I am delighted to have author Jo Spain join me today with a massive pot of tea and a pile of Bakewell tarts, we are going to get to know all about one of her characters, over to you Jo, who have you ‘brought’ with you?
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Reynolds, who features in With Our Blessing (Britain June 2016), Beneath the Surface (Ireland September 2016, Britain June 2017) and Sleeping Beauties (Ireland Sept 2017, Britain spring 2018).
Tom is the head of the Dublin murder squad. He’s 50, married (happily!) to Louise and they have a daughter and granddaughter who live with them.
When did you create Tom?
Tom came to me almost fully formed in 2013, when I decided to write my first book, With Our Blessing. He’d been hanging around my head for a while – and my house. Many of his characteristics are based on my husband. Though my husband can’t even solve the mystery of how our iron works, so they’re far from identical.
Can any man? My hubby thought ours was an ornament!!!!
So, did you write the book to accommodate Tom or Tom to accommodate the book?
I knew I was writing a mystery – the plot came to me first. Then I thought about the sort of detective I wanted to head up the investigation. I didn’t realise the detectives would play such a big part but Tom’s character and the rest of the team took over and the book became the first in a police series, as opposed to a standalone thriller.
What do you like most about Tom?
Tom is normal. By that I mean, he’s not a miserable, anti-social, alcoholic, drug-addled, womanising, insomniac detective who you can’t imagine leaving the house in the morning, let alone putting the world to rights. He’s intelligent, dedicated, loyal to his colleagues and his family, funny and kind.
What do you like least about him?
Three books in, he’s taken over my life. Sometimes I find myself reading another book and analysing the plot through my Tom Reynolds filter. And when I wrote my fourth novel (a standalone thriller TBR 2018), he wasn’t happy . . .
You remind me of Angie Marsons! DI Kim Stone gets cross with her too when she’s not sat writing!
Did your early readers/editorial team like Tom to start with or did you have to change him in any way?
They loved him – hence the series. I’ve had quite a few female readers tell me they want to marry Tom. Just let me put a few things in this suitcase. I jest!
Ha ha! There’s nothing better than a #bookboyfriend
Does he have any similarities with anyone real? Who? What? Why?
That would be the husband. There were just little things I used when – let’s face it – I didn’t know the book was going to be published. Tom is my husband’s age – has his salt and pepper hair; his love of cigars and red wine; his aversion to early mornings; his dry wit and his intellect. He can also be a bit obtuse when it comes to emotions! And, as I mentioned – the only mysteries my husband likes to solve are who might take the top of the premier league and where I’ve hidden the remote.
Oopss, based on your hubby? Best not mention that he sounds like the kinda guy I’d like to be my #bookboyfriend!!!
What’s next for Tom? Have you got any plans for him?
I’ve just finished a standalone and am on book five now, the fourth Tom Reynolds. I think Tom is going to have a long shelf life, if sales are anything to go by, and I do love being in his world, so there are a few books to come.
Would you be friends in real life?
I’d marry him. No kidding, ha!
Me too by the sounds of him!!!!
If, like me, you are desperate to ‘meet’ Tom Reynolds then get yourself over to Amazon UK NOW to grab your copies
Jo’s first book, crime novel With Our Blessing, was published in 2015 by Quercus Books London, after she was chosen as one of seven shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition that year.
Jo is a former parliamentary assistant in Ireland’s Leinster House and has been the vice-chair of the InterTrade Ireland business body for the last five years.
With Our Blessing was a top ten bestseller and chosen as an Irish Times crime book of 2015, Declan Burke’s debut of the year on RTÉ and received critical acclaim.
A graduate of Trinity College, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four small children.
Thank you so much for joining me today! It’s been great getting to know all about Tom . . . now we’ve done the business side of things, split that last Bakewell in half and I’ll grab the vino! It is lunch time after all!!!