– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Worst Lie’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Shauna writes mysteries featuring characters who aren’t afraid to go looking for murderers and generally get themselves in all sorts of danger. In real life, Shauna doesn’t do any of those things.
When she can’t come up with a murderous plot, she also likes to write about ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations. Underneath all that criminal intrigue is a true romantic who likes to see the magic and mystery in everyday life.
When she isn’t writing (or surfing the internet pretending she’s researching), you can find Shauna reading, running (or more likely walking), coming up with excuses not to attend Zumba, and trying to find new ways to use the excess fruit from the trees in the garden.
Shauna’s latest release is a crime thriller, The Worst Lie, featuring Lexie Wyatt from the novel Still Death.
Currently she’s working on a sequel to Writing the Stars, but if discovered staring out of the window she’s probably contemplating new ways to kill people for a third Lexie Wyatt novel.
Shauna is always happy to hear from people, but only if they’re friendly and don’t ask hard questions. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and via her website or through good old-fashioned email.
If you’d like to know when Shauna’s next book comes out or when she has special offers on other books, you can sign up to the Book Club at her website.
Madelaine had everything she wanted.
Friends, a successful film career, and a loving boyfriend.
Then she was dead…
Lexie’s friend Helen was part of a close-knit group at university. Now, ten years later, Helen is fearful when another of the group reappears and suggests a reunion.
Lexie contrives an invitation to the weekend get-together at one of England’s ancient stone circles where one of the group admits they believe their long-dead friend was murdered.
Lexie discovers each of the group has secrets and each has lied, but could they also have committed murder?
There is another death at the stone circles, and Lexie uncovers information that may connect the two crimes… and implicate her good friend.
Is someone targeting the former students, or is the killer one of the group?
The Worst Lie is the second standalone novel in the exciting Lexie Wyatt murder mystery series.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Many thanks for hosting me on your blog and happy reading to you and your followers, Shauna xx
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell us something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in England and spent a number of years living and working in different countries before settling in New Zealand. I’ve always loved reading, and so writing came as a natural progression from that and travelling. Before the advent of the internet, email and social media I used to write a lot of letters to family and friends. I also wrote short stories which were sometimes published in magazines, and from that I set myself the goal to write a novel mostly to see if I could. It wasn’t a very good one and is hidden away in the dark recesses of a hard drive, but I proved to myself that I could do it.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
When I thought about this I realised that in many ways my genre tastes haven’t changed much! I’ve always loved crime fiction and as a child read series such as the Famous Five, the Find-Outer mysteries and Nancy Drew before discovering Agatha Christie. I also loved books such as the Narnia novels and The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. My favourite reads are still crime novels and contemporary fiction with some sort of mystery element.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’ve never thought about this before but in the crime genre Agatha Christie comes to mind. Our lifestyle now is very different to those she wrote about and people don’t have maids and butlers, but she created a huge number of stories and it would be great to talk about how she came up with so many different plots and ways of killing people.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Mark Watney. He’s the main character in The Martian (book and film — played in the film by Matt Damon). I don’t have any desire to go to Mars or into space but I’d be fascinated to talk to someone who has and hear about their experiences — although I realise it’s fiction so he hasn’t really been to Mars!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I try to keep my writing time as habit free as possible as I think they can become restricting. The one goal I do try to keep is to write at least five days out of each week (not necessarily just week days). Some weeks it might be seven but I figure that five days is a realistic goal. When I’m fully into a book I aim for around 2,000 words a day, but when I start a new one it’s often less. For some reason it takes me time to get into the flow, even if it’s a sequel and I already know many of the characters.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ideas come from all sorts of places and situations and often it’s difficult to know exactly where they originated. A television programme on how our birth order (oldest child, youngest, middle etc.) can influence personality characteristics gave me the idea for my crime novel, Lies of the Dead. Thinking about the impact of a traumatic event on our lives and how people react in different ways was my starting point for Lives Interrupted, which is set around the time of the London bombings. I got a strange look from my husband when I asked him what simple thing you could do to a car to cause an accident, but he’s more used to those types of questions now.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Probably somewhere in the middle. By the time I start writing I generally have the main characters worked out and enough of the plot for about the first quarter to a third of the book. From there it’s more of a go with the flow approach, although I generally know how the book is going to end, working out the journey between is the fun part.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Probably the best advice is to listen to other writers, try their advice and their processes, but don’t be afraid to throw out what doesn’t work for you. No two people are exactly the same. I used to think I needed to create complicated outlines and plans, especially for the crime novels, but however hard I tried it didn’t work for me and so I finally decided just to go with what does work.
What are your future plans as an author?
At the moment I’m in the thinking stage of a third Lexie Wyatt novel — this one involves the death of a crime writer that Lexie has been interviewing. My current work in progress is a sequel to my chicklit novel Writing the Stars which is about an astrologer Anna King. In this book she has moved to London. Also in the planning stage is another Kiwi Christmas romance book. I wrote the first one because I love Christmas in New Zealand and wanted to share how different it is from the traditional Northern Hemisphere festivities. In New Zealand, December is the start of summer and so Christmas here is much more of a beach holiday.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
To help out a good friend, Lexie becomes involves in a weekend university group reunion. Madelaine, one of the group, died in suspicious circumstances several years before.
As Lexie finds discrepancies in each of the friends’ stories, she becomes certain that Madelaine was murdered. After the reunion at an ancient stone circle, another of the friends is found murdered and Lexie discovers links to Madelaine’s death.
Is someone is targeting the group, or is one of the friends the murderer?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Shauna Bickley.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!