A fellow member of my Winter Goose Publishing flock, Hemmie Martin, has a new crime novel out called, In the Light of Madness. Just the title alone makes me want to read it!
Recently I asked Hemmie some questions beginning with – have you always been a writer or is this a new passion? I began writing in earnest in 2007 after a personal issue unbalanced my life. I was an ardent writer of a diary in my youth, but my adult life had become too busy to nurture my passion for writing.
What inspired you to write a novel? I began writing for therapeutic reasons, but once I’d finished the novel, I decided to approach literary agents. Of course, looking back the novel was in no way ready to be read by someone else. I was so naive. However, I received several positive comments from agents, who then also gave me some useful advice such as join a writer’s group and re-write until your eyes bleed – or words to that effect!
How did you then go about perfecting the craft of writing? Preparation to be the best writer I can be has taken the form of reading a variety of authors and genres, focusing extensively on the crime genre. I read a lot of publications regarding the art of writing and chat with other authors on social networking sites. I liaise with a Detective Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police Force, with regards to the police procedures in my novels. He has been a very patient man!
What compelled you to write about crime? I used to be a Forensic Nurse dealing with young offenders. I worked alongside the police and would frequently visit prisons. I have always been fascinated by this world, so writing a crime novel made sense.
What next? I am actually writing a series, following Detective Inspector Eva Wednesday and Detective Sergeant Jacob Lennox. I signed a two book contract with Winter Goose Publishers, and the second in the series is coming out in 2014. I am currently writing the third one. I decided to write a series as I came to enjoy being in the company of Wednesday and Lennox, and I wanted to know how they would develop as time went on.
Do you have a day job? Currently I work part-time in a primary school helping a five-year-old boy who has Autism. The rest of my time is dedicated to writing and running a family home.
Who and what has inspired you along the way? I grew up in Marlow Bottom, Buckinghamshire for the first 9 years of my life, then Chesterfield in Derbyshire. As I previously mentioned, I wrote a daily diary for years and thoroughly enjoyed studying English language and literature. I was intrigued by true war stories, and read many books about strong female characters, such Vera Brittain who lived from 1893 to 1970. Her memoir, Testament of Youth, still lives in my heart today, and on my bookshelf. Testament of Friendship and Testament of Experience were equally devoured by me.
Another author whom I read voraciously was Anita Brookner. Her moody writing and intricate character details left me hungry each time for her next book. She brought out one a year. Louise Doughty and Mark Haddon appease my thirst for quirky and sometimes dark characters and plots. I thoroughly love and admire Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and P.D. James, who write in the crime genre.
You can read more about Hemmie and her novel on her author page: http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/hemmie-martin/
In the Light of Madness is only £1.88 and $2.99 on Kindle and Ebook for the month of December. It’s also available in paperback. Here are the links: