Hello my fellow bookworms and page turners, today’s post is a compelling interview with the Author and Crime writer, Frances Brody. I was lucky enough to attain an interview with Frances through the help of her fellow crime writer Nick Quantrill to whom I am very grateful for the assistance, as well as to Frances for being willing to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer my quizzie questions.
But that’s enough of my rambling!, let’s get on with the Interview!
Please introduce yourself to our readers, what inspired you to become a writer?
Before I wrote stories, I regaled my impressionable younger brother and gullible school friends with tall tales. Writing stories was a natural progression.
The sagas were inspired by family stories told to me by my mother, godmother and others. They are set in Leeds, Morecambe and Silverdale, between 1914 and the 1930s.
In the third saga there was a bank robbery, a murder and a miscarriage of justice – an almost seamless transition into crime writing.
The first crime novel, Dying in the Wool, started with an image in my head of a man trapped behind a high wall unable to return to his family. I needed someone to solve the puzzle. Kate Shackleton stepped in and applied for the job of sleuth.
What first attracted you to create a period crime series rather than an alternate or current timeline crime series?
The 1920s is a fascinating period, surprisingly modern in many ways but with an overwhelming sense of loss after the Great War. There’s poverty and deprivation and the soot and fog of the cities. Alongside that are picture palaces, new dances, great clothes, and more people with telephones, wirelesses and gramophones. It’s a time of social fracture and social change, particularly for women. Millicent Fawcett said that at the start of the Great War women were serfs and afterwards they were free.
Can you describe to us your typical writing day? Do you have a favourite time or place to write?
I like to write in the mornings but if a deadline looms I keep going. I prefer to write in the room at the top of the house but when it gets hot in summer, I decamp.
What do you feel are the key elements to a good story?
This is a tricky question. I’d say a truthfulness that makes the story feel real even though the reader knows that it’s unreal. If I’m remembering rightly, Bruno Bettelheim in Uses of Enchantment says that as children we have a particular fairy tale that resonates because of its inner meaning. What’s a good story for me may not be a good story for you. This is why it’s pleasing to have such a wide variety of books.
Do you think that the illustrated cover plays an important part in the book buying process? or do you think it’s mainly down to marketing and prose?
The publisher, Piatkus, decide on a design and brief an artist. I’m fortunate in having the same artist illustrate all the Kate Shackleton books. The covers are instantly recognisable which is an important selling point.
Could you tell us a little of what is next for Kate and what to expect from your latest work “A Death in the Dales”, which is due for release in October of this year?
Kate is adopted. In the third book, Murder in the Afternoon, she meets her birth sister for the first time – and also her niece,Harriet. In A Death in the Dales, Kate takes Harriet to Langcliffe in the Yorkshire Dales to convalesce. They both find something to investigate and theholiday takes an unexpected turn. This is the seventh book in the series and each novel stands alone but certain characters come back. Here, Kate stays in the cottage belonging to the doctor whom she met in Murder on a Summer’s Day.
And finally, what are you reading?
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
follow her on Twitter, and have a look at both her Facebook page and Official Website, all of which are listed below
Until next time, read more books..