Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Meet the Author: Liz Mistry

Liz Mistry
This month's author is Liz Mistry whose first book Unquiet Souls came out last year. Her second book, Uncoiled Lies has just been released. Liz is another "Crime in the Spotlight" author who featured in Bloody Scotland last year and I'm delighted to be able to interview her.

Your first two novels, "Unquiet Souls" and "Uncoiled Lies" are the first two in a series. Did you always intend to write a series? How many in the series are currently planned out?
I had the idea for Gus as a character years ago and he kept me company when I went through a very bad spell of depression. His father Fergus came to mind later and I love writing the dynamics between the father and son. Initially, "Uncoiled Lies" was to be the first book in the series but then I got the idea for "Unquiet Souls" and it seemed to sit better as the first book. I think I’ve got at least another three Gus books in my mind at the moment, but I’m sure as I write I’ll come up with more ideas. I also have an idea for a spin off series but that’s in the very early stages.

What are you working on at the moment? I know Uncoiled Lies has just been released. Are you taking a break or are you straight into something new?
I got my publication deal with Bloodhound Books when I was 52, so I’m making up for lost time now. I’m well into book number three which will provisionally be called "Untainted Blood".

You used to be a primary school teacher. That’s (hopefully!) very different from crime and murder. When did you first start writing crime novels? And what made you start?
I worked in inner city Bradford schools for many years and loved it. I loved the kids, their families and the diversity. In my job I saw poverty, abuse and neglect… but I also saw spirit and love and humour and strength of character. I like to think that my life experiences inform my writing. For over twenty years I dabbled at writing and, being an avid crime fiction fan, it seemed only logical to write what I was familiar with. Crime fiction has always been my genre of choice although I did start a cathartic novel centred around my mother’s Alzheimers.

Piper in Stirling
You were one of the “Crime in the Spotlight” authors featured in “Bloody Scotland” in 2016. What are your favourite memories from the event?
Meeting the other ‘Spotlighters’ was amazing and realising that I wasn’t the only ‘older’ debut novelist. Caro Ramsay brandishing her badminton racquet was fun! Meeting Yrsa Sigurdardottir was brilliant - such a lovely person and so encouraging… but the highlight for me was the bagpiper in Stirling main street, in his kilt, blowing flames from his bagpipes.

Where is your ideal writing space?
My kitchen or my local pub The Hare and Hounds or Leeds trinity University library

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
From my creative writing tutor at Leeds Trinity University – ‘Just get it written… then we’ll work on fine tuning it.’

And now for some more random questions...

What’s your radio tuned to most often?
Capital radio in the car because I like a singalong when I’m driving. Radio two at home because my husband thinks I need to expand my mind.

You’re stranded on an island. You can choose one of the following three things. Which do you choose and why?
1. Limitless supply of paper and pens.
2. A computer which will never run out of battery and which can access the internet, but you can’t post anything/get help via it, only read what others have put up.
3. An endless supply of loo roll.
As long as the pens are colourful gel pens it’ll have to be the paper and pens option. I’m a sucker for multi coloured lists.

You can only wear one of the following colours for the rest of your life. Which colour do you choose?
Yellow. Orange. Green. White. Pink.
Pink

Jason Bourne or James Bond?
James Bond (but only if it’s either Timothy Dalton or Idris Elba in the role)

Cats or dogs?
Cats – dogs are too dependent and I can only just about look after myself.

City or country?
Country with easy access to the city

Real book or e-book?
Real book to touch and savour but I love the enlarged text facility on my ebook - means I don’t have to wear my specs in bed when I’m reading.

Fountain pen or biro?
It makes no difference – my handwriting is appalling whichever I use.


Thanks very much for letting me bombard you with questions!

You can keep up to date with all of Liz’s news on her website at: https://lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com/
Or her blog http://thecrimewarp.blogspot.co.uk/
You can follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizCrimeWarp
And her Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/LizMistrybooks/

You can buy her books here:


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