E: Welcome to Erindipity, Jane! I can’t believe you haven’t been on here before now. Oh, crap. Get in the closet. Run! Charlie, NO!
J: Oh dear. Looks like Charlie’s taken a shine to Bollo. Watch out Charlie! We don’t call him (Where’s the Party?) Bollo for nothing. It’s not just burglars that regret meeting him, it’s anyone:/
E: You have a new book coming out called, The Truth Will Out. I believe it’s available for preorder. What can you tell us about it?
J: The Truth Will Out is the second book in the Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery series, and set between the Midlands and the Scottish Highlands over here in the UK. In this novel Helen faces her biggest challenge yet, clashes with her superiors in pursuit of the truth and has a love interest too. Let me share my blurb with you:
“Everything’s going to be okay.”
“What if it’s not?”
Suddenly, she turned. For a split second she halted, her head inclined.
“Naomi, what is it?”
She whisked back to face Eva. “There’s somebody in the house… ”
Eva is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend. She calls an ambulance and forces herself to flee Hampton, fearing for her own safety. DCI Helen Lavery leads the investigation into the murder. With no leads, no further witnesses and no sign of forced entry, the murder enquiry begins.
Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle start to come together. But as Helen inches towards solving the case, her past becomes caught up in her present.
Someone is after them both. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want. And as the net starts to close around them, can Helen escape her own demons as well as helping Eva to escape hers?
E: Helen Lavery also features in your first book, An Unfamiliar Murder. What can you tell us about that book?
J: I’ve always been fascinated when extraordinary things happen to ordinary people and my novels are inspired by this notion.
An Unfamiliar Murder opens with school teacher, Anna Cottrell, arriving home to find the murdered body of a stranger in her flat. She immediately becomes the main suspect in a murder enquiry, spends the night in a police cell and, just when she thinks she has convinced police of her innocence, further evidence comes to light that links her inextricably with the victim.
Whilst An Unfamiliar Murder is essentially a murder mystery, it’s also the story of two women: Anna is fighting to prove her innocence, and Helen is trying to prove herself in the senior echelons of a competitive profession, whilst juggling the demands of parenting teenage sons.
E: Do readers need to read that book before this new one, or are they stand alone?
J: No, both books are written as standalone novels.
E: Do you have any plans on continuing with Helen Lavery and how many books do you have ideas for?
J: I’d love to continue working with Helen. I’ve already started a third novel and have ideas for a fourth too.
E: What kinds of research did you have to do for her character? Were people helpful in assisting you, or was it difficult getting information?
J: My books are police procedural/psychological thriller crossovers so they require tons of research to make them authentic and believable. I think it’s important to create characters that feel real so that readers relate to them. With this in mind, I interviewed people at many different levels of the UK police force to shape a female detective that is not only driven and vulnerable, but grounded too.
I did learn early on that you have to be quite direct and cheeky with research. In the second book I wanted to find out how the door panels of a Mini car come apart and whether there would be room to secrete some smuggled packages in the spaces behind. I phoned my local Mini garage and, after a brief explanation from me convincing the owner that I was writing a book and not a member of the local criminal fraternity (and several bouts of laughter from him), he was incredibly helpful – he even emailed me diagrams.
E: What are you currently working on?
J: I am presently working on a new mystery set in Stratford upon Avon. It requires lots of research field visits which I’m enjoying immensely. I just hope it works when I put it all together!
E: What was the most useful thing you learned while publishing your first book that helped you out publishing this new book?
J: Writing the book is the easy part. A regular presence on Facebook and Twitter is essential to get your work noticed, and participation in local events helps too. You could have written the best book in the world but nobody will read it if they don’t know it’s there.