Kill Me Twice – 12 Words with Anna Smith

 

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Anna Smith is an award-winning journalist who spent a lifetime in daily newspapers, reporting from the front line all over the world, and who has been the first on the scene in many world shaking events. She now writes full time, using her vast experience as a journalist to create the hugely popular series featuring Rosie Gilmour, a gritty Glasgow journalist who tears down the walls of corruption and will stop at nothing to get her story.

Today, as part of her blog tour for the latest Rosie Gilmour release Kill Me Twice, Anna is taking on the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

 

Rules
 
Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)
 
Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: Kill Me Twice is the latest novel in your series featuring Rosie Gilmour,  What can you tell us about it?

AS: Rosie tears down the wall of lies, from showbiz to Westminster.

LOC: How would you sum up Rosie to someone new to your writing?

AS: Rosie’s a gritty, tough frontline journalist with a shade of vulnerability.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

AS: I become wrapped up in Rosie’s life, I forget the real world!

LOC: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

AS: If you believe in your story and characters, someone else will.

LOC: Any tips for aspiring authors?

AS: Finish what you started, and keep writing. Have faith.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

AS: Morning walk on a sunny in Spain or Ireland, writing in the afternoons.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

AS: The Burning Room, Michael Connelly

LOC: Why?

AS. Been so busy this year, I’m still not finished it. But it’s brilliant!

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author David Mark you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only, a wagon wheel, your teenage diaries and a human foot. What do you do?

AS: Read diary: ‘I knew the road trip had gone wrong when I woke up next to a severed foot.’

 

9781784294793Dangerous secrets threaten to destroy lives from the sink estates of Glasgow to the corridors of Westminster in this latest case for Rosie Gilmour.

A beautiful model’s death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour’s darkest case to date.

When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn’t jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell – alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that’s not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets…

Back in Glasgow, Rosie’s research into Bella’s life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella’s early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she’s dead.

As Rosie’s drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she’s about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment…

12 Words with Howard Linskey

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Howard Linskey is the author of trio of books, The Drop, The Damage and The Dead, featuring David Blake. He is also the eyes (and everything else), behind Behind Dead Eyes the second in a series of books set in the north east of England, and sequel to No Name Lane.

Having recently read, and loved, No Name Lane, it was a delight to catch up with him again at both CrimeFest and Harrogate, and get him to participate in the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

Here’s what he had to say…

 

12 Word Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: Your latest release Behind Dead Eyes is the second to feature DS Ian Bradshaw and journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton. What can you tell us about it?

HL: It’s a north east based crime mystery with some shocking outcomes.

LOC: How was it starting out with these new characters after your previous David Blake series?

HL: Reinvigorating to write something entirely new with different characters and situations.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

HL: Chaotic winging-it with a bit of planning either end of the story.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

HL: Stuff I make up is actually published as a book.

LOC: Describe your perfect getaway.

HL: Great food and wine, writing, family, a sea view from my window.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months and why?

HL: Ian Ayris’ ‘Abide With Me’ is original, authentic and superbly written.

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Quentin Bates you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only a Phone book, a pair of wellies and a corkscrew. What do you do?

HL: Use the corkscrew then make a bottle of wine disappear. That’s magic!

12 Words with David Mark

img_3005David Mark is the author of the DS McAvoy series, which includes, Dark Winter, Original Skin, Sorrow Bound, Taking Pity and his most recent release Dead Pretty.

 

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: Your latest release Dead Pretty is the fifth in your series featuring DS Aector McAvoy.  What can you tell us about it?

DM: One Girl Missing. One Girl Dead. Link? Depraved vigilante? Or pure evil?

LOC: How about some hints about what’s up next for our favourite Gentle giant?

DM: Family ties to murder …New York … trailing a religious killer. Cruel Mercy.

LOC: How does being a full time author compare to your previous career as a journalist?

DM: It’s better. I smile. I drink less. I have less money. Ace.   (LOC: Shhh… we’ll pretend we didn’t notice)

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

DM: Obsessive cogitation, deep journey into imagination, structure, plot, flavour – then do it!

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

DM: Getting bloody published. Ten years of failure and despair then overnight success.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

DM: Coffee, extreme weather, platitudes from loved ones, uninterrupted writing. Lottery win.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

DM: The Girl in Green by Derek B Miller.

LOC: Why?

DM: Beautifully written, very interesting and a bit odd. Great characters and tone.

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Angela Marsons you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only an ironing board, a box of matches and an armadillo.  What do you do?

DM: If it’s for Sky Arts, just balance all three on my head and allow the viewer to interpret my inner pain and artistic vision.   (I’m going to forgive the breach in word count, just ‘cus I *love* that answer)

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12 Words with Quentin Bates

screenshot_2016-02-20-02-20-13-1.pngQuentin Bates was born in England and through a series of coincidences found himself working in Iceland for his gap year.  One year turned into ten, plus a wife and children.  After a move back to the UK he began work as a nautical journalist and editor of a commercial fishing magazine.  His Gunnhildur Gisladottir series was born through the author’s own inside knowledge of Iceland and its society, along with the world of exploring crime.

Thin Ice is the fifth installment in the Officer Gunnhildur series and is available now.

As part of the Thin Ice blog tour, today Quentin takes the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

 

Rules 
 
Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)
 
Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.
 

LOC: You’ve just released Thin Ice, the fifth in your series featuring Officer Gunnhildur, what can you tell us about it?

QB: Two villains, two kidnapped women, a bag of cash and no petrol.

LOC: Gunnar has an interesting home life, is this typical of an Icelandic lifestyle, and to the more European lifestyle, or as unplanned for you as it was for Gunnar & Gisli?

QB: It just evolved, but she copes with everything I chuck at her.

LOC: What’s the most challenging part of switching between writing your own novels and translating those of others?

QB: No problem. It’s the same toolbox but a different set of tools.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

QB: There’s plenty of swearing and watching the kettle boil.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

QB: I never imagined a gang of crimewriters could be so much fun.

( LOC: Ooh… crimewriters, not crime writers?  That’s skating on “Thin Ice” with the word count….   😉  )

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

QB: Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts by AK Benedict

LOC: Why?

QB: Tough choice, but this book is bonkers, magnificently imaginative and just enthralling

LOC: Describe your perfect day

QB: Distant mountains, sounds and smells of the sea, fish for dinner.

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Leigh Russell you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with a stick of celery, a top hat and a panda. What do you do?

QB: Bribe panda with celery to wear hat for winning Fred Astaire impression.

 

 

12 Words with Leigh Russell

imageLeigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson crime series. She studied at the University of Kent, gaining a master’s degree in English. She has a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties from the British Dyslexia Association, and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. For many years she taught English at secondary school, specialising in supporting pupils with specific learning difficulties. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in north-west London. In addition to writing, she guest-lectures for the Society of Authors, universities and colleges, and runs regular creative writing courses for the prestigious Writers Lab in the UK and Greece. She also runs the manuscript assessment service for the CWA.

Her latest novel Journey To Death, the beginning of a new series featuring protagonist Lucy Hall, is released today and to celebrate Leigh has taken the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC: What can you tell us about your latest release Journey To Death?

LR: In the Seychelles, Lucy Hall is drawn into a life threatening adventure.

LOC: What was it like making the change from writing your regular characters and starting a new series?

LR: So far it has been great fun, but Geraldine Steel is continuing.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

LR: The process is completely chaotic, frequently exhausting and always exciting.

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

LR: There have been several, including facing a man with a machine gun.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months (title & author not in word count) and why? 

LR: I reread The Hobbit by J R Tolkien – sometimes a break from adult fiction is necessary.

LOC: What’s the weirdest sentence you’ve ever written / read?  (word count does not apply)

LR: ‘Word count does not apply.’ I feel like a dog let off the lead and free to ramble! I’ve read a lot of weird sentences, and no doubt written quite a few, but one that comes to mind is the opening sentence of ‘The Outsider’ by Albert Camus. The book opens with the words: ‘Aujourd’hui maman est morte.’ This sentence can be translated as ‘Today mother died’ but a more literal translation would be: ‘Today mother is dead’, which sounds more final. The beautiful simplicity of the language is not weird at all. But the bald indifference of the statement, combined with the emotive content, is weird and makes it one of the most chilling first sentences I have ever read. It sets the tone for a disturbing novel.

LOC: *rolls eyes* give an author some wriggle room, and off they go….  😀

LOC: Describe your perfect day

LR: I have breakfast in bed, before writing all day.

 

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Angela Marsons you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with an ironing board, a box of matches and an armadillo. What do you do? 

LR: I set fire to the ironing board and escape on the armadillo.

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You can keep up to date with all Leigh’s current and forthcoming releases on her website www.leighrussell.co.uk or by following her on Twitter @LeighRussell

12 words with Angela Marsons

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Recently racking up her 1,000,000th book sale since Silent Scream was first published in February, Angela Marsons is the author of the DI Kim Stone crime thrillers, set in ‘The Black Country’ at the heart of the West Midlands.

Brought up in a series of foster homes, Kim is a no nonsense copper, determined to get to the bottom of every crime she comes across, whatever the cost, or the consequences.

 Today on LifeOfCri.me, Angela takes on our 12 word challenge.

 

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC:  Your latest book Lost Girls is the third in your series featuring DI Kim Stone, what can you tell us about it?
 
AM:  It is a kidnapping drama that evolves into an auction for life.
 
LOC: As a fellow biker, I’m intrigued that you’ve made Kim more than just a motorcycle rider, but a true “petrol-head” repairing and re-building motorcycles, what was behind this?
 
AM: She needed an interesting hobby that suited her inquisitive, puzzle solving personality.
 
LOC: How would you describe your writing process?
 
AM: The first draft is for me to write what I want fearlessly.
 
LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?
 
AM: That my gut is the most reliable organ in my body.
 
LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year (title & author not in word count) and why?
 
AM: A Sister’s Promise by Renita D’Silva.  It is beautifully written and took me on an unforgettable journey.
 
LOC: Describe your perfect day
 
AM: There would be coffee, crisps, notepads, pencils and sunshine.  And more coffee.
 
and finally just for laughs……
 
LOC: Thanks to author Matt Hilton you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with a waffle maker, a hamster and a kilt. What do you do?  
 
AM: Wear the kilt and waffle the hamster. Not really, obviously. Love hamsters.

 

Published by Bookouture, all three Kim Stone thrillers are available now, and to keep up with Angela, you can find her on Twitter @writeangie

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DI Kim Stone Book One
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DI Kim Stone Book Two

12 Words with Matt Hilton

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Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary to pursue his love of writing tight, cinematic American-style thrillers. He is the author of the highly successful, 10 strong Joe Hunter thriller series, which includes such titles as Dead Men’s Dust, Cut and Run, Blood and Ashes, No Going Back, The Lawless Kind and The Devil’s Anvil

His latest novel Blood Tracks Introduces private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers.

Today on LifeOfCri.me, Matt takes on our 12 word challenge.

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: You’ve just released your latest novel Blood Tracks, what can you tell us about it?

MH: It has a female lead, who is not Joe Hunter in tights.

LOC: What was behind your decision to take a break from your serial character Joe Hunter and begin a new series?

MH: To exercise my creativity and extend my commercial viability to female readers.

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

MH: Winning over readers who complain Hunter isn’t Lee Child/Jack Reacher.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year (title & author not in word count) and why?

MH: “No One Gets Out Alive” by Adam Neville was intense and spooky and I do love a good scary story.

LOC: Describe your perfect getaway

MH: A log cabin in the Scottish highlands, preferably near a remote loch.

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week (limit does not apply)

MH: From my WIP: “Nicolas, I’m just shy of three hundred and fifty pounds, me; if I wore high heels I’d end up nailed to the sidewalk for the duration.”

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author C.L.Taylor you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just a sledge, a grappling hook and some fish bones. What do you do? (12 words – minimum of one item.)

MH: Throw on furs; sit on the sledge singing White Fang the musical.

 

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#BRYANTandMAY #LONDONSGLORY the tour, with Christopher Fowler

IMG_2282The latest instalment in Christopher Fowlers brilliant Bryant & May series is out now.  London’s Glory is a collection of eleven Bryant and May short stories, filling in gaps and covering cases mentioned in passing over the years.

In the spirit and brevity of a short story, when I got the chance to ask a few questions of Chris, I asked simply, about the genesis of Bryant & May, where in London fans could visit for a feel of the books, and what Bryant and May would think of book tours and blogging.  Here’s what he had to say.
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Many years ago I fell in love with the Golden Age classic mysteries I found in the library, with their academic eccentricities and timeless view of an England that never really existed. There was just one problem; they badly needed an update because of outmoded attitudes to sex and race. I thought; wouldn’t it be interesting if you took the structure of the Golden Age mysteries and put them into our recognisable modern world?

If you’re going to describe the investigation of a crime, you might as well have fun with it. How does a writer create a detective? I started with a matchbox label that read “Bryant & May – England’s Glory”. That gave me their names, their nationality, and something vague and appealing, the sense of an institution with roots in London’s sooty past. London would be the third character; not the tourist city of guidebooks but the city of invisible societies, hidden parks and drunken theatricals, the increasingly endangered species I eagerly show to friends when they visit.

Every night, my detectives walk across Waterloo Bridge and share ideas, because a city’s skyline is best sensed along the edges of its river, and London’s has changed dramatically in less than a decade, with the broken spire of the Shard and the great ferris wheel of the London Eye lending it a raffish fairground feel.

By making Bryant & May old I could have them simultaneously behave like experienced adults and immature children. Bryant, I knew, came from Whitechapel and was academic, esoteric, eccentric, bad-tempered and myopic. He would wear a hearing aid and false teeth, and use a walking stick. A proud Luddite, he was antisocial, rude, miserable, erudite, bookish, while his John May was born in Vauxhall, taller, fitter, more charming, friendlier, a little more modern, techno-literate, and a bit of a ladies’ man. Their inevitable clash of working methods often causes cases to take wrong turns.

Then I threw every modern subject I could think of at them, from refugees to banking scandals, and let them sort out the dramas using old-fashioned (and vaguely illegal) methods. The result is, well, unusual!

The easiest locations to visit in the books are Waterloo Bridge, where the detectives walk most nights, and King’s Cross, where their unit is based, but in ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ there’s a list of all the pubs they visit in the books at the back. And all of the locations I use are real, so everything can be looked up and explored on Google maps!

I think John May would like blogging but Arthur Bryant would probably crash entire systems because he has a warped understanding of the internet!

12 Words with C.L. Taylor

31+dITNA4bL._UX250_When I was thinking about putting together this 12 word feature I put a shout out to my author friends on Facebook, and delightfully C.L Taylor was amongst the first to put her hand up in the air and say she’d give it a whirl.  Author of thrillers The Accident (released as Before I Wake in the US) and The Lie, here’s a big thank you from LifeOfCri.me for taking up the challenge, and in turn her fabulous response.

The Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC: I really enjoyed reading your current novel The Lie, what can you tell us about it?

CLT: It’s about friends turning on each other, a cult and fear.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

CLT: I brainstorm, research, make notes, plot, write, edit and then polish.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

CLT: That all writers hate their book at some point.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year? (not included in word count) and why?

CLT: The Widow by Fiona Barton, Written in a deceptively accessible style but with themes that resonate.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

CLT: Any day where I get a lie in is perfect (and rare).

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week (limit does not apply)

CLT: It’s one of mine – ‘The voice is coming from inside my head’.

and finally just for laughs…

LOC: You wake up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just an Accordion, a skipping rope, and a duck. What do you do?

CLT: Pretend the duck can tell jokes. Who stole the soap? Robber ducky!

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