Today I'm delighted to welcome thriller writer Caroline Mitchell to my blog. Caroline is the best-selling author of the supernatural crime series featuring DC Jennifer Knight, as well as more conventional crime fiction with DS Ruby Preston as the main character. Welcome to my blog, Caroline! Let's get started on the interview.
Tell us how you came to sign with Bookouture for your supernatural crime series featuring DC Jennifer Knight.
Hi Maggie, thanks for having me. I sent Don’t Turn Around to a handful of publishers and agents, and despite getting some manuscript requests they all came back with the same concern; the paranormal crime genre does not sell well in supermarkets and book shops. I had successfully self-published in the past and was ready to do it again when I came across Bookouture online. Their website drew me in, and for a while, I wondered if they were too good to be true. They weren’t as well known back then and only had a handful of authors. They were open to all genres, and I liked what they had to say, so I submitted online. I was thrilled when Oliver got back to me to say they were interested, and my timing was perfect as they were taking on a new crime editor, Keshini Naidoo. A few weeks later I met Keshini for coffee, and she told me she wanted to sign me up in a three book deal. I was over the moon.
Do you share any character traits with DC Ruby Preston, your lead character from your other Bookouture crime series? If so, which ones?
Writing Ruby was great fun. I don’t share any of her traits (apart from her love of rum) but if I had to spend a day in someone’s shoes, it would be hers – if only to spend time with Nathan!
Book two of the DS Ruby Preston series is coming...
Your next book, Witness, will be published on December 16, 2016. Tell us how you used your experience as a police officer in dealing with domestic abuse to shape this novel.
I have worked in various departments in the police over the years. My most recent role was safeguarding high risk victims of domestic abuse. Obviously I can’t write about real cases but my experience has enabled me to write each scene with authenticity. I wanted to portray to readers how difficult it is for victims of domestic abuse to leave such relationships, and the power of coercive control.
Readers, here's a taste of Witness for you:
To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.
It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.
Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.
Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…
As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.
Wow, that sounds great! What’s next from you after the publication of Witness?
That’s a good question. Book two of the DS Ruby Preston series is due to be released in 2017 and I’m going to continue to write a mixture of crime and psychological thriller novels.
Have you always wanted to be a novelist, or has it been a more recent decision?
I’ve always enjoyed reading but it never occurred to me that I should write until I was compelled to publish my true story, Paranormal Intruder. It was a way of coming to terms with my experiences, given I was a police officer who looked at things in an analytical way. After I finished the book, I was bitten by the writing bug and went on to pen Don’t Turn Around.
Tell us how you used positive thinking to leave the police force and become a novelist.
My experiences with the paranormal completely changed my outlook on life. I was given a DVD of ‘The Secret’ by a friend and it blew me away. Positive affirmations were very important and I imagined myself as a full time author long before I left my job. Having said that, life is all about perspective, and we owe it to ourselves to be happy and live for today.
Horse-riding, Italian food and rum cocktails coming up!
What’s your greatest challenge as a full-time writer?
I have a very short attention span and get distracted easily. Social media is of huge benefit as I get to chat to some great people but it also drains my time. I set daily word count goals and try to stick to them, switching off the internet until it gets done.
Do you see yourself writing in any genres besides crime? If so, which ones?
I write psychological thrillers as well as crime, and my DC Jennifer Knight series contains ghostly themes. I could never write romance, because someone would end up getting murdered along the way. Most of my books delve into my characters' minds so I class them all under the thriller genre.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?
I write and work pretty much all day every day, as I have some very tight deadlines. I am looking forward to when I can relax a little more. I love horse riding and it’s something I’d love to return to one day. I also love the cinema and watching super hero movies.
What’s your favourite food? Drink?
Italian food. I love it. As for drink; wine, rum, cocktails, I’m not fussy! Oh and if anyone wants to send me coffee cake I won’t say no!
Thanks so much for having me, it was fun!
Thank you for letting me interview you, Caroline!
If you'd like to know more about Caroline and her books, check out her website at www.carolinemitchellauthor.com.
UK readers, here are Caroline's books on Amazon:
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