– ‘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 ‘Bad Sweet Things’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Maria is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland’s foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland. Her short stories have featured in various publications and been shortlisted for a number of awards.
In 2017, Maria’s debut novel, The Last Lost Girl was published by Poolbeg Press, and went on to be shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Debut Award 2018.
Maria’s second novel, On Bone Bridge was published by Poolbeg in 2018. She has also had a book for children published by Poolbeg in 2019, The Little Book of Irish Saints.
Bad Sweet Things was published in 2021 and listed in the Amazon Kindle Bestseller chart (Irish Crime).
Maria has one daughter, Rebecca, and lives in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, with her husband, Garrett, and their moustachioed cat, Midge.
Six women hunted by One:
Each receive a copy of an old school group photo, in which their own face has been savagely scratched out.
Within three weeks, two of them are dead.
A Detective in a race against time:
Known to her colleagues as the Hound, DS Tina Bassett believes the women were all murdered by the same person.
Someone out there is hunting down the class of 98 one by one.
As the death toll continues to rise , DS Bassett desperately delves deeper into the pasts of the women to help uncover the true catalyst to the unfolding rampage in the present.
Will she succeed in stopping a killer hell bent on having their revenge?
Or will the class of 98 finally pay their price ..
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up in Swords, a once (though not any longer) small town in North County Dublin, Ireland. I now live in Portmarnock, Co Dublin with my husband, Garrett. I have one daughter, Rebecca.
I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling. When I wasn’t reading, I was forever writing stories as a child, and making little books from them. I went on to write a lot of poetry (very bad poetry, I fear) in my teens and then moved on to short stories. Over the years I had some poems and short stories published by various magazines, as well as a little travel writing, and I won first prize in a local short story competition. I think finishing a runner-up in the Mslexia International Short Story competition was a game-changer for me. I really felt I had something. That was followed by a shortlisting in the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award.
I worked that story up into my first novel, The Last Lost Girl. I sent it off, (unsolicited) to three publishers. Two came back to me with interest and I finally signed with Poolbeg. The novel was published in July 2018 under their Crimson imprint. And I was off!
Which books did/do you love to rete te ad as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was addicted to Enid Blyton and moved on to Agatha Christie at about eleven years old. My Grandmother was a great Christie fan and I raided her bookshelves. I am still a huge Christie fan. I devour crime, especially PD James, Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Val MacDiarmaid, Ann Cleeves, Jane Harper, Henning Mankel and other Scandi-noir authors. I also adore Tudor historical fiction, but I am also a 19th Century classics fan, especially the Brontes, Austen, Hardy, Trollope, Galsworthy. Also Daphne du Maurier, Anne Enright, Colm Tobin, William Trevor, I love good writing period.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love an hour or two with Dame Agatha Christie. I want to know where she got the ideas for those incredible plots. To this day, I don’t think anyone has outdone her.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books, I would invite the character, Magpie, from my debute novel The Last Lost Girl. I don’t know where he came from and I am still fascinated by him. Also I want to ask him how things worked out for him after I finished writing the book…..
From another writer’s books, I would love to have tea with Hercule Poirot, but also with Inspector Morse. I love Poirot’s humour, I would also ask him why he insisted on wearing those tightly fitting patent shoes. I want to ask Inspector Morse what he thought of John Thaw portraying him in the TV series. I wonder if he loved that portrayal as much as I did. I also want to know if he was really as irrisitible to women as he seemed.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I get comfortable and I drink a lot of tea, that’s it really.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried?
My first book is about a missing teenager. I have always been fascinated by the subject of missing people. The unanswered questions their families and loved one are left with. I felt a real urge to explore that whole area.
With my second book, On Bone Bridge – the idea came from seeing a woman dandling a small child on a bridge over a fast flowing river. I remember thinking, what if the baby slipped or what if…
My latest book Bad Sweet Things grew out of my friend, Eileen, telling me that her primary school class were meeting up to retake a photo of them all as adults. They were going to recreate the original old photo by standing in the same place as they had all those years ago. I suddenly thought – oh, what if…. A lot of my ideas come from that what if.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser. I plotted a lot more for my latest book, Bad Sweet Things, but with the other two I was all over the place writing them, especially my debut. I don’t write in a linear way either – I jump from beginning to the end to the middle and back to the beginnning again. I wish I was more structured but I guess that’s the way it is with some writers.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t be a pantser be a plotter (unlike me)! Find your own voice, and write the kind of stuff you really want to write; writing for the market is soul-destroying unless the market at the moment happens to want the stuff you love to write.
What are your futureplans as an author?
To keep on writing. I want to publish a historical novel and I have two literary novels on the go too.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
They say it is easier once you have done it once; murder, I mean. But actually, I did not find that to be the case. Firstly, I liked this one more than I had the other. Secondly, I didn’t have to use my own two hands to kill her. One might be forgiven for thinking that would have made it easier, but that wasn’t the case either. The car did the hard work for me, but there was that sound as it hit her; sickening really, then she was tossed into the air, and I half expected her to land on the roof. But she must have fallen to one side, because when I looked for her in the rear-view mirror, I could see a mound in the road. Driving away I kept wondering if she was dead or alive. I also found myself reflecting that, had she been an animal I had accidently struck, I’d have gone back to check, and, if necessary, put out of its misery. Except of course this hadn’t been an accident; I wanted her dead. And the truth is I never once wavered in my resolve to kill any one of them.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Maria Hoey.
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!