I’m delighted to welcome my dear friend Lynne Milford to the blog today, as she releases her debut novel, A Deadly Rejection. Debuts releases are such special occasions and I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing her a huge congratulations! Here she is to tell us a bit more about the book.
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
I hate this sort of question because it’s so difficult to distil a whole novel into one sentence.
I think the best way to put it is that “Everyone in A Deadly Rejection wants something and they’re prepared to go to any length to get it, even if that means risking their own life or taking someone else’s”.
Who is your favourite character and why?
DS Mark Shepherd is my favourite. He’s not a main character as such, although the police play a key role in the book. He’s a big burly guy, who plays rugby and looks like a right bruiser. But underneath it all he’s a bit more of a softy. I’ve been quite cruel to him in that I killed off his wife, who he loved very much, just to serve my plot, and he’s still very much in pain. This makes him a bit sensitive – which works with grieving relatives – but sometimes sets him against his boss DI Burton, who can be very insensitive. There’s a novella coming that explains what happens to his wife and that made me cry a couple of times when I was writing it. Hopefully it’ll have the same impact on readers.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
From an early age it was Enid Blyton and JB Fletcher, from Murder, She Wrote. I loved the idea of mysteries, adventure and, of course, writing. I still love the opening credits of Murder, She Wrote, with JB bashing away at her typewriter. Agatha Christie is another one, especially Miss Marple. It was something about the way the puzzle was really elaborate, and the characters were well drawn, but mostly because you could get lost in the story. And Miss Marple would always save the day.
More recently, it’s been newer writers, not necessarily for their specific books, even though they’re good. Writers like Mel Sherratt, who started out as a self-published writer and through sheer hard work (and more than a little bit of talent) has created a great career. I’m inspired by the ability to keep coming up with new ideas and to work for the long-term. We all hear of one-hit-wonders who may have an overnight success, but I’m more impressed with people who can sustain a writing career over a number of years and a number of books. Ann Cleeves is another good example of this, writing two series simultaneously and yet Jimmy Perez never crops up in a Vera book. I’m not sure how they’d get on!
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
When I wrote this book I didn’t have a writing process. I had no plan and didn’t really understand structure or anything, despite having read a number of writing craft books. I just started writing, either tapping away at my laptop or scribbling in a notebook. In fact, I was sorting out some notebooks this week and found about six of them that all had some bit of the book in there. How I never lost any of it, I’ll never know. I’m not the most organised person, but I’m gradually working on that. My next book wasn’t planned but has been edited using index cards spread across the living room floor. That makes it much easier to keep track of scenes and make sure your main character does most of the work instead of sitting back and leaving it to others. However, as I’ve gone through the editing process I’ve had to return to the cards-on-the-floor several times so maybe I’ve not cracked it yet!
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
I don’t know that I have a specific pleasure. I have coffee at the start of the day but usually only one or two before I switch to tea. If I’m really plugging in for a session I have to make my hot drink in a little thermos flask and only pour out half cups to make sure they don’t go cold. For example, this morning’s coffee had to go in the microwave twice because I’d forgotten it was there.
Biscuits are usually my weakness, so I try to make sure there aren’t any in the house generally speaking. If they’re there I’ll pig the lot and then feel really bad. The thing I feel most guilty about is not getting any/enough exercise. I’ll often get so involved that I’ll even forget to stand up and move around, let alone go for a walk or jog, and end up almost stuck in a sitting position.
Please share your blurb with us
A Deadly Rejection by LM Milford
How far would you go to get what you want?
Beneath the bustling, respectable exterior of the Kent town of Allensbury lies a world of corruption and greed.
When local news reporter Dan Sullivan scents a story, he begins to ask questions. But when his source dies in mysterious circumstances, Dan is implicated. He is quickly drawn into a world of lies, ambition and avarice as he fights to clear his name.
The more he digs, the more someone tries to stop the story from ever seeing the light of day.
Dan must decide what’s more important to him…the story, or his life.
Thanks, Lynne! You can buy A Deadly Rejection here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By day, I work in PR and communications; by night (and at weekends) I write crime fiction (as well as baking pies and chocolate brownies).
In a previous life worked as a local newspaper reporter. This gave me the inspiration for the story that has become my first novel, A Deadly Rejection.
I live in Kent and spend far too much time on trains commuting into London for work, which does however give me time to work on plotting and writing my books.
You can keep tabs on what I’m up to by following me on Twitter @lmmilford or by checking out my blog www.lmmilford.wordpress.com I write about what I’m working on, advice on what I’ve learned through my work and how to move forward with writing.