I’m delighted to welcome my dear friend, Mel Sherratt, to the blog today to talk about her new release, Follow the Leader. I was lucky enough to catch an early read of this one and if you like a good police procedural with some interesting twists and turns, then I cannot recommend it highly enough. Here’s Mel to tell us a bit more about it:
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
Follow the leader is a flesh-creeping tale of a child’s game with a terrifying, grown-up twist.
Who is your favourite character and why?
The lead character is Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton. We first met her in late 2011 in Taunting the Dead, which I set out to write as a standalone. After then writing several books whilst fighting my instincts to write another police procedural, when I got a further publishing deal I decided to make her character into a series. I’m so glad that I did – I absolutely love writing about her. She’s emotional, kick-ass and confident. She’s a team player, yet often goes off on a whim when she gets a gut feeling. Sometimes she feels the pressure of the job – that it takes up too much of her time – but she’d never admit that to anyone. Nor would she rather be doing anything else. I’m already writing book four as book two is released.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
There are so many – and lucky for me, I know lots of them now too. The crime family is huge and very friendly. Before I began to write crime thrillers, I studied Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Peter James and Ian Rankin. More recently, it’s been authors such as Elizabeth Haynes, Kerry Wilkinson and Rachel Abbott that have inspired me.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
It’s changing with every book at the moment. Even after writing ten books, I’m still getting into my stride of doing what’s best for me. For example, at the beginning of this year when I started my next book, I decided to write 1000 words a day, concentrating on the words so that at the end of January, I would have 30,000 clean words. I did this religiously for twelve days and then stopped for a few days to do copyedits on another book from my publisher. I could have continued with the 1000 words a day but I didn’t. When I next sat down to write, I wrote 15,000 words in five days… I just have to accept that I am a dirty draft kind of gal. The words come out fast and furious and then the hard work begins as I mould them into what I was want them to become. So in answer to your question, as writers do tend to go off tangent… I like to write a quick, loosely planned first draft, and then do three more to get it to a good enough standard to share.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
Coffee – without a doubt. As I’m a morning person, I wouldn’t get through the day drinking wine. Nor would I get off my chair if I was eating chocolate because I wouldn’t stop! But coffee, I have to have, whilst trying not to reach for the biscuit tin with every cup.
Please share your blurb with us.
A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a magnetic letter in the shape of an E.
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader.
About the Author
Mel Sherratt has been a self-described ‘meddler of words’ ever since she can remember. Since successfully publishing Taunting the Dead and seeing it soar to the rank of #1 bestselling police procedural in the Amazon Kindle store in 2012, Mel has gone on to write three more books in the critically acclaimed The Estate Series and Watching over You, a dark psychological thriller.
She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and her terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer, with some help from her Twitter fans), and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for her writing.