Thursday, 12 July 2018

BEST OF CRIME with Jo Jakeman

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 ...

There are so many hugely talented crime writers on the shelves at the moment, but I’ll have to pick the writer of the first crime books I read that blew my mind, and that would be Thomas Harris. I could pretty much answer all of the questions below with one of his books or characters.

See? What did I tell you? Thomas Harris all day long. It has to be Silence of the Lambs. It was a genius film of a genius book. Incredibly well acted and plotted, and it’s so quotable. Fava beans, anyone?

Peaky Blinders. I love a British Crime drama. It’s not just the stories or the characterisation of Peaky Blinders, it’s the way it is filmed, and the music that they use. I particularly love that we’re behind the ‘bad guys’ all the way. I get excited as soon as I hear the theme music.  

Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s Misery. It’s a wonder I ever wanted to become a writer after reading about characters like her. Not only does she lock up an author for killing off her favourite character, Misery, but it seems that murder is the way she has dealt with all of her problems. In the film she breaks Sheldon’s ankle with a sledgehammer. It’s an iconic film moment, but in the book she chops his foot off with an axe and cauterises it with a blow torch. 

Sherlock Holmes. I love the wit, and the eccentricity. And there’s something about the fact that he doesn’t quite fit in to the world around him that appeals to me. 

I remember watching Tales of the Unexpected as a child and there was an episode which was adapted from a Roald Dhal story about a woman who kills her with a frozen leg of lamb and then cooks and serves it to the policemen who come to investigate the crime, niftily getting rid of the evidence.

At the risk of sounding predictable here, it’s another example from Silence of the Lambs. When Lecter manipulates Miggs into killing himself after he ‘disrespected’ Clarice, there’s no blood shed. Lecter couldn’t even touch him and yet he was still able to orchestrate Miggs’ death using nothing but his mind.

I don’t really use any blogs or websites for research unless it is something particular such as, ‘how quickly can you bleed to death’… I can waste an entire day on the internet so I’m not to be trusted with the Wifi code.

Write every day if you can. As with most things, writing gets better with practice. If you’re waiting for inspiration to strike you might be waiting a long time. It’s unlikley the words you’re putting on the page are your best work, but you can edit them later. You can’t edit a blank page.

Coffee and chocolate. Sticks and Stones was largely fuelled by Lindt Dark Caramel and Sea Salt. Which reminds me, I’ve still got a bar in the cupboard and book two isn’t going to write itself…

Jo Wakeman was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Sticks and Stones is her debut thriller.

Find Jo Jakeman on her website, on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @JoJakemanWrites


Publisher's description
Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.
In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?

Sticks and Stones was published in hardback by Harvill Secker on 12 July 2018.

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