I am delighted to welcome Alice Castle ti the blog today to talk about her recent Chill With A Book Award and her writing life.
Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
I’m thrilled to have been given this amazing award, thank you so much to everyone involved. It’s lovely to know that people are enjoying my books. My background is in journalism; I’ve written for most national newspapers over the years, but I always wanted to write novels. My first was a chicklit story, which sold well, but I couldn’t get going with a sequel. Finally I decided just to write the sort of book I like reading myself – a good murder mystery. Before I knew it, I’d thought of my heroine, single mum amateur sleuth Beth Haldane. She tries to be a responsible mother to her young son but, luckily for me, she’s a magnet for trouble. Gorgeous, grumpy Detective Inspector Harry York of the Metropolitan Police tries to keep her in order, but she will keep poking her nose where it’s not wanted… usually with hilarious and dangerous results!
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
I’d always loved whodunits but started off my publishing career with a chicklit novel. It wasn’t until I’d realised I should stick with my first love that the idea of Death in Dulwich really came together.
What does the award mean to you?
I’m so thrilled by this award, because it came from a panel of readers and they not only enjoyed the story but, best of all, really took to my single mum amateur sleuth, Beth Haldane.
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
My first novel was a chicklit story based in London and Brussels, about a woman who is really a little bit too obsessed with chocolate. It’s called Hot Chocolate and was great fun to research as you can imagine. My second whodunit, the sequel to Death in Dulwich but which can be read as a standalone, is The Girl in the Gallery, where Beth makes a horrible discovery in one of her favourite places, Wyatt’s Picture Gallery. The third in the series, Calamity in Camberwell, sees Beth getting increasingly worried about her friend’s second marriage. Is everything really going as well as it seems? In the fourth story, Homicide in Herne Hill, was published on 3rd October, Beth agrees to help her new friend Nina try and discover what on earth is going on at the solicitor’s office down in Herne Hill – with terrible consequences.
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
I’m just finishing off Revenge on the Rye, Beth’s fifth adventure, which involves skulduggery in the art world, as well as lots of close encounters with the dog walkers of south east London.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
I love watching crime dramas on TV, and of course reading other people’s whodunits.
Which three authors have most influenced your journey to becoming an author?
I’ve always loved Agatha Christie for her ingenious plots and quirky sleuths. Dorothy L Sayers knew how to concoct a baffling crime and get it solved with style. Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series showed me it was possible to create a sleuth who has plenty of human flaws but who remains likeable.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
It was a bit like solving a tricky whodunit – there were lots of clues along the way, but it took me a surprisingly long time to realise that it was what I needed to do.
Which other genre would you choose if you had to change?
I’d go back to chicklit, which is a lovely uplifting genre that I really enjoy. Just not as much as killing people.
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
Tea or coffee? Both!!
Marmite – yes or no? Never
Early riser or sleep in? Sleep in, guiltily.
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing? Normal
Planner or pantster? Planster, half way between the two
Book or kindle? Book, but Kindle on holiday
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no? No, no, no!
And finally, … What is your favourite book of all time?
Pride and Prejudice. It’s not a whodunit, but you can’t have everything.
Thank you for joining me today and many congratulations again on your Chill with A Book Award!
Want to know more about Beth? You can get your copy of Death in Dulwich now. Here’s the blurb …
Crooked Cat Books (6 Sept. 2017)
Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane is forced to become Dulwich’s answer to Miss Marple when she stumbles over a murder victim on her first day at work.
To clear her name, Beth is plunged into a cozy mystery that’s a contemporary twist on Golden Age crime classics. But can she pull it off? She already has a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of SE21.
Join Beth in #1 of the London Murder Mystery series, as she discovers the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.
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