In my monthly newsletter I’ve been featuring some fun tongue-in-cheek interviews with fellow authors under the MIXED GRILLING banner. Several people have said it’s pity only my subscribers get to see them. So I thought I’d post a few of the best ones on my blog from time to time. To kick off, here’s the interview I did with TV reporter turned writer Maureen Carter.

maureen-carterMaureen is the creator of two detective series set in Birmingham so it could be said she kills people for a living.

Catch her blog at:www.maureencarter.co.uk

Hi Maureen, what’s the quirkiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Filming a ghost in a reputedly haunted Lancaster bomber at RAF Cosford comes close. On reflection, it might have been exactly that: a reflection of the sound recordist’s head in the lens. I was covering the item for TV news at the time: facts spoil story – not.

What word or phrase do you overuse?

Darling . . . darling.

What’s the most surprising thing that anyone has ever said about your work?

Bridget Jones meets Cracker came as a shock. Total b*****ks. Love it though.

What first inspired you to write?

To write fiction- the opening sentence of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone. Thirteen words that convey volumes: Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.

Favourite treat?

A cheeky little Prosecco to wash down a chip butty on white bread and butter. I am one classy broad.

What time of day do you write?

Office hours – with authorised overtime when the deadline’s looming.

Twitter – brill or shrill?

Both so it has to be, brish?

Your guilty pleasure?

Watching Four in a Bed, back-to-back.

Writer’s block – real deal, or just an excuse to skive?

No such thing. I’m with Terry Pratchett who reckoned it was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. My mantra? JDI – ┬ájust do it.

Who’s your favourite author? Why?

What day is it? Seriously, my favourite changes like the wind. Having said that, I love reading Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne books. Mark has the enviable ability to change emotional gear in just a few sentences of lean pared-down prose. I also love his characters. And some of his dialogue makes me laugh out loud. Plus, he comes from Birmingham!

Worst meal you ever ate?

A dish I made at school. Soused herrings. Well, I say ‘ate’. My digestive system took temporary position. Even the cat did a runner.

Celebrity you most fancy?

Aidan Turner (with or without towel) has just taken over from Johnny Depp.

How do you cope with rejection?

Writers have to accept not everyone will love their work. I find a voodoo doll pinned to a dartboard softens the blow.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do they believe in you?

I refer you to my earlier answer, m’lud.

What makes you fume?

Everything that curbs freedom of speech. Too many people are scared to speak out nowadays, cowed by the thought of being ridiculed and excoriated by the thought police on social media and the like.

If I gave you four sentences to shamelessly plug your latest project, what would you say?

Working Girls is Maureen Carter’s first novel. In it she introduces the inimitable DS Bev Morriss to the fictional detective scene. Maureen’s now working on the tenth in the series. Next of Kin the fifth title in her DI Quinn series is just out.

Next of Kin coverTo check out Next of Kin click here


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