Q: When is your next book out and what’s it about?
A: My next book is Last of the Magpies which is the third and final book in the Magpies trilogy. It answers all the questions readers have had since the series began and will be published on 30 April 2019.
The next novel is called Here To Stay, which will be published on 1 September 2019. It’s about in-laws from hell. After a whirlwind romance, Elliott marries Gemma and tells her he’s happy for her parents to come and stay. But Elliott soon becomes suspicious that his new in-laws have something to hide – and he needs to try to get rid of them before they destroy his life.
Q: Would you like one of you books to be made into a film?
A: I’d love it if one of my books was made into a film or TV series and I’m keeping everything crossed that it happens one day. If you happen to work for a TV or movie production company, my agent is Madeleine Milburn.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: My inspiration comes from lots of different places. Sometimes it’s something that happened to me, or it could be an overheard conversation or news story. Other times, it’s pure imagination.
For example, The Magpies came from my experience of having nightmare neighbours and Follow You Home was inspired by a real-life disaster, when I was robbed of all my money and passport on a train through France. The Lucky Ones came from a conversation overheard in a cafe, where two women were complaining about a co-worker; I imagined what would happen if a psychopath listened in and decided to help them out by murdering their colleague.
Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
A: When it comes to giving advice about writing, every writer is different. Some plan everything meticulously before they start writing. Others make it up as they go along. I’m somewhere in the middle! All you can do is find what works for you. My biggest piece of advice is to read as much as you can, especially in the genre you want to write. Find out how other, published authors do it. If you read enough you should learn through a kind of osmosis, but you can also study books and look beneath the hood to see the engine.
Q: What do you think happened at the end of. . .?
A: I like readers to make up their own minds about what happens after the book ends. There are multiple possibilities and I think it’s more fun to use your own imagination to picture the characters’ future. I hope that answer isn’t too frustrating!
Q: What is your favourite novel?
A: My favourite novel is The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and my favourite thriller is The Treatment by Mo Hayder. You can see my top ten mystery novels here.
Q: Which authors inspired you to write?
A: Stephen King was the first author who inspired me to write but there are many others including Ira Levin, Val McDermid and Ian McEwan. I became inspired to write psychological thrillers after reading Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.
Q: How can I get a signed copy of one of your books?
A: You can order one through my online book store. Or come and find me at an event. For example, I always attend the Harrogate Crime Festival every July and you’ll find me on the lawn in front of the hotel with a drink in hand!
Q: Which formats are A Murder of Magpies and Last of the Magpies available in?
A: Both are only available on Kindle and audiobook. This is because they are shorter books (30,000 words).
Q: What is the word count of one of your novels?
A: Most of my books are between 90,000 and 100,000 words in length. What You Wish for is 60,000 words, A Murder of Magpies is 26,000 words and Last of the Magpies is 30,000 words.