Books Reviews And More

Bookworm 1977

Today we are interviewing Welsh author David Owain Hughes about his latest book 'South by Southwest Wales'

Hello and welcome David thank you for agreeing to this interview.


To begin with tell us a little about yourself and your background


David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly instil in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had multiple short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine, and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novels “Walled In” (2014), "Wind-Up Toy" (2016), “Man-Eating Fucks” (2016), and “The Rack & Cue” (2017) along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and "Choice Cuts" (2015). He’s also written three novellas – “Granville” (2016), “Wind-Up Toy: Broken Plaything & Chaos Rising” (2016).


You are known as a horror writer but your latest book 'South By Southwest Wales is a crime thriller. Could you tell us why you decided to write a crime thriller?


I’ve had a thing for crime fiction for many years—especially 1930’s/40’s gangster crime—and so it came as no great shock to me that I wanted to produce a book within the crime/noir/detective genre. I also have a keen interest in detectives/P.Is, as they’re almost always portrayed in films/books/TV shows as lonely individuals – an aspect I love exploring when building my own characters. However, I think the biggest prompt for me to write such a book, was to show people I’m not a one-trick pony; that I can write other things too, not just blood, guts and perversion. I had a golden opportunity here to explore some dark, interesting things, such as Sam’s delusional state of mind and hard-drinking habits.


Without giving the plot away. How would you describe your book to someone thinking of buying it?


I think Richard Ayre’s full blurb will sum this question up nicely: ‘Samson Valentine. Once the best gumshoe in the city, but now little more than a washed up has-been. The question is, though, which city? And when? Owain-Hughes is probably best known for his horror stories, but South by Southwest Wales showcases the sheer versatility of this brilliant writer, and the detail of both setting and characterisation combine to make one hell of a good read. In Samson Valentine, Owain-Hughes has created a classic flawed hero. A man who is inherently good in a world that has turned bad. And when things get personal, Valentine shows that he is not a man to cross. In South by Southwest Wales, David Owain-Hughes presents us with a pure gem. Part Noir detective thriller, part insight into the dark world of alcoholism. This is a fabulous story that weaves its way seamlessly from 1940’s Chicago to modern-day Cardiff, thanks to the fractured mind of its main character. I can’t think of a better evening than to sit in the pool of light from a shaded chintz lamp, sip a single malt, and get lost in South by Southwest Wales. Pure magic’ --Richard Ayre


Your main character Samson is a brilliant creation who was the inspiration for the character?


Nobody in particular. Samson is a mash of a multitude of characters—with a special sprinkling of Hughes’ magic dusted—who I’m fond of from various films. However, Eliot Ness and Jim Malone spring to mind – characters found in my all-time favourite gangster flick The Untouchables. Also, I’ve always liked Bob Hoskins’ hapless P.I Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Martin Balsam’s portrayal of Milton Arbogast, the unwitting P.I killed off in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Readers will more than likely see the little nods to the latter film within my book. Hitchcock’s North by Northwest was another huge influence. So too was the main character, played by Cary Grant. That whole era does it for me – it’s was classy.


The cover of the book is fantastic could you tell us about it and who designed it?


A French fella by the name of Kevin Enhart produced the cover, which isn’t the first he’s done for me. I’ve known Kev the best part of ten years. I can’t go into too much detail about the cover, because I don’t want to give too much away. The only thing I will say is, if you look close enough, you will see two cities – one older than the other…


As someone who has read the book, I have to ask will there be a sequel?


Definitely. I have the idea all mapped out and ready to go. However, at current, I’m taking a wee breather. I want to catch up with my reading and to spend some quality time with my family. I also want to push South by Southwest Wales, and give it time to see how it does, before I press on with the sequel.

Thank you David it's been wonderful talking to you. We wish you all the best with your book.


My pleasure. Thanks!


If want to find more about David's work visit:



An interesting interview with Matt Leyshon


 Today I'm interviewing Mat Leyshon author of 'Jack the Ripper Live And Uncut'


 Hello Matt would you like tell us a little about yourself and your background?


 I was born in Australia spent most of my childhood in a suburb called Liverpool in Sydney. I now live in the USA (Tampa FL) and love life here too, being married with two children. I am spoiled with two good choices on where to live, which can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. 


 I’ve wanted to write stories pretty much since I have been able to write. I love storytelling and either seeing or hearing reactions from those that are party to it. Currently I’m a humble software engineer by day but hoping I can make a career out of this author gig. 


 Do you aim for a set amount of words  pages per day?


 I have two kids and one of them is a night owl like their mum and dad. So no, haha! I always try to either write/contribute to a book or do work on the promotion of my current one. To give you an idea though I wrote 60 pages in 5 weeks, which is not great, but my family went on a road trip for 10 days. In those 10 days I wrote 180 pages. I love them dearly but man do I get a lot done when I’m on my own! I do set writing goals or milestones but they are not daily ones.


 Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?


 I use a computer and that is probably a very good thing.  


 Where do your ideas come from?


I could default to my dark, twisted mind but I think there are various things that serve as catalysts for inspiration. I could get ideas from research, it may cause a simply idea to grow into something bigger, which definitely happened with this book. It can also come from the most obscure of places, when I am totally distracted and should not be thinking about writing. I recently mapped out 90% of my next story’s outline while sitting in a hotel hot tub. I can’t say I planned that.


 What is the hardest thing about writing your book?


 Definitely research for starters. For most matters, especially the main topic in this book (Jack the Ripper) you find that one or two sources can’t be deemed reliable enough. This book required a ton of research, a lot of it after midnight, and it was a very dark rabbit hole to go down. I found I was full of a lot of adrenaline after writing and researching some aspects of this particular book and found sleep difficult after a lot of nights.


 It is obviously tough to find the time. The vast majority of this book was written between 10:00pm and 2:00am. That can be taxing, especially trying to be a decent husband and father in the same time day. The words of James Patterson still resonates with me though. “There are no excuses, a writer will always find time to write during their day.” I believe that is true, I just had to extend my day.


 One other thing, was maintaining a balance where the books narrative was concerned. I wanted to write a Jack the Ripper tale that even the hardest of hard core fans would enjoy. They could enjoy the yarn, and appreciate the detail, not be preoccupied with pulling it apart. I also wanted to create a mainstream thriller for any reader, that loves a good page-turner, to enjoy. Knowledge of the Jack the Ripper murders is not a prerequisite here. There is more reward for those who do though.


 What is the easiest thing about writing your book?


 Getting into the narrative that either didn’t require any further research, or none at all, just imagination. I could also say writing the juicy bits was interesting, which made it easy of course. 


 Do you ever get writer’s block? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block?


 I did and got a mad case of it while writing my book. What I eventually did was jump to another part of the book that I felt I could write easily and worked on that. It kind of helped as I went from that point through to the end, leaving a 12 chapter gap right in the middle of the book! When it came to filling in the gap I simply pushed through, writing only 2/3 of a page on one night. The next night I wrote 3 pages. After that I was good and had my momentum back. 


 My advice would be to possibly write another part of the book, I know that’s not feasible for some novels though. That or simply push through bit by bit. If all else fails, locate the nearest hot tub.


 Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.


 I conceived the idea very early. I wanted a cover that would jump out, especially as a thumbnail, but I also wanted it to have a confronting Ripper scene, along with a strange third party leaving people to wonder “who is that guy?” I sat down with an artist and conveyed this idea and I thought he did a very good job of the artwork. I actually did the title design.


 Who designs your book covers?


 I did, with some input from the cover artist. I was pretty stubborn about what I wanted though. To be honest I am currently considering a new cover that is more basic. I had somebody in the know tell me they felt the cover spoke only to Jack the Ripper fans and I think they have a point. Most thrillers have basic covers that give away nothing, so I may go back to basics, and that may include changing the title.


 Do you think that giving books away free works and why?


 I have not tried it to this point but have thought about it. I see and read mixed feedback regarding the experience so I am currently not sure. If I were confident it could increase my readership by a decent amount I would probably be all about it. 


What is your favourite positive saying?


 “Don’t expect, suggest.” (Yes I quoted a U2 song haha.)


 I also love “It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary


 Also “Do things based on the reasons why you should rather than not do them based on the reasons why you shouldn’t.” That one is actually mine. 


 Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?


 I live in a country with Donald Trump as President, so who the hell knows! 


 Hopefully writing more, having produced at least 2 more stories. Would prefer they were best-sellers like any author, but this current book has given me so much personal satisfaction by merely completing it I think there is gratification in that alone.


 What advice would you give to your younger self?


 Start now! What are you waiting for?


 If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?


 Oh man I love this question! If I had to pick one, which is very difficult, I would say The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It was my favourite book growing up as a child and one of my all time favourites. It’s not just a classic, it’s extremely clever, wonderful imagination and very funny. It also has a very important message that is still relevant for children today. I would have been honoured to have my name attached to a book and story so rich.


 For materialistic purposes I would say The Da Vinci Code. I actually love the book but I did say for superficial reasons. I could have bought my own island and retired on that thing.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


 It’s hard work. Whether your book requires research or simply your own creativity, it is still very hard work. It is so worth it though. Holding that proof copy in your hand is the greatest feeling. Also don’t be afraid to reach out. Many writers, especially myself, have called upon the generosity of others and most are very keen to help. 


 And be ready for the hard yards once that first draft is done. There is just as much ahead as what is now behind you. But if you believe you have written/told a good story then roll your sleeves up and fight for it. Some of the most successful authours received a lot of rejection before their story finally hit the big time.


 Where do you see publishing going in the future?


 I think self-publishing, or publishing through companies that are more independent or even obscure, is going to continue to grow in numbers. The big houses can’t accommodate everybody and the number of people who believe they can be an author is growing almost exponentially on account of how accessible chances are for them. 


 I see eBook depositories such as the Kindle Store, Smashwords, iBooks and the like only growing in numbers. The invention of tablets has helped that. It’s also a lower cost method of getting your story out there. I think more people will be taking easier or faster options, enabling them to spend more time writing. The market is saturated and that’s not going away. I think a consequence of that is the bricks and mortar stores will simply stock by choice, with more “print on demand” publishing coming to the fore. 


 I also see audio books becoming more popular. With so many people commuting, working out, or simply not wanting to read paper or screen anymore I think the audio option is going to show growth.


 Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?


 Just one shameless pitch for the book. If you’re a Ripperologist you WILL enjoy this book! If you’re not you will still enjoy it as well. My first proof-reader knew nothing about Jack and even told me if he saw my book in a store he would have walked straight passed it as it is “not his thing”. He has now purchased six copies of the book and given them to others to read 


Thank Matt and we wish you all the best with your book for these who might interested in purchasing a copy of the book there is a link below.


Paul Roland



Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing the very talented Paul Roland who is a recording artist and the author of many books that included 'The Nuremberg Trials: The Nazis and Their Crimes Against Humanity' and one I recently added to my own read pile 'The Crimes of Jack the Ripper'. 


Hi Paul, thank you for agreeing to this interview, to start with would you tell us a little about yourself and your background please.


How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?


Paul: I began writing short stories as a child and I have had an irresistible compulsion to write ever since. I think you must have that natural urge if you are going to survive the ups and downs that are a part of the writer’s life. You can teach technique, but you can’t teach people who don’t have a love of words how to write well. I had to write and I think about what I’m writing all the time – even in the middle of the night. It’s never a chore and I don’t consider it ‘work’. It’s an expression of my personality and I wouldn’t feel I was living unless I could write.


With my non-fiction books the publisher usually has a title they are looking to place with an established author, although I have suggested titles when I have a particularly strong idea or looked for a publisher who might be interested in the subject I want to write about. But I wouldn’t write about something that I couldn’t work up enthusiasm for. I’ve only turned down two books in my life – one on the SS because I was concerned that it might appear that I endorsed the view that they were in some way an ‘elite’ unit when they were in fact responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the war (and that is a myth I am keen to dispel). The other was a psychological study of Hitler which I turned down because I didn’t feel qualified to talk about his madness in clinical terms. It was too serious a subject to tackle as an armchair psychiatrist. 


I don’t think it is necessary for a writer to have personal experience of their chosen subject to write a good book, or a book worth reading, but they should have something specific to say. I only accept a commission if I have a particularly strong view on that topic or if I feel the need to address a misconception.


How did you become interested in the case of Jack the Ripper?


Paul: I had always had a morbid fascination with Victorian England, the Victorian’s obsession with death - its ritual and pageantry – and crime. I had written and recorded songs on that theme and related themes (‘The Crimes of Dr Cream’ being one) and so when I had graduated to writing books I was keen to cover the subject in depth (or as deep as a ‘popular history’ would allow) and to examine the idea that the Ripper may have been a mythic figure created to boost newspaper circulation. The murders were real enough, but were they all the work of one man – or woman -and if not, which victims could confidently be attributed to the Ripper and which victims might have been attributed to him to flesh out this potent symbol of Victorian hypocrisy?


I was also eager to dismiss the ludicrous theory dreamt up by Patricia Cornwell who seemed desperate to tie the killings to the painter Walter Sickert! Instead, I wanted to reassess all the likely suspects from an objective viewpoint – I had no pet theory to prove – and to present a likely candidate who had not been seriously considered before.   


What is the hardest thing you find about writing?


Paul: I honestly don’t find anything difficult with regard to the writing of non-fiction, after all the story and characters are all there, the trick for me is to find the human interest and to bring the place, period and characters to life. With the Ripper book, for example, I focused on the victims and attempted to describe them in terms that would make the reader empathise with their plight, rather than romanticise their killer. 


Recently I have started to write crime fiction after a break of 25 years and I find that equally enjoyable. The initial idea, characters and dialogue come readily enough, but plotting is the difficult part. I think it was Agatha Christie who said that plotting took the most of the time and writing was routine after that. I wouldn’t go that far – I derive the most pleasure from telling the story, or allowing it to unravel, while plotting it can be frustrating and maddening, but it’s something I just have to do.  


How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?


Paul: Now, that’s a very interesting question! I can see a significant improvement in the quality or standard of my prose from the fiction I wrote in my 20’s


Thank you Paul your time and participation is very much appreciated




Thank You

Thank you to all the authors who take part in answering the series of questions I put them. Your time and participation is very much appreciated 

Donna Marie McCarthy



Today's see the re- launch of The Meddler by Donna Marie McCarthy under Hellbound publishing. To mark the occasion she has agreed to an interview.


Do you think that the cover plays an important part to the buying process?


The cover is enormously important - people buy with their eyes, and if you are lucky, you have an awesome publisher like mine 'Hellbound Books who have thoroughly read and understood your book. 


 How are you publishing this book and why? (Indie, traditional or both)


 I'm publishing through my fabulous publisher Hellbound, and the book is available on kindle and in paperback. 


What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?


 About 30 minutes a day - I prefer to be writing. 


How do you market your books?


 I tried SP in the early days but with full-time work is so tiring, and I wasn't able to dedicate the time and hours to marketing. I now have an awesome publisher who covers this for me at this point in my life is integral. I share Hellbound's posts about them as they are far more professional than mine. Although I do like to indulge and create a few trailers here and there.


Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?


There is no wrong or right way just making sure as many people know about your book as possible. 


Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?


 In the beginning I did - however, the best reviews come from people who have been unbiased bought your book because they love the sound and look of it. 


What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?


 I try not to take too much notice of reviews, although do love the awesome ones. 


What’s your views on social media for marketing?


Reading is so subjective, and you can never please all the people all the time. 


Which social network has worked best for you?


I think Facebook it an extremely helpfuly community and very social, it's is a great place and platform for all sorts of people who would never be able to talk you otherwise .


Will you be doing , a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work?


 I have a launch tonight with my American publisher, so I shall be up late lol people outside the US can catch up the next day, but I haven't had time to arrange press interviews, although I did with my debut. 


Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? 


I can't say any one thing ever impacted significantly - just dogged determination. 


Thank you Donna as always, it's a  pleasure to  have you take part in an interview, and we wish you all the best with the re-launch. 


Thank you Susie - I love your interviews.

The Strange Case of Caroline Maxwell by Amanda Harvey Purse

Today have we a most interesting interview with Amanda Harvey Purse about her book, The Strange Case of Caroline Maxwell.   


Why you ask is it interesting well it's because she posed the questions herself after I asked if she wouldn't mind telling the reader's the background story of her wonderful and intriguing book .


The Strange Case of Caroline Maxwell’ is your third book based around the murderer Jack the Ripper and yet all your books are all different, how can that be so?


I never intended to stay on the Jack the Ripper theme, I had always been writing since I was a little girl but nothing felt right to me until I wrote my first Jack the Ripper novel…


You mean ‘Jack the Ripper’s Many Faces’?


No, Jack the Ripper’s Many Faces is my first published novel yes, but when I was seventeen I wrote another novel, it took me four years to write and is very detailed but I still haven’t felt the right feeling to publish it. I don’t know why exactly, I love the novel and it was the first time my characters actually came alive to me but still, I have this sentiment towards it that I have not got rid of yet. 


Anyway, after writing that, I was sure I felt comfortable writing in the Victorian era. I could smell the atmosphere, see the homes and houses, walk the streets with my characters, feel what they felt and know why they were feeling that way. I have always felt more comfortable in the history of things and once I knew I was on the right track, I guess I stayed there.


But all three novels, Jack the Ripper’s Many Faces, Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales and The Strange Case of Caroline Maxwell focus on Jack the Ripper and yet they are all different…


Yes it is somewhat amazing isn’t it? How can the same crime be so different? Well that is simply answered by saying, it depends who is looking at the crime. There are many theories to who was Jack the Ripper for example and why is there so many theories? Because we are all different and look at the same case in a different way. There is no end of possibilities of things that could happen in the Jack the Ripper case when you are working in fiction, although I do think to make the story seem real it has to be based on facts. Well researched facts.


Why did you call you book ‘The Strange Case of Caroline Maxwell’?


Quite simply because I found her case to be strange…


So why focus on a real witness to the Jack the Ripper crime such as Caroline Maxwell?


You will find many of my characters are real or at least based on real people but with Caroline Maxwell, she is one of these examples of things I read in the Jack the Ripper case that somehow sticks out and stays in the back of my head. There are a few of these little quirky facts that sits in my head because they seem to be odd to me and I don’t quite understand it.


Caroline Maxwell was mentioned in the first ever book I read about Jack the Ripper and because I never could understand her actions, she has always stayed with me. So when I decided to write a detective novel around Jack the Ripper, I wanted my characters to solve what I couldn’t, I wanted my character to solve Caroline Maxwell's actions.


You place a lot of facts to the Jack the Ripper case...


Yes. I couldn't not really. It's not like I had any Jack the Ripper books (of which i have many) around me at the time of writing either. So when I reread the book I surprised myself how many nods there are to the case. Oddly, for someone that plans everything in life, when writing fiction, there is never a plan.


Is this why at the end, you state all the facts you've used within the story?


Well I don't want anyone to miss them do I? Ha! I put them at the end if anyone that wants to know more about what's mentioned they can look at the back and that means, the reader doesn't have to leave the book either! 


You put a lot of clues to Sherlock Holmes and his adventures in this story...


It's a detective story within a detective story! Can you spot all the nods to Sherlock Holmes? Some will be large and in your face, others will be small and demure.


What made you write a detective novel with Sherlock Holmes in it?


It may look like I did that as a gimmick, a selling ploy or something. I mean how many Jack the Ripper books out there has Sherlock Holmes in them?


But this was different for me, I had always wanted to write a Sherlock Holmes story myself to see it I could actually get Sherlock right, I mean it is one thing being a fan but it is quite another placing him into one of your own stories.


I never have my version of Sherlock being Jack the Ripper and I certainly do not have my version chasing Jack the Ripper, if anyone has read my book they will know why, because I always felt Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never placed his detective with Jack the Ripper even though Sir Arthur lived through those murderous years, so why should I? 


I wanted to have Sherlock Holmes in at least one of my novels as a sort of thank you to him for the years I have read of his stories and enjoyed the world in which he had placed me.


And you got the okay from The Conan Doyle Estate…


Yes that was nerve wrecking to say the least, I kept expecting them to say, ‘Sherlock wouldn’t have done that, Sherlock wouldn’t have said that’ but they never did. They saw my vision of Holmes from the off and I can never thank them enough. It was the closest thing I could get to having Sir Arthur Conan Doyle looking at my work and saying it was okay.


But Sherlock Holmes is not the only detective in your story…


No, I have my own detective called Amelia Christie. I had always wanted my own detective and this was the first story I believed I could have placed one in. I never thought she would be a woman though because I do feel more comfortable writing a character that is a Victorian gent, but because of the time I had set my book in, the start of the Edwardian era I wanted something to show the differences in the time period from the days of Jack the Ripper and from when the story starts.


The only way I felt I could so this was making my main character a woman, this was somewhat hard for me to write, oddly, but I didn’t make her too womanly for she is very much like Sherlock Holmes, just perhaps a few seconds slower.


Also with her being a woman, it was a good platform to put her beside Sherlock Holmes, so he kept him uniqueness and she stood on her own two feet.


The fact she is a ‘Christie’ didn’t bother you?


Yes, I suppose her name is similar to another great fictional crime author isn’t it? I do have Amelia seemly like she could have been the young version of the great Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie but only fictionally and in honour of the distinguished woman. 


As Amelia was born a ‘Christie’ and although she has the mind to be a great crime author she starts of working for The Times Newspaper which the real ‘Christie’ never did.


Amelia has her own back story that is only hinted at in this book because she will come out with her own adventures later on that will explain a little more into why she managed to be writing for The Times Newspaper and her own feelings in this case. 


This is not the first time you have been mentioned with Dame Agatha…


Yes I suppose so, Tom Westcott, author of ‘The Bank Holiday Murders’ did me the huge honour once of saying,


‘Amanda Harvey Purse – Ripperology’s own Agatha Christie’


I must say I do feel privileged to be spoken about in such a way and to have my work looked at with the same high regard as someone I hold very dear was breath taking. 


Let’s hope I can write as many novels as she did!


Thank you Amanda always a pleasure having you as a guest. 


If you have a question for Amanda please use the comments box below and we get back to you.




Kevin Mcmanus

Hi Kevin , thank you for agreeing to this interview.


Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I live in Western Ireland. I work as a secondary School teacher. I support Aston Villa FC and love listening to 70s and 80s music. I played Bass Guitar in bands for many years.


Do you aim for a set amount of words each day ?

No, I write whenever I find the time, ideas and the motivation.


Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

A computer.


Where do the your ideas come from ?

They can come from any where but usually from stories in newspapers. I watched a great documentary about Ian Rankin. He inspired me to keep a collection of newspaper cuttings. It is a great idea. Sometimes a news story about a crime can spark off a plot for a novel.


What has been the hardest thing about writing your book (s) ?

Finding the time to write, its difficult when you have a full time day job.


How do you think you’ve evolved creatively ?

I think you get better at anything the longer you do it. Writing is the same as any craft. The more you write the better you hone your skills.


Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.

My latest book: Under the Red Winter Sky was designed by a photographer in Ireland called Paul Moore. I love his work. I came across an image of his on social media which I adored and I contacted him to arrange to adapt it as a cover. The cover of my first two books were designed by my publishers. They generally show me a number of possible covers and I pick one of them.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Yes it does boost sales and it opens up your books to a new audience.


Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

Maybe after signing the rights to an adaptation of one of my books to a major Hollywood studio and then I will wake up from the dream as my alarm clock goes off.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

Have more confidence in yourself, start writing.


What is your favourite positive saying?

Ah sure, it will be grand.


If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Wuthering Heights. Has always been my favourite book. It has everything. The supernatural, romance, crime, mystery, beauty and incredible imagery and language.


Where do you see publishing going in the future?

I’m not sure. Illegal downloading of eBooks is going to be a challenge. I think book shops will start to offer a print on demand service. They will print the customer a book in a few minutes as they stand at the counter. That way they won’t have to order in so much stock. This will open up the market for small publishers.


How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Through my facebook page: 

Through my Amazon Page



Thank you Kevin and all the best for the year ahead


Christopher Lee


Hi Christopher thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you please tell us a little about yourself and your background?


I am a wordsmith, blogger, bardic poet, indie author, and a keeper of the old ways. I am a storyteller by nature and crave to let the world in on a sliver of what goes on in the chaos that is my never resting mind.


Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?

I try to hit 3k minimum though my goal is being stretched right now to 5k, then 10k.


Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on my Chromebook via Google Docs. I love the portability and functionality of the Chromebooks.


Where do the your ideas come from ?

A great deal of my ideas come from history or mythology. I consider myself an amateur historian and mythologist. I am obsessed with understand what the overarching human story is, and I try to reflect this quest within my writing. Nemeton and Westward, my current WIP were both designed to attempt to tell this story.

What is the hardest thing about writing ?

Well anyone will tell you, facing the blank page. Life is all too good at getting in the way, so as writers it is key to guard your writing time with your life.


Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.

The cover for Nemeton I designed myself via a few free tools available to everyone. I did this to prove that you can design a killer cover without spending a fortune. While I am not at all against hiring an artist to provide your cover, I like to break down barriers that authors feel they can’t surmount. I aim to inspire greatness in all who come into contact with me.


Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Sure! You have to start somewhere. Sometimes this involved giving away your book, if not only to get the book into someones hands. If even a few take an interest in downloading, that means you have created a product worthy of their time, which is far more valuable than their money.


What is your favourite positive saying?
Delete the word can’t from your vocabulary. It is a poisonous word that will only serve to prevent you from succeeding.


Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

Five years I will probably be cruising along towards my ultimate goal of having a NY Times Bestseller. I told myself last year when I got serious about my writing that I would achieve that goal by age 40. I am about to turn 33 so I have seven years, so it’s time to go get it. I am not good at losing, and I do not aim to miss any goal I set. Each one has been achieved thus far, and I don’t see any reason for my craft to diminish, only room for upward growth.


How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I write a blog and I have a strong online precense in social media all the way down the chain from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vero, Instagram, Tumblr, Medium, Etc. You name it I am on it. 


Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?


The most important thing in life is to believe in yourself. It may seem simple, but it is a very deep concept that transcends time and space. 


Thank you for taking part and all the best for the coming year.

Amanda Havery Purse



Today joining us we have author Amanda Havery Purse

Hello and thank you for talking with me .


How long does it take you on average to write a book ?


It depends what I am doing, in fictional but factual between 6-7 months. If I am doing factual it depends on how long it takes to visit places, source documents and gather research, then write it all up. This can a year to 15 years! 


Of course this also depends on if my husband can leave me alone long enough without asking me a question and if I can work around my cat and get to my notes and my computer!


What did you like to do when you're not writing?


When I am not writing? I sorry I don't understand the question. When does that happen?


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I wouldn't say interesting but I have to have noise. It takes me longer to work in silence. So I stick on the Jeremy Bett Sherlock Holmes Album and I am away.


Does writing energise or exhaustion you




Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise?


Yes. I am not telling what as it wouldn't be a secret anymore! Ha!


Have you ever Googled yourself




Thank you taking part today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.

Ricky Cobb

Another little chat with Ricky Cobb today about what he is his current reading and what he enjoys about reading


Hello Ricky


What's your favourite thing about reading?


Escaping normal reality and (in the case of Non Fiction) learning something new which changes everything you once thought. 


What are you reading now


Mindhunter by John Douglas,  the tv series currently on Netfilx has re-awakened my desire to learn more about serial killers. It has also given me some ideas for future book projects. 


Describe yourself in five book titles


Hello Darlin': Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life by Larry Hagman 


The Art of War by Sun Tzu


The Bumper book of Pub Jokes 


Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi 


The way i see it by Alan Sugar 


What have been your top 5 reads 2017


Laid Bare : the Hammersmith Nude Murders and the hunt for Jack the Stripper by Dick Kirby 


Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders by Chris Clark and Tim Tate 


Jack and Old Jewry by Amanda Harvey Purse 


The Ripper’s Haunts by Michael Hawley 


Donald Campbell: his life with Bluebird by David DeLara 


How many books are there in your to read pile


About 20 ( currently shopping for more shelving units on ebay )


Thank you Ricky.

Ricky Cobb


Welcome all.


Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Ricky Cobb who will be in the New Year will be releasing a book on the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe


Hi Ricky , thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?


Hi guys, i’m a big true crime enthusiast with a particular interest in Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 and the Yorkshire Ripper investigation of the 1970’s.   It all started for me when i was 12 years old in 1988 and it was the 100th anniversary of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888.  


The books, movies and documentaries all made the case so appealing and i spent all my pocket money getting the next book. I used to tell my class mates stories about the case and soon became known as the school weirdo.  Hey , every school has one.  I think of those days as good practice for eventually becoming a tour guide 24 years later.


Today i organise the tours of the Jack the Ripper murder sites and organise the annual Jack the Ripper Conference which takes place in the UK and brings experts and authors together to present their work to attending delegates . I hope these events promote the subject and the speakers out to the wider public.


With the Jack the Ripper story, and i’m sure many others follow a similar path, i started reading more about other true crime in the world and the interest just expanded from there.  


As for my book on The Yorkshire Ripper , the interest started in that came in 2001 when i started living in Bradford and working as a Bar Man in a few pubs. The Yorkshire Ripper story is very much a part of the mind set in locals who lived through it and ofcourse their kids who grew up learning all about it.  You could say, just like the original Jack the Ripper,  the Yorkshire Ripper has a-lot of myths and rumours attached to the case. I found the similarities in both cases with the press hype and public hysteria. 


So i set out to find all the murder sites and locations associated with the case and discovered a few things which hadn't been mentioned before and a few mistakes which were the result of rumours rather than facts. So i decided to write my own account of the crimes, which i hope will be a nice addition to any crime enthusiasts collection and research. 


Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?


No not at all , there are times i havent planned to write anything that day,  but something will pop into my mind and i have to run upstairs and log it down and then end up writing a whole chapter until 4am.   Other days i go to the office hoping to write lots and end up writing just a few paragraphs.   Im just going to take it as it comes. 


Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand. 


I have a computer in the office as my laptop has decided to pack up and die.  Once i get a new laptop i’ll be able to go to more comfortable surroundings to write, i find i need complete isolation to write, a luxury that people with small kids dont often get.  


What has been the hardest thing about writing your book?


Maintaining focus on what the original idea for the book was all about.  I have a set idea what i want to say and show but when you look at the amount of information which was collected over a 5 year investigation, and the statements collected, then you find yourself lost in things which have already been covered well by others.  I'm back to the three principles of the book , the man, the murders , the crime scenes. 


Have you suffered writer’s block and if you have is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block.


Oh yes, plenty of times.  Ive lost count of the amount of times I've sat down to write and ended up on Facebook instead.  When its happened, i just take a break for few days and then pick up a book or watch a documentary on the case and it gets me back thinking about it again.  


Can you tell us about the cover you will be using and how it came about.


The front cover hasn't been decided yet but it will almost certainly have Peter Sutcliffe's face looming over it.  The face alone is instantly recognisable in the crime world and no doubt large word “Ripper” will be there. 


Who will design your book cover ?


I have two great designers i work with on all my projects.  James Dickey from Darksteam studios. He designs my all my websites, graphics and created the front cover for “The Diary of Jack the Ripper: Research & Conclusion” and the other designer is my lovely wife Becky, many will have seen her work already as she designs all the conference packs and the Dagger crime magazine. 


Do you think that giving books away free works and why?


I have found running competitions to win free books is a great way to promote your FB page and i would recommend giving a few free books to those who you want to review it. 


What is your favourite positive saying?


When things look bad remember one thing,  even the sinking of the Titanic was a miracle to the lobsters in the Kitchen. 


Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?


No idea, i dont even know what im doing next week. All i know is i’m enjoying the moment and waiting on the next idea to come along. 


What advice would you give to your younger self?


Become a tour guide asap, or you’ll spend the next 24 years talking crap to a bunch of people and not getting paid for it. 


If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?


The Bible, its never been out of print and has the odd one or two followers. 


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


Dont look at me , I'm trying to be one too. 


Where do you see publishing going in the future?


I think with the advancement of technology and social media, self publishing has to be the future and i do think books (as sad as it is) might become a novelty as more and more turn to kindle.   For my part i’ll still buy a book. 


Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?


No i think we've covered all the basics. 


How can readers discover more about you and you work?


Thought you’d never ask.   Lol 


I run a True Crime called H Division with holds events, conferences and social meet ups.  We also have merchandise and sales for all True Crime enthusiasts.  As a member you receive four of our Dagger True magazines a year. 


Please visit our website at


Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.


Many thanks  for letting me have my five minutes here on your wonderful site. I wish it every success.

Neil R Storey

Joining us today we have the lovely Neil R Storey


How long does it take you on average to write a book? The writing depends on the size of the book and the topic but I average about two books a year plus a couple of 10,000 booklets such as Britain's Heritage or Shire Guides.


What did you like to do when you're not writing? I will be lecturing or doing some research, hunting down some new original photographs for my archive or browsing a bookshop. When not doing that I love dining out and enjoying good food and wines with great company.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I use a laptop and like to write all over the place.


Does writing energise or exhaustion you ? Both. Its great to draw all that research into a written form but because I get into 'the flow' the hours can be long.


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise? No don't like secrets but people who know me and enjoy reading my books say they can heard my voice when they are reading them.


Have you ever Googled yourself? No. I have always had something 

better to do.


Thank you Neil


Mari Collier

Today joining us we have author Mari Collier


How long does it take you on the average to write a book.

A most difficult question to answer. Gather The Children started to be put down when I was eleven. My one brother laughed uproariously that his baby sister would attempt such a thing, plus I’d killed everyone, but two of the main characters.  I stopped writing, but then continued. It changed drastically and expanded like crazy in my mind and on paper.  It wasn’t finished until fifty years later. Of course, I’d also written Before We Leave in that length of time.  Then when my husband died, I wrote my most violent story Man, True Man is three months and returned to editing Gather The Children.  I had chapters written for all the others except Earthbound.  That one took a year to finish.  The same length of time is true for The Silver and The Green. I’ll be lucky to finish Marika in that length of time.  Since I’m not a math person, I let someone else try to find an average.


What did you like to do when you are not writing?

I like to read, walk, talk with people, volunteer at the Old Schoolhouse Museum now.  When I was younger I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and worked on PTA, Girl Scout, and Boy Scout programs. Need I mention, I detest housework?  It is a necessary evil.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

 When I’m mulling a scene or waiting for the character to tell me what comes next, I play solitaire.  When it was before the computer, I used cards.  Now it is Spider Solitaire.


Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I’d say it energizes me, particularly when it is an exciting scene.  My novels fall more into the adventure type. They are all science fiction and three of them are Western Science Fiction.  The research part can be exhausting, but then I find something interesting like the experiments the government is doing to move physical object through space with electrons, then it becomes exciting.


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognize?

I wouldn’t say hiding, but my niece did recognize the family gathering singing hymns. She said she could “hear” them.  Of course, she could. When I described the scene, I used the voices of my parents, her father, and myself. She was the youngest member of the group.  Other than that, I’ve led a rather dull life, although when I tell people I was a collector and did repo work, they look at me like I must be insane.


Have you ever Googled yourself?

Well, of course, I have.  I also have Googled all of my novels and anthologies.  You see, I’m quite human although some have accused me of being an alien.


Thank you Mari for your time and participation .


For anyone interested in finding about Mari novels and four Twisted Tales anthologies visit

Emma Pullar

Today joining us we have author Emma Pullar


Thank you, Emma, for taking part in this New Year interview I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.


 How long does it take you on average to write a book?


 I’m a fairly new writer and so I don’t really have an average yet. My debut took two years to write. With three small children, a part-time job, suffering with PTSD and hubby working all hours until he eventually had a breakdown, and I was still learning grammar, spelling and punctuation (due to a lack of basic education as a child) I think even though the world building took a lot of research and effort, my life being hectic was what caused it to take so long to complete. It took six months to write my next novel which is currently on sub with my agent (contemporary, so there wasn’t the same level of world building) and I’m writing the sequel to Skeletal now. Once finished it will have taken me about three months. 


 What did you like to do when you're not writing?


 I’m an ex-dancer/dance teacher so I love to dance whenever the opportunity arises. I like to read articles/books and I enjoy show like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. I’m a Legend of Zelda fan. We play Zelda and board games as a family on Sundays. I also enjoy catching up with friends on social media and in person. 


 What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


 I don’t always write in order. I write chapters 1-3 and then I usually write the last chapter. I will also try different things to ensure my readers feel like they’re really there. For example: I might go outside and throw myself onto the grass to see which body parts impact first, how painful it is, whether my clothes get damaged and how the ground smells when my face hits it. Nothing too dangerous, of course. It’s a bit like method acting. I’m a method author, I guess. 


 Does writing energise or exhaustion you?


 Both. When writing was a hobby it was enjoyable every time I sat at my desk. Now I have deadlines it’s sometimes a struggle because I don’t get to choose when I write and there’s no room for not being in the mood or waiting for inspiration to strike. I dislike proofreading the most because I’m typo blind. Thank goodness for editors! I love writing even when it’s hard work. I’m a storyteller and that’s what I’ll always be.


 Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise?


 There’s truth in all of my stories. I use things that have actually happened to me. My characters are often created from real people and I also ask friends if I can use their names and experiences in my work.  


 Have you ever Googled yourself?


 I do it all the time. I think I have a problem.


 Thank you taking part today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.


Thank you for the opportunity. It’s been a pleasure. 


A.J Griffiths-Jones

Today we have the lovely author A.J Griffiths-Jones with us.

Thank you for talking to us A.J


It takes me anywhere from three months to a year to a year to finish a book, depending on how much research I need to do. So far I've had six books published in 2.5 years.


When I'm not writing I love to travel, discovering new places & taking lots of photos. I also grow my own vegetables & I love having time to just sit & read, so that I can find some new authors.


Probably my most interesting quirk is that I write across lots of different genres, historical non-fiction, mystery, cookery, children's, thriller & I write at different times of day depending on what I'm working on. If it's something dark, I write through the night in candlelight, but something light-hearted will probably find me sitting in the summer house in the afternoon with a pot of tea.


Writing definitely energises me! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't get all my ideas down on a page. As soon as I finish one book, I'm on to the next. I have pieces of paper all over the place with ideas for new books/storylines.


 I don't hide secrets exactly, but I often find that I include things that annoy me, sometimes without realising. In my latest book, one of the main characters constantly scrapes his slippers across the floor in his apartment & that's something that drives me crazy. If I hear that scuffling sound I want to shout 'Pick your feet up.' I'm working on a book now where one of the characters has a few of my traits, but I won't tell you which one!


 Of course! Hasn't every author Googled themself! It's a way to see if our work is getting out there. I also want to see if there are any photos of me on the internet pulling my 'ugly face!'.


Again thank you for talking to us today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.



Steve Jessup

Today we have the author Steve Jessup us.


 Hello Steve and thank you for talking part.


It can take months for me to write a book. The Welshman In Whitechapel took at least six months. Madness In Mumbles took me a little longer. Research takes up a lot of time. Even though both books are fictional you have to ensure that the facts are correct.


When I'm not writing I am usually reading or watching crime documentaries on youtube. Spending time with my family is also a bonus.


Writing can be and often is taxing on the brain. You have to be in the story. You have to become the characters in your story. You have to live as they do in your mind. They become you and you become them.


No, my books do not contain any secrets about me as an author. They are simply a creation of my imagination. Although my imagination can be quite warped at times. I blame Stephen King for that. :)



No, I have never googled myself...I might be horrified by what came up! ;)


Again thank you for talking to us today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.



Donna Marie McCarthy

Joining us today is the lovely Donna Marie McCarthy thank you for talking to us today.


6-9 months all though my debut took a year 


 I like to visit historic sites, I love to watch true crime late at night ( helps drawing up a psychopath) I live to meet friends for tea and catch ups I love to read and research spooky stuff

I love charity and junk shops! my home is littered with finds. 


 Quirk - I would rather tour  Britain than holiday overseas and I have several times even stuck some places on a whim I have major wander lust 


writing exhausts me I have a short window every day and it's really full on and draining - but I have to do it or I can't sleep 


Yes - always Members of family ,strange people and occurrences in my life - it helps to see them on a page - distances them if they were negative 


 I google myself regularly hoping for something exciting- but no I'm that boring! 


Thank You Susie


And thank you for talking to us today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.

Jim Ody


Joining us today is  Jim Ody 


Hi Jim Happy New Year and thank you taking part.


Happy New Year to you Susie and all your followers.


How long does it take you on average to write a book? 


I am constantly writing! Now I’m in the swing of writing daily I can finish the first draft of a novel in about four months. I then allow three weeks for it to be with BETA readers and a further month for it to be with my editor and complete the re-edits. The total time is six months but within those months I will be writing another novel or short-stories. This means that I have a lot of work in the pipeline. As an example, my third novel ‘A Cold Retreat’ is to be released at the end of this month, however I also have a novella ‘Beneath The Whispers’ that has come back from BETA readers and should be with my publisher in February. I have a short-story being released next month, and another that is with my editor for a March release…and that’s not all! I am writing a further two short-stories for releases in March and May, and in any other free time I am re-writing another book…


What did you like to do when you're not writing?


Writing is about unleashing the things that occupy my mind, so I like to do something completely different at other times. I play football twice a week, and I love music so try to play my drums once a week. Aside from these things we have family days out with my wife and three children, and I love movies, reading and watching football.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I love to play with the reader and wherever possible will have a twist, or the ever popular double-twist. I like to plant seeds to the twist throughout my books so as when you have read the book, if you were to re-read it you would notice them. I’ve had fun pointing them out to readers recently! It is hard to pull of a twist that people don’t see coming, and again give subtle hints that don’t give it away. Another thing I do is intertwine books, novellas and short-stories. As an example, there is a scene in ‘A Cold Retreat; where a character comments about a man and woman sat in the woods, then in ‘Beneath The Whispers’ the man and woman are the main characters who comments on the man walking passed. Other characters have cameo roles within different books. I’m slowly painting a large canvass of stories…


Does writing energise or exhaustion you 


Probably both! I’m compulsive in my need to write, and sometimes I find this energising, however on other occasions I am offered projects that are exciting but have short deadlines, that must be squeezed in and these are the times I am writing well past midnight unable to stop until I’m exhausted.


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise? 


I hide a lot of things in my books, it’s a way of entertaining myself. I have even written myself as an unnamed character in one of my books. There are a number of things that even people close to me would not recognise but that have happened to me. I guess these are real secrets…


Have you ever Googled yourself ?


When I was reviewing bands, I used to because I got mentions and quoted regularly by bands and PR companies on their websites. Nowadays I don’t have the time nor inclination!


Thank you for this opportunity!


Thank you Jim and we mustn't forget to tell the readers you have a new book out the 27th January 2018 called A Cold Retreat which can be found at the above we wish you all the best.

Bernard Boley

Joining me today for a chat is Bernard Boley author of My Ripper Hunting Days


How long does it take you on average to write a book? 

The first book I wrote on water gardens took me 18 months. A major Canadian Publisher signed me up even before I had finished it. My novel, 'My Ripper Hunting Days', took me 6 years. Curiously, my Christmas short story, 'Til it Happens in your Heart', only took me a week. 


What did you like to do when you're not writing? 

We travel quite a lot. In Canada, we are motor home full-timers which allows us to go wherever we want with a complete autonomy. I love photography and take tons of pictures. I also enjoy observing rock growth which of course demands a lot of time and patience.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

I become totally focused on whatever I do which sometimes gives the people around me this feeling of not paying attention to what they say or do. 


Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

I'm a sort of Zen writer. So I don't get exhausted nor do I feel energized. I can remain within my writing bubble for hours and hours and often forget to eat or drink. Time seems to have stopped. 


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognize? 

Like most authors, everything I write becomes a transformation of my personal understanding of the universe should it be something I've experienced directly, read about or people and places I observe. So, my characters borrow fragments of who I am, and yes, those close to me usually decrypt it quite well which provides them with some amusing subjects of conversation. 


Have you ever Googled yourself? 

Yes I did. I even Googled today my name before answering you. I was glad to notice no death notice with my name appeared.   


Thank you for talking to us today Bernard and I wish you a very successful year ahead.



Matt Leyshon


Today joining us we have author Matt Leyshon

Thank you Matt for taking part in this New Year interview I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. 


I did thanks. Like most can relate it wasn’t Christmas without drama, but it all came together.


How long does it take you on average to write a book? 


Well, I have the one to my name, and it took 15 months to write. I did have some downtime during that period and some periods were faster than others. This book also had months of research, so I’m not sure if the next one will require as much. Based on stats I have to say 15 months though.


What did you like to do when you're not writing? 


I work as a software solution architect and I actually enjoy it. I also have two awesome kids and they come before anything else. If I had to pick something I like doing for myself it is watching sports on tv, or movies. Huge movie buff.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 


This book was not written beginning to end, in proper sequence. In fact a part of it was written backwards in 3 chapter increments. It was the Memento of novels. Considering the two children situation I also do a lot of my writing between 10:30pm and 2:00am. This also contributes to a further quirk which is having coke and chocolate handy while I’m writing.


Does writing energise or exhaustion you?


It definitely energises me. Totally. A good example was a chapter that I knew was coming for six months and was really looking forward to it. The night I completed it I was up till 1:30am but I was that full of adrenaline I couldn’t drop down for sleep until 5:00am. I guess my answer is on the night I’m writing it enrgises me but the morning after I feel exhausted. 


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise? 


Heck yes I do! I have an early chapter set in an airport and somebody from work asked me if I simply channeled everything that pisses me off about airports into that chapter. I couldn’t lie. There are a few other things in the book where I think I live vicariously through my main character. For example he has a “case room” and its design is pretty much a room I would have built for myself if I had the money……..and the spare room to do it.


Have you ever Googled yourself 


Yeah…….ya got me. Guilty! I think if I can work it into an old joke I think 70% of people admit to Googling themselves and the other 30% lie.


Thank you taking part today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.


You’re welcome. Thank you so much for this opportunity and your support.

Brian L Porter

Today joining us we have author Brian L Porter

Thank you Brian for taking part in this New Year interview I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.


1. On average I think it probably takes between twelve and eighteen months to complete each of my novels, depending on the amount of advance research required. I'm fortunate to have a superb local researcher for my Mersey Mysteries, in the shape of the lovely Liverpool lass, Debbie Poole to whom I owe a big debt of thanks.


2. When I'm not writing most of my time is spent with the beautiful Sasha, Sheba the rest of our family of rescue dogs, who need feeding, walking and caring for. This involves a lot of cuddles and fun and of course, ongoing training. I also read a lot, mostly late at night and in bed as I find reading an ideal way to wind down and relax.


3. I don't think I have any quirks when it comes to my writing. I do like peace and quiet and simply can't write at all if there is music playing or a tv blaring in the background. I do my best writing sitting on the sofa with my laptop and with Sasha cuddled up close to my side. So I suppose you could call that a quirk of sorts.


4. Writing can often energise me, particularly if I have been thinking how to progress a particular part of the storyline and it suddenly comes to me and I find the words flowing. However, I can alternatively feel quite exhausted when I come to the end of a writing session when I come out of my deep concentration mode and allow myself to switch off.


5. Yes, I am able to hide lots of information about certain parts of my life within the pages of my books. People who know me have often realised that certain threads within the Mersey Mysteries in particular are based on real events in my life and have been able to identify various traits of my own self within the framework of certain characters in the series. This is a great way to deal with some of my own inner demons, allowing me to exorcise them by exposing them publicly under the guise of the fictional characters and scenario I create. By the way, this does not mean that I am a closet serial killer, even though I spend an awful amount of time creating such beasts for my novels!


6. I think like most authors, I have occasionally Googled myself, not very often, but just now and then out of interest to see what is out there about me and my work.


Thank you taking part  today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.


Thanks for your good wishes for the coming year. My own good wishes go to you and your excellent website and to my fellow authors and of course all my loyal readers and fans out there. Here's to a successful 2018 to us all.

Phil Price

Today joining us we have author Phil Price


Thank you Phil for taking part in this New Year interview I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. 

Thank you Susie. It was fine. Exhausting but fine 😊


 How long does it take you on average to write a book? 

Well I’ve only written three so far. Unknown took about four years. The Turning and The Witch and The Watcher took about nine months. So I think moving forward, I’d say probably nine months. I am erring on the side of caution here 😊


What did you like to do when you're not writing? 

I have a full-time day job, along with a young family. My two sons, Thomas and Jake are like a tag-team. They knacker us both out on a daily basis. My other hobby is going off into a quiet room and lying down for as long as possible….


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

I don’t really plan. I just kinda know what’s next in the story and I just go for it. I hope I’m good at doing that. If not, I hope someone tells me quickly 😊


Does writing energise or exhaust you?

Energises I’d say. If it exhausted me, I’d be questioning whether I love doing it. Or if I am good enough to do it. I don’t write like some authors do, who sit for hours on end. Generally, two or three hours is my maximum. Usually followed by separating two fighting boys.


Do you hide secrets about your life within your books that only somebody who knows would recognise? 

I have done that. I add characters from my childhood too. So anyone who knows me, will see who I have included in my work. All good of course. I’ve not murdered a Math’s teacher or anything….


Have you ever Googled yourself?

I have done. For a laugh. There are a few famous Phil Price’s. A golfer is one of them. I wonder if he googles himself and comes up with a picture of me? If so, my apologies Phil.


Thank you Phil taking part today and I wish you a very successful year ahead.


Thank you Susie for taking the time to have a New Years chin-wag. Have a great 2018..