Tuesday, 8 May 2018

BEST OF CRIME with Louise Voss

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 


for her The Old You blog tour

to share her BEST OF CRIME ...

There are so many candidates! But since you only want one, I’m picking Johana Gustawsson. I recently finished her latest, Keeper, and was blown away by how engrossing her prose is, and how tense and complex her plot.  Keeper is just so different to anything else I’ve read lately, and I love the fact that it’s a multi-generational thriller.

3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. Best film I’ve seen in years. I cried four times, laughed my head off and was utterly transfixed by it.  Like my favourite sort of crime novels, it doesn’t tie everything up with a neat bow and hand it to the consumer. It’s messy and complicated, like life, and focusses more on character than plot. And boy, what amazing characters they are.

The TV adaptation of Fargo. My friend and I watched it recently and a couple of weeks later we both had Fargoesque dreams (mine was on the morning of my birthday, I woke up from a nightmare where I’d hidden behind the shower curtain because there was an assassin in my house – he found me and shot me in the heart; my friend’s was similar except that she was the killer!). Gruesome, hilarious, clever and heartwarming.

The psychopathic bone collector in Fiona Cummins’ two DS Fitzroy novels, Rattle and The Collector.  Simultaneously unbelievably scary and scarily believable. 

My new favourite fictional detective is Manon Bradshaw, Susie Steiner’s brilliantly characterful creation in Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown.  I could read about her all day, particularly her ruminations on her private life, such as the traumas of being on the dating scene, which are often laugh-out-loud funny. She and I are definitely kindred spirits – she often says exactly what I would think in certain situations.

I am proud to say that I managed to insert a notable and slightly bizarre murder weapon into my new book, The Old You. It sounds boastful to use something of my own, but I can’t actually claim credit for it. That goes to the fabulous Tammy Cohen, who suggested it when I said I was looking for an unusual one… I was delighted when she came up with it! It’s specific to a very particular venue (which I can’t reveal because it’s too much of a spoiler…)

My mind went blank although I’m sure I know of loads. I had to appeal to Twitter and someone* (ahem!!) came up with a death involving a vacuum cleaner in one of Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s The Legacy.  I haven’t read it yet but now I absolutely will, I have to see how that happens (if this is a spoiler for Yrsa, please don’t include it!)
* Vicki (or Victoria, as I'm known on this blog): NO idea who that was, Louise! *cough* (But yes, you should definitely read The Legacy!)

It’s a boring answer but I don’t have any go-to websites for research, just good old Google on a need-to-know basis, or talking to my police advisors.  And I don’t read writing websites. Too much actual writing to do!

Author James Law gave me a great piece of advice just this week: to help stay motivated, always stop writing for the day just after starting a new chapter or scene, not when finishing the last one. That way you have something specific to mull over in the interim period before you next sit down to write, which is hugely incentivising. (Sounds obvious really, but despite having been writing for twenty years, this has actually never occurred to me before).

I don’t have any! Snacking is BAD.
I am not saying this because I am smug and thin. I’m saying it because I have zero will-power and once I start snacking, I cannot stop. Therefore I rarely have crisps and snacks in my house because if I do, they’re all I can think about. Which is not conducive to plotting and high word-count; only high calorie count.
BUT since you’re forcing me to think about it, if I did, it would be salt and vinegar Kettle crisps. 

Over her 18 year writing career, Louise has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins) to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing - she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No.1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had 11 novels published in total, five solo and co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Her 12th, THE OLD YOU, will be published in 2018 by Orenda and she currently working on a film adaptation of her last book THE VENUS TRAP.
Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

Find Louise Voss on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @LouiseVoss1


Publisher's description
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface... and Lynn's perfect world begins to crumble. 
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers...?

Read a snippet of my review
'I won't give anything away about the plot. But I will say that The Old You is filled with jaw-dropping revelations. I had no idea where the book was heading and I was certainly surprised as I followed this twisty rollercoaster journey.'

To read the rest of my review, click here.

The Old You is being published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15 May 2018.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

Click here to read more BEST OF CRIME features.

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