Today on the blog, I’m thrilled to welcome Lorraine Mace, with a Q&A about her writing, and to feature her novel Injections of Insanity. Her column in Writing Magazine is always the first thing I read, and she’s been so supportive of me and my writing too.
Injections of Insanity
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.
The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.
Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?
What is your writing process? Are you planner or pantser!
I am a mix of the two. I know the crime, the victims and the end result, but much of what happens in between comes as a surprise – even to me! Characters appear and demand to be fleshed out. Next thing I know, they are playing an important part in the book. Sometimes I wonder if they’ve always been lurking in the recesses of my mind just waiting for the right book to come along.
You’ve previously published crime fiction under a pseudonym, how has it been changing to using your real name this time? Did your writing style change at all?
My writing style hasn’t changed, but my attitude to being a novelist has! I always felt a bit of a fraud writing under a pen name. It was almost as if I was hiding behind a screen, just in case I wasn’t good enough. I think that lack of belief held me back. It’s been quite liberating to come forward and put my name on the covers.
What sort of research do you do for your books?
I spend hours reading and following links online to make sure what I’m writing is accurate. I have a doctor friend who helps me with the medical aspects, but for everything else I read as much as I can on the subjects needed and will, if possible, interview people who can give me details about their work.
How do you juggle so many interesting elements to your writing life, such as your column, your support to others, and your competitions?
It’s tricky sometimes when various deadlines overlap, but in the main I get enormous pleasure from what I do. I am lucky enough to spend my days involved in writing in one way or another – whether it’s my own novels, penning a column, providing author mentoring or judging competitions, I’m doing something I love.
What’s the single piece of advice you’d give to an up-and-coming crime writer?
Don’t be derivative. Try to find your own unique angle to add to the crime mix. There are so many excellent crime authors dominating the field that you need to be just that little bit different to stand out. If you can achieve that, you’ll create a loyal readership.
When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.
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