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What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for a book?
Hard to say, considering that many of my books have been crime novels. I’ve done things like learned how to pick locks online (yes, you can learn anything on YouTube!) and gone to a shooting range to learn how to shoot a gun (oddly, I’m pretty good at it). Maybe the strangest moment was when I found myself on the dark web, which felt like walking down a dark alley all alone in the middle of the night. I actually got scared and got out asap.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Both. Sometimes I start off with a strong sense of a character, but other times the character jumps out at me nearly whole just before I start to write. Writing a scene always leads to surprises, which is why it’s so important to keep an open mind. It’s not unusual for the best ideas, and characters, to come out of nowhere.
How do you find new inspiration when you’re feeling stuck?
Takes long walks is great for my imagination. I love to roam around and see what hits me and just let my mind wander. I find that to be a great idea incubator.
What’s the worst writing or publishing advice you’ve ever been given?
The worst publishing advice I was ever given was not to re-issue four of my novels when Penguin put them out of print. Eventually I listened to my gut, reissued them independently, and made some of the greatest sales of my life as a published author including having the top selling ebook in the UK for about five years. That experience was a real lesson in listening to oneself.
Is there a character you’ve written that feels closest to your own personality?
Ah, tricky question. Ultimately all my characters spring right out of my mind so they all reflect me in one way or another.
What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date?
I recently finished a new psychological suspense novel about what happens when a “lost and forgotten” filmmaker and her husband, a Hollywood television mogul, relocate to New York. My agent is shopping it around right now–fingers crossed. Meantime I’m stewing on next projects. Stay tuned.