Today, Kerry joins me on my blog for a Q and A session, thanks and welcome Kerry. If you haven't read Kerry's books, she has a brilliant series written, and a new book due out on 2nd May, published by Bloodhound books.
If you could co-write with anyone, who would it be and why?
If I could co-write with anyone …. Hmmm great question. There’s a few people I’d love to work with on something – not entirely sure I’d be the easiest person to work alongside though as tend to be quite focussed as to where I want a story to go. I love Karen Rose’s books – she’s one of my inspirations and in part, the reason for me writing the way I do – I love her overlapping characters and plots. So definitely Karen. I’d also love to work on something with Eileen Wharton – her style is completely different to mine but I think if we got our heads together it would be a storming novel!
What advice would you give someone who was just starting their writing career?
Read lots, and write lots. Stephen King said you can’t write if you don’t read too (or words to that effect) – I tend to read less when I’m working on something but my reading gets focussed attention when on holiday especially. Though can it really be called holiday when I write in the morning before breakfast and read at least a novel a day?
Can you tell us about your work in progress/next book idea?
I’m currently working on book 5 – it has a provisional working title which I love, and is allowing me to explore other loves within my writing. I’ve always loved horses – I rode lots when I was younger and still absolutely love anything horsey. So I decided that this one would be set on a riding stables – when I looked into it further I decided I wanted it to be a disabled riding stables – my brother is disabled and I remembered how much he enjoyed the times he went riding. I wanted to explore this whilst also maintaining the crucial elements that make a crime novel – like murder! So just cos there’s horses and even a newborn foal, don’t expect for one second that it’s not going to be as dark and gruesome as the rest of the north east police series!
What is the best and hardest thing about being an author?
Don’t know if it’s the hardest thing, but finding the time to focus to writing, even with just working part-time, can be challenging. It’s surprising really as when I first started writing I was working full-time – I didn’t actually manage to go part-time until book4 had been submitted to the publisher. But it’s fantastic having more time to write. Time is still the hardest thing though. The best thing about being an author – well there’s more than one to be honest! I love meeting up with fans and connecting with readers, I love working alongside other fabulous authors and quite often participate in something we call timed writing – it can be done from any location so you don’t have to be together, but we start a group chat on what’s app or facebook, and we set timers to write. Usually it’s an hour solid with a 10 minute break at the end, then go from there for several hours over the day. It’s a great way to make time to write and be focussed on what you’re writing.
Do you read your own book reviews - what has been your favourite and the worst?
I always read all of my reviews – whether on goodreads or amazon. My favourite is probably this one by Anthony Millington:
‘I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. Kerry Ann's writing draws you into the characters lives. So much I dispised one of them so much I wanted to punch his lights out for being such a sanctimonious women hater.
Gripping to the end. Don't let it give you nightmares after reading it.’
I loved how the bad guy made him want to punch his lights out! A character – that I’d written! It blows my mind.
The worst is probably this one by Steve Kiley:
‘I've given up on it after a few chapters.
It sounded OK at the start, but then I realised all the characters were stereotypes.
What really turned me against it, was when she wrote that somebody had an "infinity" for computing.
Has she passed O level GCSE in English? I doubt it.’
I definitely don’t have an ‘o’ level as these were before my time – I do however have an MA in Creative Writing if that counts….
Kerry, when you started out writing, did you plan for it to be a series? Also, did you intend for it to have different sections of the Police? Personally I find it interesting the way you did this and it helps keep the series fresh, and intriguing as to what is to come next.
When I started writing With Deadly Intent, it was initially to form the 15,000 I needed for the dissertation for my Masters. By the time I’d written that though, I’d gotten to know the characters and wanted to see how their stories played out. Even when I was half way through I still hadn’t intentionally meant for it to become a series. Ben’s character comes into With Deadly Intent throughout and I found myself wanting to write about her – she grabbed me from the second I gave her the name Ben which is not really a girl’s name. When I was about 2/3 of the way through With Deadly Intent, I knew Ben would have a novel of her own and that it would be book 2 in what later became the North East Police Series.
Again it wasn’t intentional that it would feature different sections of the police force – this came about more from personal interest than anything else. I worked for the police as a CSI when I was writing books one and two, and was moved departments quite suddenly due to the government cuts back in 2010 – that move kind of forced on me that the police force is massive and CSIs have interactions with many of the different departments. I’ve been interested in diving since being young though it’s not something I explored past my teenager years but there was a news headline when I came to finish I’ve been watching you, that was about police divers in the water recovering a body. It piqued my interest enough that I decided Time to Play should be set around the dive team. I went through to Northumbria Dive Team HQ and did some research there with the extremely knowledgeable SGT Steve Howe – he answered pretty much all my odd dive and water recovery related questions and is just fab.
Book 4, Watch You Burn, is due to be published on 2nd May through Bloodhound Books – as you can imagine from the title, I decided this one would be arson based and would feature the fire investigator as well as the CSIs. I’d attended some arson scenes whilst working as a CSI and I found them fascinating. This led to further research with actual fire investigators and also some very odd chats with Crime Scene Manager, Dave Mason, and my university CSI lecturer, Gary Currie, who are both just fountains of knowledge!
I’m working on book 5 now which as mentioned previously, will be set on a riding stables. Book 6 is going to be my Edinburgh spin off which will feature Alex and Ali’s family up in Edinburgh and the deadliest killer yet! Book 7 isn’t plotted yet but I have some general ideas – so suffice to say there is plenty more to come from the North East Police team!