Over the last 12 months or so I have started to read a lot more crime/thriller novels again, having been my genre of choice as a teenager, so it's been great discovering new authors books to read especially debut authors such as Rebecca Bradley whose novel Shallow Waters was published in December. So it was my pleasure to invite Rebecca to the blog to find out a little more about Shallow Waters.
When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.
Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team in the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock, they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.
But it doesn't stop there.
When catching a killer isn't enough, just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?
Your debut novel Shallow Waters was published in December, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Shallow Waters is the story of secrets and lies wrapped up in a police investigation led by, DI Hannah Robbins, into the brutal murders of two teenage girls. While it is definitely a police procedural, it is also about the people. We each carry something with us that we don't tell everyone and it is during this investigation that secrets are tested. As the investigation takes the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit across county borders it pushes each member of the unit to their own personal limits and we have to find out what those limits are.
How did you come up with the title of Shallow Waters?
I hate choosing titles and it initially had an awful working title (which I won't name!) then one day it just popped into my head and I loved it immediately. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the same thing happens for book two.
Can you describe your protaganist DI Hannah Robbins in 3 words?
Determined. Insecure. Conflicted.
How much research did you have to do about police investigations before you could start writing?
I didn't have to do a great deal as I know a lot of police officers and spend a lot of time with them so I pretty much just got on with it.
What is it about writing crime fiction, and police procedurals in particular, that appealed to you?
I've always been a fan of the crime genre ever since I was a child. I grew up on a staple diet of Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven, then Nancy Drew before progressing to Agatha Christie. I think it was probably this early diet that led me into the procedural world because those books were pretty much a problem to be figured out story, and the steps taken to get there.
Are you currently working on a new book? If so, can you tell us anything about it or is it too early?
I am working on book two. It starts six months following the close of Shallow Waters. Hannah and her team have to deal with the fallout from Shallow Waters and then find they are juggling multiple murder victims. They have no apparent connection to each other other than the mode of death. It's a case that makes the team confront a lot more than they wanted to at this time.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think I did, though I never did anything about it until four years ago when I finally put my bum in the chair and started typing.
What is the best writing advice you have received to date?
To be myself. That was from an agent early on who read my work and told me to keep writing but to make sure I didn't change who I was when I wrote.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If so, what would you like to try writing?
I have! I have a current day, soft type, sci-fi thing in my head (I don't know how else to describe it!) and it's been there for about two years. I desperately want to write it and I know I will but there are only so many hours in a day....
Do you prefer to write in the mornings, afternoon or evening?
I live with two disabilities so I have to pace myself and this means I have to write when my body allows me to. I also have to rest when it dictates. It depends on the day and how I feel, which of those three is the better option for me.
Are you a plotter?
I wasn't with Shallow Waters. I sat down and started typing. I knew how I was starting it and I knew how it was going to end, but other than that, I didn't know anything else. This time however, I have plotted more. I typed a synopsis out so I know the full story from start to finish, but there's still room to manoeuvre as I write. I'm enjoying knowing where I'm going, so I think I will be more of a plotter in the future.
Thanks for having me Sharon, it's been interesting answering these questions.
Rebecca Bradley lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her one-year-old Cockapoo Alfie, who keeps her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.
Once a month Rebecca hosts a crime book club on Google+ hangouts where you can live chat about a crime book everyone has read. It's great fun. Members join in from the UK, the US, France and Australia on a regular basis. As it is online, there are no geographical boundaries and you can sit in your home to join in. You can find details of how this works on the blog
Blog - http://rebeccabradleycrime.com
Twitter - @RebeccaJBradley
Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shallow Waters/gp/product/B00R9Q4CUM
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/Shallow-Waters/dp/B00R9Q4CUM