Today I’m delighted to welcome crime writer Gillian E. Hamer to the blog.
Born in the industrial Midlands, Gillian’s heart has always yearned for the wilds of North Wales and the pull of the ocean.
A Company Director for twenty years, she has written obsessively for over a decade, predominantly in the crime genre. She has completed six full length novels and numerous short stories.
After completing a creative writing course, she decided to take her writing to the next level and sought representation. She is a columnist for Words with Jam literary magazine, a regular theatre goer and avid reader across genres.
She splits her time between Birmingham and a remote cottage on Anglesey where she finds her inspiration and takes long walks on deserted beaches with her Jack Russell, Maysie.
The third book in her Gold Detectives series, Sacred Lake, is available for pre-order and will be published, tomorrow 3rd June 2017.
Please tell us about the Gold Detectives series and your detective DI Amanda Gold.
The Gold Detectives is a crime series set in North Wales and Anglesey. I wanted to base the series in an area I know and love, hoping to give the same kudos as Rankin has for Edinburgh and Dexter for Oxford.
Plus, it’s a beautiful spot, steeped in history, which I use to balance the crime threads by giving the reader a sense of place. It’s lovely when a reviewer tells me they’re making plans to visit the area after reading my books!
I’ve just finished Sacred Lake (Book 3) which will be launched in June.
The Gold Detective series and your other standalone thrillers are set in North Wales and the remote island of Anglesey. What is it about this area of Britain that inspires you?
Anglesey inspires me and I do most of my writing there. I’m lucky that my family have a cottage there, and I suppose the island is in part responsible for my writing bug.
I was raised on stories of shipwrecks and sunken treasure, and the first book I researched was The Charter – which was based on the real-life shipwreck of The Royal Charter steamship off the coast of Anglesey. The story behind it captivated my imagination, so I visited the churchyard where victims are buried and started to build a story with the tragic loss in 1859 as the background.
Anglsey has thousands of years of history to fall back on and a stunning coastline with the backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains on the mainland – so I fail to see how anyone could be uninspired by the place to be honest!
Please tell us about your creative process. How do you get from a blank page to a finished novel? Which parts of the process do you enjoy most? Are there any that you struggle with?
From there I’ll sketch out an outline, seeing how I can make the twists and turns needed for a crime thriller.
Once that’s there and I am confident it will work, I’ll research whatever is needed in the plot, make sure I’ve got a story arc I’m happy with – and then start writing.
Often the characters get carried away and the story goes off on a tangent, but as long as it ends up back where I need it at the end of the story then I’m happy.
Who are your favourite authors and why?
I admire a lot of crime writers – starting with Enid Blyton, then Agatha Christie, through Colin Dexter and today’s generation such as Peter May, Ian Rankin and Robert Galbraith. (Yes, I know that’s JK Rowling!)
Away from crime, I love Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel, JK Rowling. It’s hard to choose a favourite!
You are a member of the Triskele Books collective. How has this aided your indie publishing career?
I think I’m only about to publish my sixth novel because I’m part of Triskele Books to be quite honest. Previously, I’d had three agents, and spent so many years waiting for publishers. Or writing and rewriting numerous drafts. In the end it was sucking any enjoyment out of the writing process for me.
I was so lucky to meet other talented writers in similar circumstances, and as we already knew each other’s work through an online critique site, it was a natural progression to form a supportive co-operative and help each other through the self-publishing process. We have gone on to achieve so much individually, as well as the support we’ve offered other writers over the past six years, that I’m immensely proud to be involved.
I very much doubt I could have done it alone. I’ve learned so much along the way and have absolutely no regrets about the choices I’ve made.
What do you like to do in your free time?
What is free time? LOL Seriously, I work full time, look after two houses, one elderly parent and a Jack Russell! And I try to squeeze a bit of writing in whatever free time I can manage. I do like to travel – have recently been to Rome for the first time and absolutely adored it – and I like to read as much as I can. Other than the odd bit of baking and far too much gardening – writing is my life and that’s probably how it should be.
Thanks Gillian, that was great!
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