I am delighted to welcome back fellow Legend Press author, Bea Davenport, to the blog today. I really enjoyed her first novel, In Too Deep, and she joins us today to talk about her upcoming novel, This Little Piggy, which will be released on Wednesday. I started reading my pre-ordered copy last night and have to say the story pulls you straight in from the very first page!
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
In the troubled summer of 1984, the brutal death of a baby sparks a chain of tragedy – what does little Amy know?
Who is your favourite character and why?
This is a really hard question as I sort of fell in love with all my main characters as I went along and got to know them. Amy was my first favourite – she’s such a bright, damaged little girl, who could have been so different with a change in her circumstances. I identified very strongly with Clare and her drive to be recognised as a good journalist. And Joe is just the kind of bloke you would like to have on your side.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
There are lots, to be honest. My scribblings as a child were very bad versions of Enid Blyton’s adventure stories. They were really a bit of wish fulfilment, as I longed to be in a gang of smart kids who had their own den and went around solving crimes.
When I first started writing as an adult, I’d gone through a phase of reading a lot of Fay Weldon from the 1970s and early 1980s. I loved her sharpness and acerbic observations on gender politics in particular. I think I started off trying to emulate that style.
As you know, I write for adults and children, but here I will stick to the inspirations for crime writing, which are Elizabeth Haynes and Gillian Flynn – but I must stress that I am not comparing myself to them in any way. I just wish I was that good.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
I write straight onto a PC – anything to save time and extra work! But I do make handwritten notes when I am researching, which are usually on the desk beside me as I write. I also write reminders for myself, so that I don’t lose track of things like the timeline in a draft. So there’s always a big scribbly pad of paper on my desk and a pile of books I may be using for research. But apart from that it’s relatively orderly, if not very tidy.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
I do drink copious amounts of coffee as I work. It may as well be on a continuous drip. I reward myself with biscuits for reaching certain points, such as a word count. And I am partial to the odd glass of wine. (I’ll just pause while my partner and friends have a good laugh at that little understatement).
Please share your blurb with us.
Summer 1984. The Sweetmeadows estate, already struggling through the ongoing miners’ strike, is rocked by the violent death of a baby boy.
Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police bungle the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on.
As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and, in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.
Lauren Parsons, commissioning editor at Legend Press said: “This Little Piggy is a gripping look at a community in turmoil and is full of secrets, tension and emotion. This book is simply unputdownable”.
About the Author:
Bea Davenport is the writing name of former newspaper and BBC journalist Barbara Henderson. Her debut crime novel In Too Deep was published by Legend Press in 2013. She has a Creative Writing PhD from Newcastle University. The children’s novel written as part of the PhD, The Serpent House, was published by Curious Fox in summer 2014. This Little Piggy (out 1st October) is Bea’s second crime novel for Legend Press. She lives in Berwick upon Tweed with her partner and children.