– ‘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 ‘Guilt’ 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.
Is a killer born…. or created?
A missing child.
A killer on the loose.
A past that refuses to die.
When a six-year-old boy disappears from a local fair, every parent’s worst nightmare is about to come true.
And for Detective Inspector Nicki Hardcastle, twenty-two years after her own nightmare began, the past she thought was buried starts catching up with her – and fast.
Leading the hunt for the missing child, Nicki soon finds the chase takes on a personal twist, with her own memories haunting her every move.
With time set against them, and a killer following his own chilling agenda, can Nicki and her team stop history from repeating itself?
Only time will tell.
But it’s time they don’t have.
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 was born in Cambridge but currently live in Bury St Edmunds. I work full-time for the NHS at my local hospital, although I originally qualifed as a lawyer in the early 1990s. I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it isn’t something that is usually on the options list when you talk to your careers adviser at school! I’ve always written – starting to write novels at about the age of twelve or thirteen – and I started out using my mum’s manual typewriter in the days before computers and laptops! Life then got in the way really, and I started out on a career in the law – but writing was never far from my mind. I wrote the manuscript that would turn out to be my first published novel ‘The Phoenix Project’ in 2008, but pushed it under my bed and forgot about it for the next ten years. I eventually self-published it in 2018.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I was always reading – my head was permantly in a book. I went through phases – I loved Enid Blyton (Famous Five, Mallory Towers, St Clare’s) as a young child, and then I moved on to reading anything that had a horse or pony on the cover! When I was around twelve I discovered Stephen King and I’ve loved his books ever since. He is still my go-to author now. He never fails to disappoint. As for now, the one set of books I can always read and read again are the Harry Potter books. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read them, each time is like the first time. I think that’s the mark of a brilliant author!
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I think it would have to be Stephen King! I love his books and he seems to be able to write about just about anything. I grew up reading his horror books, but he also crosses over into crime and more psychological thrillers. He is such a fantastic storyteller, so I think I’d love to have a masterclass with him!
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 Sherlock Holmes. I think he would be fascinating to talk to! The way his mind works to be able to solve all those tricky cases…..afternoon tea with him would certainly not be dull!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I write longhand so I usually settle down on my bed or in the garden (if it’s nice) with an A4 pad of paper and a pen! I have to have quiet, so no music or anything. Just a cat to sit on my legs and stop me moving!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ideas pop into my head at all different times of day and night! I find I can’t think of anything if I purposefully sit down to plot a book. The best ideas come to me when I’m not really thinking about writing at all – usually in the gym, walking to work, washing up (!). I don’t consciously base my characters on people I know, but I bet some of their characteristics slip through without me knowing!
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am definitely a plotter! I start with a general idea for a main storyline – then I write a selection of ‘scenes’ to write. I don’t write chonologically, so I can be writing a scene somewhere towards the end before I’ve even written the beginning. It sounds chaotic, and most probably is… but it works! Once I’ve written the selection of scenes I’ve plotted, I then have ideas as to more scenes that need writing….and so it goes on. At some point I then have to sit down and try and move them all into the correct order – which can be a bit of a headache!
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I would say the best thing to do is read lots and write lots! Read books by as many different authors as you can in the genre you’re interested in – both good and bad! And then just write! The first draft will never be great – just get the ideas down on paper. The polishing comes later… I have a lot of blanks in my first drafts where I leave a gap to be filled in later, most often with character names. I think character names are really important, as they really have to be a good fit for the story and conjour up the right image in the mind – so I often leave that until last.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I intend to continue writing as many books as I can! Working full-time does curtail my plans a little, but I aim to do one or two books every twelve months. The obvious overall plan would be to give up work and write full-time, but that’s a little way off at the moment!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
The room frightened him. It was dark and cold, and it smelt funny.
Lucas Jackson blinked back the tears that streamed from his eyes. His hands were still tied behind his back, so he couldn’t brush them away from his cheeks. Instead, they dripped from his chin onto his lap.
The man had been angry at him for wetting himself, and that had earned him the first slap to the face. He’d been forced to sit in the chair, in his wet underpants, all night; his ankles tied to the chair legs with rope. He’d seen the bed by the window, when the man had dragged him inside. But he was secretly quite glad he wasn’t made to lie in it – the mattress was dirty and the walls around the window above it were stained with a horrible, creeping mould.
Lucas shuddered. He hated the dark. At home, Mummy let him have his night light on to help him get to sleep. There was no such light in here. The window had thick wooden planks nailed across it, snuffing out any light from outside.
He didn’t know whether he’d slept at all in the night. He supposed he must have. His neck felt sore and his bottom was numb.
The man had put a smelly piece of cloth across his mouth when he’d tied him to the chair, muttering about how much noise he was making. Lucas didn’t know what else he was meant to do but cry. Why was the man being so nasty? He’d been fun at the fair. He’d made him laugh.
Lucas shuddered again. As his eyes flickered around the darkened room, he saw tangled cobwebs dangling from the ceiling, some of them right overhead. His pale skin shivered with goose bumps. He hated spiders. Almost as much as he hated the dark.
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!