Interview with Suffolk Libraries

Yay, I’ve been interviewed by Suffolk Libraries for their amazing Meet the Author series. Have a read here.

I really like this kind of interview, where it’s more about the details of the book, the plot and the characters, and not so much the generic questions.

You want to know a secret? I hate the question: What inspired you to write the book?

I don’t know why. I just never know what to answer. All my books have been inspired by so many different things. Newspaper articles, conversations… sometimes even a single image. I saw a picture once in an old mail order catalogue of a woman looking out at the rain:

It’s the tiniest image, supposed to illustrate the convenience of not having to leave the house when doing your catalogue shopping. But somehow, it caught my eye. To me, it looks like this woman is yearning for something outside the home. She’s not relieved, she’s anxious. Mabe she is waiting for someone, or longing to go somewhere.

So, inspiration can strike anywhere, at any time and be based on anything. That’s my only answer.

Interview with Babelo

Oops, it’s been a while. I’ve been incredibly busy getting This Wild, Wild Country ready for the printers, while also fitting in a book launch in France…

Here is a lovely video interview about The Long, Long Afternoon, with the good folk at Babelio, a French reading community:

Writing Magazine: Creating a New Noir

In September, I was lucky to be featured in the incredible Writing Magazine, a resource I subscribed to for years. See the article here.

We can look at things a little differently, we can open the shutters, let daylight in and ask the secretive dame what she really thinks. Her answers, dear reader, may surprise you.

Writing Magazine, 3 September 2021

Writing Magazine is a great read for everyone who is into creative writing – be it novels, poetry or short fiction. They even have interesting sections on memoirs and non-fiction. I highly recommend it.

My article looked at women in the Noir genre, and how some of Noir’s tropes are changing in the 21st century. I’m not sure I’ve actually “reinvented” Noir, but I do like to think that I’ve given it a bit of a kick up the a**e in The Long, Long Afternoon.

Photo by cottonbro on

The Long, Long Afternoon is a very noir book, even though it is set in sunny California and features starched curtains and prim aprons instead of neon-lit blinds and chain-smoking low-lives (although there is some smoking, and a couple of shady characters, too. Noir is not necessarily about a time and place, it is about atmosphere. Noir creates a sense of unease, a feeling of being rejected by one’s peers. It is for mavericks, for people who cross social and cultural boundaries.

I wish there was more Noir in fiction, especially in historical fiction. Noir allows us authors to introduce a modern perspective to historical events or settings. It’s a modern genre, but it applies to all ages – after all, there have always been people who felt uneasy about the way things were going, and became mavericks of their time.