Friday, October 3, 2014

Interview with Rosie Claverton

CodeRunner-FinalCoverTell us about your latest book.
Code Runner is the second book in Cardiff-set crime series The Amy Lane Mysteries. When ex-con Jason Carr is framed for murder, agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane must prove his innocence before he is hunted down by vengeful gangs, the police and the mastermind behind it all.

Where did the idea for the book come from?
In Binary Witness, the first book in the series, Jason is trying to escape his criminal past and start a new life working for Amy. I wanted to exploit the flaws in his plan, particularly the fact that his past isn’t going anywhere and that he is a huge trouble magnet! I also wanted to look at how quickly Amy’s come to depend on Jason, and how she reacts when he’s taken away from her.

Who and what inspire you to write?
I write because I can’t not write. It’s hardwired into me, part of the circuitry. I write because I want to make stories that I want to read, stories about brave women and protective men that all come right in the end. And I wonder after the work of my favourite authors, from classic Austen, Dumas and Christie to modern artists like Jeffrey Deaver and I want to follow in their footsteps.

Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
I’ve been telling tall tales since “show and tell” at nursery school! I spent most of my teenage years in various fandoms, writing thousands and thousands of words about my favourite TV shows, but I started my professional work just as I was finishing up medical school. A couple of NaNoWriMos later, plus some scripting work with my friends at Realm Pictures, and I never looked back!

What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
I think the biggest surprise is hearing from people who like my book! Complete strangers sending me tweets and messages about it has totally blown me away. I guess the thing I wasn’t expecting was the amount of marketing I’d have to learn about. I never became an author to plan a social media strategy, but that’s the reality of being a writer in the 21st century.

Do you have any writing rituals?
Because of my hectic day job, I’ve had to learn whenever and wherever I can snatch a few moments. I prefer to write on my laptop on my bureau or at the dining table, with a cup of tea and snacks nearby. However, I do my best writing on trains, removed from the internet and decent phone signal, totally immersed in the fictional world.

Do you write your books in order?
Almost always on the first draft. During editing, I sometimes need to insert a sequence or two at an earlier stage to address a plot hole or bring the continuity into shape. I resist the temptation to write my “favourite bits” first, because then I would never fill in the necessary leaps between!

What is on your writing playlist for this book?
For Binary Witness, my playlist was very Jason-focussed with a lot of classic rock. Code Runner had a more Amy-centric flavour, including Unwell by Matchbox Twenty, Numb by Linkin Park and I’m Not Dead by P!nk. Amy’s sister Lizzie makes an appearance in this book, and the song for that sequence was “Somebody That I Used To Know” (the Glee Cast rendition).

Any favourite writing snacks?
I love popcorn! I can eat an entire bowl all by myself, preferably butter or salted. I often make a trip to Costa to grab a caramel latte just before I set to work, because who doesn’t love coffee and sugar?

What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
Read! Read lots of books, particularly in your genre and seek out those similar to your own. Make sure you’re not writing a cliché. Follow your own instincts about what works and doesn’t work in those books. When you’re querying, seek out books by agents you want to represent you – are you similar (but not too similar) to those authors? There is no substitute for reading.

Are you working on anything new right now?
I am currently working on the third book in the Amy Lane Mysteries. Jason and Amy are drawn into a murder at the National Museum of Wales and the theft of a priceless Impressionist painting.

Who is your favourite character in your current book?
I think it has to be Lewis, Jason’s former best friend and fellow prison inmate. He’s a tough man, a bad man, but his entire world has been torn apart not once, but twice. When Jason and Lewis finally come face to face, it’s with an almighty crash and I adored writing those sequences.


Book Two of The Amy Lane Mysteries
Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped. Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.

But Amy hasn’t been honest with him—her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?  

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About the Author:

rosieclaverton-authorRosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home. Her first short film Dragon Chasers aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. She co-wrote the ground-breaking series of short films The Underwater Realm. Her debut novel Binary Witness was published by Carina Press in May 2014.

Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating for accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction. Currently exiled to London to train in psychiatry, she lives with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog.  

Find Rosie on Social Media
 Twitter: @rosieclaverton
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