The story started with the first line. From this, I knew there was a woman traumatised and desperately unhappy. I knew that she had lost her husband/lover. I was interested in a remote, country setting – I think we had been doing a few day trips to the country at the time!
The story got off to one false start, although looking back it is interesting to see how much flowed straight away. To begin with I had tried to include other characters – a neighbour and a son but I realised this didn’t work. It took away from the intensity of her feelings. Her isolation.
This story is a lot closer in POV than many of my other stories. This made it easier to feel the character. I actually cried when writing it!
What has been the seminal influence/s that have spurred you to write? And what type of stories do you like to tell and why?
I need to write. When I am not writing, I feel cut adrift. I am drawn to crime fiction. I read crime, I watch crime and I think in crime. I have tried to write stories without a crime ending and they always seem unfinished. I like the resolution that crime stories can bring – finding the truth.
For you what is the hardest part about writing, and what do you do to overcome the difficulty?
Getting it down on paper and stopping the internal critic telling me, it is a waste of time! Getting it down anyway.
A deadline is always good for me. I am a professional writer and editor and it is amazing what you can come up with if you have to submit something by the end of the day!
I am fortunate in that I am a member of a workshop group. We meet each fortnight. We all write in different styles. The workshop provides a deadline and honest and helpful (and often diverse) feedback.
Competitions provide another good deadline.
If you could pick the brains of any writer (past or present), who would it be and why?
I guess Ruth Rendall. I love her writing, her themes and her characters. I like that the characters are often flawed and disturbed and that she follows them fearlessly into madness or badness.
I am reading a book she edited called Anthology of The Murderous Mind – a fascinating look through literature at the reasons people murder.
Where to now? What are you working on now…a book or more short stories?
I find it much easier and more rewarding to write short stories and have written a few since The Detail. The current one is about a woman who killed her dying husband. I have a novel completed to first draft and keep going back and worrying it.