Sunday, 29 June 2014

#Writing_Process #Blog_Tour

Next stop in the #Writing_Process #Blog_Tour

Next stop in the Writing Process Blog Tour 

Crime fiction author, Judith Cranswick ( invited me to participate in a unique blog tour on writing. Judith spreads her wrings to tutor and speaker as well as being a well-known and hugely successful crime writer. In an interview Judith said she wrote because it was like an obsession. I must confess, I feel exactly the same. Judith's books are well worth a read; 'All In The Mind, 'Watcher In The Shadows', 'Blood On The Bulb Fields', 'Blood In The Wine', and 'A Death Too Far'.
To carry on this great tour, please find my four question responses below.

What are you working on?

My first crime thriller series featured the unique Inspector Allen, but I'm working on a new series now, featuring DI Rachel Bennett. Newly promoted to the rank of DI, Rachel has her work cut out leading a new team, dealing with a husband whose profession puts him in a dangerous place, not to mention the cases she must handle, and the mysterious deaths she must solve.
The first novel is completed but it hasn't hit the bookshelves yet. Books two and three in the series are already under construction. At the moment I'm working on the outline for book two in more detail. As always, I have a bursting ideas file with lots of snippets, phrases, words and titles. It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle, yet to be slotted together. Amongst this stash is a desire to blend two specific crime genres together, but I can't tell you much about that just yet!!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

My novels tend to favour cold cases. I've always been fascinated by those cases that seem unfathomable and remain so for years and years, before something triggers a review. My first series ran double timelines with alternating chapters between the time of the crime and modern day where the inspector was trying to piece things together. I'm keen to keep the cold case element in my work for two reasons, one being that people seem to like it and comment favourably, and two because I like it. It's always good to write something you enjoy yourself. I think this keeps your writing fresh and alive.

Why do you write what you do?

As a child, I loved reading. I was never not reading something. Back then I used to read two or three books at the same time, but now I tend to stick to one at a time. Aged about 13, if memory serves correctly, I was introduced to Agatha Christie. That was it. I was totally hooked on mystery and its sister field of crime fiction. Several years later, I'm not about to tell you exactly how many, I'm still transfixed by this genre. It has such a vast range of writers, styles, sub-genres, and plotlines. My characters are always normal people. Life's rich tapestry tells us that the most ordinary of people can be driven or pushed to do the most extraordinary things. That's what really interests me, and that's why I write crime fiction.

How does your writing process work?

There are two methods generally referred to, when one speaks about how to write a novel. There are the 'start with a blank page and see where the story takes you' type of writers, and the planners.  I'm a planner. I always plan my story outline, at least the key points of the main plot and the links to sub-plots. Historically I've worked things into chapters but I don't do that anymore. I'll start a new chapter when I think it's a good time, quite simply.  My planning does involve a list of scenes, with notes for each reminding myself of the purpose of that scene. Does it reveal something about the central character, a hidden clue to the mystery, or both?
Characters are different. I like to see them in my mind so I tend to note down how I see them before I start penning the novel; their hair colour, eyes, general build and demeanour. Whilst I'll know what type of person they are, I let them take the stage and reveal their own personalities as the words flow.
Once I've completed the first draft I take out my red pen and scribble all over the manuscript. Like most people I find it easier to spot a mistake on a printed page, than I do a screen. My planning often means that a ruthless edit is sufficient and saves me from actually re-writing a second draft. Other writers do almost re-write their novels on the second draft but I can't help wondering if these are the ones who started with the blank page. It's a personal choice, there's no right or wrong here. The destination is what you're striving for, doesn't matter which roads you travel along to get there. When it's done, I cross my fingers and pray the industry will love it!
Please also like my author page on Facebook -

On with the tour

I'm delighted to invite Leigh Russell to join the tour for the next post. People's book prize finalist and CWA Dagger Award Shortlisted, Leigh writes two crime series, both of which deserve a place on your shelves.  Leigh is published by No Exit Press (UK) and Harper Collins (USA).
My second follower on this tour is Geraldine Evans. In her own words, Geraldine is the trad-turned-indie author of the 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn procedural series. In order of publication (but can be read as standalones), the series consists of the following: Dead Before Morning, Down Among the Dead Men, Death Line, The Hanging Tree, Absolute Poison, Dying For You, Bad Blood, Love Lies Bleeding, Blood on the Bones, A Thrust to the Vitals, Death Dues, All the Lonely People, Death Dance, Deadly Reunion and Kith and Kill. Her other procedural series is. Casey & Catt: Up in Flames and A Killing Karma
She is also the author of the biographical historical novel: Reluctant Queen, about Mary Rose Tudor, the little sister of infamous English king, Henry VIII, a suspense-thriller: The Egg Factory, and several non-fiction books, some under pen-names.
Her interests include getting ‘volunteers’ to sit for her amateur portraiture, trying to learn to play keyboards and getting God-like in the greenhouse.
Originally a Londoner, she moved to a Norfolk (UK) market town in 2000. LINKS: Author Website:


  1. Interesting to learn more about your process, Jayne-Marie. I was always a scene-writer and would write an entire book that way, but the jig-saw puzzle afterwards was awful! Try to write in a straight line now. See you next week.