History in the Remaking

I’m generally listed as a crime writer – psychological crime, admittedly, so there’s no detailed police investigation, just people muddling through and falling apart – but my books have always been part historical novel. The first three, although following contemporary women, harked back to earlier eras. Not necessarily very distant eras. The Unravelling links backContinue reading “History in the Remaking”

Strong Women and Strong Stories: interview with Juliet Greenwood

Juliet Greenwood brought out a new novel this year – The Ferryman’s Daughter, published by Orion, set in Edwardian Cornwall, but here is my interview with her, posted a couple of years ago, in which she talks about her first three books, published by Honno. As with The Ferryman’s Daughter, her books have a strongContinue reading “Strong Women and Strong Stories: interview with Juliet Greenwood”

So Clear, So Obvious

There’s a difference between writing history and writing historical fiction, but sometimes the two can overlap. Write about a real historical character and the author has to do all the research that an academic historian would. The facts are there and cannot be changed. The difference is that the author of fiction is free toContinue reading “So Clear, So Obvious”

Shadows: what lurks behind the wainscot?

In the house where I was born, on what was then the rural fringe of Luton, we had gas brackets for lamps in the bedrooms. They were no longer connected to any gas supply (which didn’t stop me bunging mine up with plasticine, just in case), but I liked them being there, because they wereContinue reading “Shadows: what lurks behind the wainscot?”

Catherine Marshall – deep dark mysteries

Today I am discussing her books with Catherine Marshall, one of my favourite writers. Catherine comes from the Midlands, and lived in London before moving to Lancashire (so far). After an early start writing romances for an imprint of Robert Hale, Catherine turned to darker topics and more complicated psychology. If you want a genre,Continue reading “Catherine Marshall – deep dark mysteries”

What’s in a Genre?

When I first moved from seriously obsessive scribbling to trying to get someone else to appreciate what I’d written, the first question confronting me was ‘what genre do I write in?’ People want to know. At least publishers want to know, and agents and librarians and book shop owners, not to mention readers. This canContinue reading “What’s in a Genre?”

The Unravelling: Time and Place

My third novel, The Unravelling was published by Honno in 2016. My protagonist, Karen, does visit Wales in one chapter, but the book is largely centred on a council estate in Lyford, which was also a setting for my second novel Motherlove. Lyford is fictional, but it’s based on Luton, where I grew up. ThatContinue reading “The Unravelling: Time and Place”

Crime with a Welsh Twist

Everyone knows Scandi Noir. Scottish Crime Writing is a phenomenon that makes its voice heard loudly. Not so many people know about Welsh crime writing, though they have probably watched Welsh crime dramas like Hinterland and Keeping Faith. But there are a lot of Welsh crime writers (like me) and we have a Presence: weContinue reading “Crime with a Welsh Twist”

Being over-nice about words

There are some words that literally drive me mad. Well no, not literally. Figuratively. They annoy me, but that doesn’t mean I have literally been declared insane as a result or have had to seek psychiatric help. The first of them is ‘Literally,’ which does not mean figuratively. It means the opposite of figuratively, andContinue reading “Being over-nice about words”