It's that time of the year again for those of us in northern climates. Time to curl up with a soft blanket and a great mystery. Today's guest, author Faith Mortimer, talks about her mystery books, writing romance, and how she finds inspiration. This is Part I of a two-part series.
Here's a bit about Faith, in her own words:
"I'm a British author dividing my time between Hampshire, UK & Cyprus. Since 2005 I have been fortunate enough to turn my hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, I dreamt of writing novels which readers would love, and I spent many hours writing short stories which I subsequently read to my younger sisters (probably under pressure!). I was born in Manchester, England & educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England."
J.P.: With over 12 books under your belt, you have a lot of experience in how to write a captivating story. Can you talk a little bit about your writing process (coming up with ideas, fleshing them out, the actual writing of the book) and if it's gotten easier over time?
Faith: With my Mystery Suspense novels; both The Diana Rivers Mystery Series and The Dark Mind Series, although murder is 100% employed, I do not dwell on too many graphical images. I prefer my readers to envisage for themselves how bloody or scary the scene is. The mind is a wonderful thing. Of course I mention how the victim meets their death, and there will be some descriptive prose, but I do not dwell on the subject. I believe there is too much gore written and photographed today.
My other writing love is romance, and all the books in the ‘Affair’ series can be read in any order. I must point out that I don’t write chick-lit, rather more women’s’ fiction, which has dramatic, edgy overtones and suspense as well as pure romance. Saying that I do have a good male following among my readership too! Two further novels, The Seeds of Time and Harvest as well as being romantic also feature WW2 and action/adventure.
My ideas come from everywhere! There is always something going on in my mind…and I listen (eavesdrop) unashamedly on other peoples’ conversations! I can be going up in an elevator, or sitting in a café or at a party. People are generally interesting and snippets or a sentence I overhear gets my brain working overtime.
The gist of a new story comes from a simple idea and I jot an opening scene. I flesh that out, until I have a few chapters written down. As I become more involved with the story I dream up my characters and make notes, adding more description as I go along – and changing things to add to and suit the story. I generally have a very basic outline of a novel, but rarely have a complete ending. I frequently change scenes and characters as the project grows and becomes more alive. I rarely suffer writer’s block because I usually have more than one idea going on at a time. If I find I’m getting ‘stale’ I go and do something else for an hour or so…painting or walking is great for clearing a muzzy head and often doing something energetic freshens the mind for writing another few thousand words!
J.P.: Do you have a favorite out of the books you've written? If so, which one and why?
Faith: This is the most difficult question – and I’m often asked it. My first book The Crossing– (The Seeds of Time and Harvest) took me ages to write. It was a real labour of love and a huge learning curve, so it will always have a special place in my heart. I also enjoyed writing my first Diana Rivers Mystery Suspense novel, The Assassins’ Village, probably because I could include all the research I did for the setting (Cyprus) and the history is fascinating.
Children of the Plantation was also wonderful to write…then out of my romances I really enjoyed A Very French Affair and my latest A Very English Affair. Neither is ‘chick-lit’ in the true sense and both are real tear-jerkers! Edgy full of suspense and the endings are not what you’d expect.
We'll continue with Part II of Faith's interview soon ...
Welcome to the website of author J.P. Choquette (pronounced, "show-kett").
Are you a reader and new to J.P.'s writing? You might want to try a short story for free.
Already read a book? Have you checked out her other suspense novels?