Tuesday, 7 November 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Holly Seddon

Welcome to my latest BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


to share her BEST OF CRIME ...

Arthur Conan Doyle. I absolutely love our crop of modern crime writers but I find reading Sherlock Holmes stories so comforting as well as constantly surprising. My husband bought me a huge compendium of Arthur Conan Doyle’s collected works and it’s as big as a bus. I’m working through it very slowly and savouring the hell out of it.

Rear Window. Anyone who has read my second novel will understand just how much of an influence this was. My middle son and I are obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock. We love the films but also his ingenious TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents… which ran for about a million years and featured a short twisty TV play each episode. 


The Killing. There have been many other Scandi crime series that I’ve loved, but this was the very first I experienced and it blew me away. I think this was the first time in our ten-year marriage that my husband and I watched a murder mystery together. It felt like an icy blast of refreshing air and, looking back, I can now see what an effect Sarah Lund had on my characters.  

Silvio Dante from The Sopranos. If you’ve watched this iconic series (and if you haven’t, I implore you to!) you’ll know which killing in particular made me say this. Silvio was one of my favourite characters anyway, so dry and blunt but always human. I wept watching this scene. 

Hercules Poirot. I’m a sucker for a brilliant jerk, and Poirot is the best of the best. Even though he can be a total arse, you forgive him his pomposity because he’s always three steps ahead and because he’s such a snappy dresser. 

Spike of ice. I’m a big fan of weapons that don’t leave a trace and love this classic idea of a weapon that simply melts away. 


*spoiler alert*

Han Solo. A collective gasp rang through the cinema when I watched The Force Awakens, followed by sobbing (mostly mine). Although I lost interest in Game of Thrones after series one, I also loved how it killed off big characters early doors. It’s brave and thrilling when that happens.  

The British Newspaper Archive. I recently treated myself to an annual subscription and it’s an absolute treasure trove! All human life is there, in its ugliness and its joy. It’s incredibly useful for historical research, a wonderful way to see the concerns of the time as well as learn patterns of popular words, terms and names. And of course it’s a rich vein of inspiration for plots. 

Take a break. If you’re getting bogged down in detail, if you’re trying to write yourself out of a plot hole, if you don’t quite believe in your characters, if you’re writing words just to hit a daily target and you’re not really feeling any of them… take a break. Put it down, go for a walk, take a few days off without thinking about the book. If you’re minted, book a last minute holiday! I used to fall into the trap of over-writing and losing all perspective. Now I’m precious about time away from my manuscripts and (in terms of re-writing guff) it’s more efficient that way.   

Kaas blockjes (cheese blocks). I live in the Netherlands, which is cheese mad and every supermarket plus plenty of corner grocery shops sell tubs of cheese blocks. Dutch is a wonderfully literal language and you can generally choose between ‘jong kaas blockjes’ (literally young cheese blocks – mild and deliciously rubbery) or ‘oud kaas blockjes’ (you guessed it, old cheese blocks – mature, crumbly and tangy). I dip them in mustard like a proper Dutchie. 


Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. 
Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller. 
Her second novel DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

Find Holly Seddon on her website, on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @hollyseddon


Publisher's description
Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins. They weren't even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. 
Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches - watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't...
And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted - the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she's just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can't be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.
But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship...

Don't Close Your Eyes was published by Corvus on 6 July 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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