– ‘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 ‘Hangman’s End’ 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 :
Michelle Kidd is a self-published author best known for the Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh series of novels set in London. She has also recently begun a new series which is set in her home town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk – starring Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle.
Michelle qualified as a lawyer in the early 1990s and spent the best part of ten years practising civil and criminal litigation.
But the dream to write books was never far from her mind and in 2008 she began writing the manuscript that would become the first DI Jack MacIntosh novel – The Phoenix Project. The book took eighteen months to write, but spent the next eight years gathering dust underneath the bed.
In 2018 Michelle self-published The Phoenix Project and has not looked back since. There are currently four DI Jack MacIntosh novels, with a fifth in progress, and the first DI Nicki Hardcastle novel is due for release in August 2021.
Michelle now works full time for the NHS and lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. She enjoys reading, wine and cats – not necessarily in that order.
Twenty years apart.
The discovery of two bodies beneath London Bridge plunges DI Jack MacIntosh and his team at the Metropolitan Police into two of the most complex investigations they’ve ever had to deal with.
With two decades separating them, can the cases really be linked?
Having an intense dislike for coincidences, Jack can’t let it go.
And when evidence then emerges pointing to a 1989 cold case, Jack is transported back in time to a miscarriage of justice that has haunted him for quarter of a century – and back to a little girl he vowed never to forget.
As two cases turn into three, becoming more and more entwined, will the river finally give up its secrets?
Because sometimes the dead can speak.
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?
Hi! I’m Michelle, and I currently live in Suffolk – although I was born and brought up not far away in Cambridge. I live with my daughter and my tabby cat, Livi. Those that are familiar with my DI Jack MacIntosh books will know that Livi features in that series as a rescue tabby cat (much like Livi was!). She loves being in my books and will always have a nose at what I am writing, just to be sure she’s still in there! I work full time for the NHS at my local hospital – I dream of being a fulltime author one day! I have always written, ever since I knew how to hold a pen – but I didn’t publish my first book until 2018.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I always had my head in a book! I grew up on Enid Blyton. I loved reading the Famous Five books, and then the Mallory Towers and St Clare’s books. When I was about nine I was pony mad so I would read anything that had a picture of a horse on the front! But if it was a book, I would read it! I also read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy in my early teens, and those are books that I will still go back and read now. I also got into Stephen King in my early teens and he is an author I still look forward to reading now.
As an adult I mostly read crime fiction and crime thrillers – with the occasional chick lit thrown in! I love Harry Potter, though, and can read those books time and time again.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I think I would pick Stephen King’s brain! He is an amazing writer. I loved his horror books when I was a teenager. He is so multi talented that he crosses over through so many different genres, not just the horror books that he started out on. He is an amazing story teller – so I would like to ask him how he gets his ideas and how he plots such amazing storylines!
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would invite either Dumbledore or Snape from the Harry Potter books! As I mentioned, I loved the books and I also love watching the films. I think they are one of the very few examples that have made a decent film out of a book! I’d like to explore their friendship, which I think is intriguing. Throughout the books you are led to believe that Snape is a bad guy and it’s not until the final book that you discover this might not be the case and he has this friendship with Dumbledore. It was a great twist!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to have peace and quiet. And Livi sits on my legs to make sure I don’t move and go and do something else!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas just pop int my head at random moments! I always have a notepad close by to jot things down.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I generally plot – but only in stages. I don’t plot the whole book out in one go. I start with a general storyline and plot a few scenes. Once those scenes are written, other ideas come into my head so I plot a few more scenes. None of my scenes are written in order – so I may well start with the opening scene but I may move onto some scenes in the middle or towards the end next. I then fill in the gaps. It sounds quite chaotic but it works!
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Read! I always feel the best writers are also prolific readers. And trust your own judgement and gut insticnts. Write what you want to write, not what you think you should write.
What are your futureplans as an author?
To keep writing. And maybe give up the day job!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Date: Saturday 3rd September 1994
Location: The End of the Road Public House, London SE1
The idea came to him in the middle of the night. He knew he needed to move her – she was starting to smell – and although no one usually came up here, he was pretty sure they would when the stench reached downstairs.
Nobody had missed her yet, which had been a blessing. She’d not been due to work another shift in the pub for a few days after their brief encounter, so no one had raised the alarm as to her absence. But he knew that as soon as she didn’t turn up for work on Monday, then questions would be asked.
But he’d already thought of that.
Narelle’s keys sat on the bedside table, where she’d left them with her rucksack. He knew where her flat was – it wouldn’t take long. He could be there and back during his break.
But first of all, he needed to get rid of her.
The pub kitchen downstairs had a variety of knives, and he quickly selected the set chef used to cut the meat for the carvery on Sundays. He didn’t get it completely right, he knew that – and it was much harder than he’d thought. He’d dragged her over into the small tin bath that sat in the tiny bathroom. It had still taken him most of the night but at least the bath helped to contain much of the mess. At one point he’d had to go back down to the kitchen and find the large, butcher-style meat cleaver.
Eventually, the job was done. Wiping the blood from his brow, he let his eyes rest on Narelle’s crudely dismembered body and gave a rueful smile. Not his finest work, but it would have to do.
He hadn’t found it as stomach churning as he’d expected, instead finding himself curiously detached from the whole process. Even when he’d stared deeply into those ocean-blue eyes of hers while detaching her head from her body, he’d felt nothing.
Glancing at his watch, he noticed it was almost seven o’clock and the sky outside had lightened. Pretty soon the kitchen staff would be arriving to make preparations for the lunches – and then the bar staff would saunter in.
So he would need to be quick.
It took him several trips to bring Narelle downstairs.
The head, legs and arms had been relatively easy – once he’d got the hang of tucking a limb under each arm. But it was the torso that caused him the most trouble. Narelle didn’t look like she weighed much, and probably didn’t, but by the time he’d figured out how to carry her without dripping blood everywhere, he’d been sweating profusely.
It was a good job no one else rented any of the rooms above the pub – imagine what questions he might have faced if anyone had caught him on the stairs.
Now standing outside in the rear courtyard, he smiled at the thought. It was quite funny in an Ealing comedy kind of way.
Gerard pulled on a cigarette and inhaled the smoke deep into his lungs. He didn’t normally smoke – but today he felt like he needed one. Felt like he deserved one. Leaning up against the open kitchen door, he took another deep drag on the cigarette and gazed over at Narelle.
He’d chosen the wheelie bin closest to the exit onto the road. That would help with the final part of the plan. Looking out across the courtyard towards the bins, he couldn’t help but let his smile widen. The flies were buzzing around as usual, but even they didn’t yet know what delicacies lay within; something different to their usual offerings of rotten vegetable peelings and old meat bones.
He felt another chuckle brewing.
Poor Narelle. She just didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut. She’d been nice enough at the start – quite sweet, really – and she’d had an accent to die for. He knew he’d caught her eye when she’d first arrived; he could tell. But that night she’d overstepped the mark.
No one laughed at Gerard.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Michelle Kidd.
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!