writes the TV Detective series of novels, set in the south-west of England. The other author who guided me through the early stages of my writing career was the Scottish author, Karen Campbell. Her Anna Cameron novels form a clever story arc.
What do you like to do when you’re not planning or writing your next book?
I am a very creative person and enjoy knitting, cooking and beading. However, my favourite things to do are to travel, visit my family and walk on the beach. Often, I am planning my next book while I am doing any of these things.
When did you know you wanted to write crime novels?
I have always enjoyed reading crime fiction, so it seemed sensible to try to write the genre I enjoy reading.
Do you write novels in other genres?
I have not written in any other genre yet, but there is a part of Edinburgh called Hunter’s Tryst. I think I might write a romantic prequel to my series, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.
What do you like most about being an author?
As an author it is most fun to be able to share my stories with readers and communicate with those who have enjoyed my books.
Do you have a specific routine for writing? Is there a special place or particular tool you use?
I usually write in the afternoons and evenings. I have never been a morning person and writing has not changed that! I make my notes in a big read note book, but I draft on the computer.
What advice do you have for other crime writers?
Enjoy your writing.
Do not make your plots too complicated.
What advice do you have for other independently published authors?
Enjoy your writing
Edit your work.
Be honest with yourself.
If your book were to be made into an Audiobook, who would you choose to read it?
I plan to have Hunter’s Chase produced as an audio book this year. Ideally, I would like David Tennant to read it. But, realistically, it should be read by a Scottish man with an Edinburgh accent because the books are set in Edinburgh.
If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you like to play Hunter?
It would be fun to see Ewan McGregor play Hunter with Chris Hemsworth as Tim and, perhaps Jonno Davies as Jamie. But they would all have to train to speak with Edinburgh accents.