Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Author Interview: Patricia Gibney

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Irish crime writer Patricia Gibney to the blog to chat about her latest book The Stolen Girls which is published this Thursday.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I've lived in the midlands of Ireland all my life but I do love to travel whenever I can.

I have three children in their early twenties, though I still think of them as teenagers.

I am a widow since 2009 when my husband died following a short battle with cancer. He was 49 years old.

I love my own company, which sounds a bit weird, but it gives me headspace.

Even when I worked in the Public Service, I was always writing bits and pieces. I wrote a novel about 25 years ago you know the one that will never see the light of day! After Aidan died, I found solace in art and writing, and despite plenty of self-doubt I wrote The Missing Ones.

I'm learning all the time and value the writing courses I undertook in The Irish Writer s Centre, for all they have taught me.

The first agent I sent The Missing Ones to, Ger Nichol of The Book Bureau, took me on and I'm over the moon that Bookouture is publishing my books.

If you had to give an elevator pitch for The Stolen Girls, what would it be?
Vengence, war, loss and displacement a combination for murder?

The body of an unidentified female is found beneath the streets of Ragmullin and a local girl is reported missing.

DI Lottie Parker, haunted by her tragic past, is struggling to keep her family safe.
As she steps from one murder scene to another she must fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim.

Describe Lottie Parker in three words.
Troubled, feisty, committed.

What inspired you to write a Police Procedural series instead of standalone stories?
I love reading police procedural novels, especially a series. I can invest my time in the main characters, watch how they develop and I always want to see what is going to be thrown at them next and how they handle it. When I created Lottie Parker I placed her in a police setting in order to be able to develop her character, her family and colleagues through a series of novels.  

Are you a plotter, especially as you're writing a series, or do you start writing and see where it takes you?
I start with a broad outline of the story in my head with no idea of how it is going to end. I always have the greatest intentions of plotting it all out, but I never actually achieve that. I just keep writing and allow the characters to take me into dark and murderous places.

Is there such a thing as a typical writing day, what does yours look like? 
Writing in the mornings is the best time for me. If I write late in the evenings or at night, I can t sleep because I keep grabbing my laptop or notebook to write down the stuff that s going round in my head. Then the next morning I'm wrecked.

If you get a block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it?
Big sheet of paper, diagrams, words, lots of arrows and plenty of energy (and Diet Coke). Brainstorming. A brisk walk helps too.

What essentials do you need to have close to hand when you are in writing mode?
Diet coke, laptop, silence, and more diet coke.

Finally what can we expect from you next?
I've just finished Book Three and I'm editing it at the moment. It is due out before the end of the year.
More trouble for Lottie and Co!

The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’ 

One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend. 

Could this be the same girl? 

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim? 

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