Friday, 5 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Ian McFadyen

In today's guest author interview we welcome Ian McFadyen, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ian McFadyen. I am a murder mystery writer. I was born in Liverpool and spent my childhood in Lancashire - where my series of books are based. I now live in Hertfordshire with my wife, two of my three children (one child has already fledged) and my retired greyhound - Jewel.

I have three titles published and a fourth book is due out in April 2013. All of my books are based in Lancashire around a central character - Inspector Steve Carmichael. The three titles in chronological order are "Little White Lies", "Lillia's Diary" and "Frozen to Death". The first two are available in both hardback and paperback. "Little White Lies" is also available in large print."Frozen to Death", the third book, was only printed in paperback. All three are available on kindle. My writing was once flatteringly compared to Wilkie Collins and I'm told my novels fit into a genre commonly referred to as cosy mysteries.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I've always wanted to write but until about twelve years ago had neither the time or confidence to really go for it. The first book was written mainly to amuse my family, but once I'd finished it I felt I had to write more.

If you could write the biography of anyone, who would it be?
I read lots of biog's mainly about sportsmen. I've never considered writing one myself, but if I did it would have to be on an iconic sports figure - I'm a Liverpool supporter so it would have to be Bill Shankly.

What is the best part of writing for you?
Almost every aspect from the initial idea, creating the plot and building characters, right through to the launch and subsequent signings and talks. I think the feeling I always have when I get my hands on my author's copy takes some beating.

And the worst?
Easy - proof reading. I hate it and am rubbish at it. Fortunately my wife isn't and my publishers are brilliant too.

You've written a few books now, do you find the process easier now than writing the first book?
In some respects it's easier. When I wrote the first book I didn't know if I could write, nor if anyone would like my work and my characters, so subsequent books have been a bit less daunting. My approach is pretty standard though - about twenty minutes to think of the nub of the book ( normally what I hope will be a good twist), then a few days to concoct a few new interesting characters, followed by six months to a year doing the writing. Part of the fun of writing is that I never quite know where I'm going at times, but there is always a general direction that I have in my head and I've always arrived there eventually.

What advice would you give a new or aspiring author?
Go for it, don't doubt yourself just do it. From a commercial perspective, unless they are wealthy, I wouldn't advise anyone to give up their day job too soon. We all want to be top selling authors, but the reality is that it's a tough and competitive industry. Many writers never get published and fewer still make any real money out of it, but if you want to write my advice is simple, just get on with it.

What are you working on at the moment?
My fourth book "Deadly Secrets" which is out in April next year. I'm currently doing some proof reading on that one. I've also nearly finished the first draft of the next book in the series - so the production line is functioning pretty well at the moment.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
My most recently published title, 'Frozen to Death' is set in winter. Carmichael and his wife have been invited to a Valentine's Day dinner party given by local celebrity Caroline Lovelace, the presenter of a popular TV chat show. Carmichael feels flattered by the invitation thinking his genius for solving crimes has finally won him recognition. Meanwhile, not so very far away, a solitary man has tied up his narrow boat on a deserted canal and not far away from him, out on the towpath, a frozen corpse is slowly becoming buried in the snow.

My next release, “Deadly Secrets", which is out in April 2013, is centred on the death of a well respected academic who lives in my fictitious Lancashire village. Carmichael has to work out whether his death is suicide or murder and in the process meets an interesting collection of the dead man's acquaintances. As Carmichael feels his way around, the casualties start to mount. My publishers tell me that this is the best one yet - so fingers crossed. I have to say that of all the books I've had published, I think the murder suspects in "Deadly Secrets'" are some of my best. I especially like one called Miranda Coyle - look out for her in particular!
follow me on twitter @IanMcFadyen1

Thanks to Ian for sharing his thoughts, on Tuesday we welcome Chad Schmike to the hotseat.

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