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Michelle

Author Interview - Cath Staincliffe

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I recently reviewed Split Second by Cath Staincliffe, and it was such an interesting book, I asked her for an interview....

 

 

Hi Cath – you already have quite a few books to your name, can you briefly tell us a little about what you write?

 

I’ve written a series of private eye novels, then two police procedurals based on my TV show Blue Murder. My recent books have been standalones though I’m also writing a series based on the TV police drama Scott & Bailey.

 

Your standalone titles are about moral dilemmas and decisions. How do you decide which ones to explore?

 

They have to be situations I can imagine myself being in, something that might happen to any of us – and situations where I’m uncertain how I would respond.

 

One of these, Split Second, is published in July, so could you tell us a little more about it?

 

Yes, it’s about what happens when a group gang up on a teenager on a bus. Most of the passengers do nothing, pretend it’s not happening, but one young man intervenes. The book looks at the consequences that follow and tells the story from three points of view.

 

What sort of research did you need to do, and how difficult was it?

 

I didn’t need to do a great deal for this book, partly because I’d already written about police investigations before but with these standalone books we hear from victims and relatives rather than detectives. I did check court procedure with a writer I know who works with the probation service.

 

You’ve recently won an award for one of your short stories. Can you tell us a little more, and how you felt receiving it?

 

The Short Story Dagger! I was totally surprised and over the moon. It was for a story called Laptop in Best Eaten Cold edited by Martin Edwards. My friend Margaret Murphy was joint winner of the dagger with me (the judges couldn’t choose between us) for her story The Message from the same anthology.

 

How long have you been writing for, and how did you start?

 

I’ve always written but started seriously by going to a weekly writers workshop. That led to publication of some of my poems and short stories and eventually to my first novel – which won a competition and was published as a result.

 

You also write for the radio – is there much difference for you as a writer?

 

Yes, I think so as everything in radio has to be conveyed through dialogue – and silences or sound effects. There are no passages of description or inner monologues and so on. Radio is very writer friendly though and I get to attend recordings and work with the producer and the cast.

 

What comes next for you, and what are you working on at the moment?

 

I’ve just delivered Blink of an Eye, a new standalone about a death by dangerous driving. Now I’m writing a second Scott & Bailey novel, then another standalone. I’m also working on two more radio plays in my Legacy series.

 

Tell us a little about you as a reader – what do you like to read, and what’s on your bedside table at the moment?

 

I do read a lot of crime but not exclusively. I love anything with a good story and a vivid setting. I’ve just read Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel and Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville – loved them both. Oh, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I’m currently reading The Siren by Alison Bruce and next up Shadow of the Rock by debut author Thomas Mogford. I enjoy finding new writers and this looks like it’ll be a bit different.

 

Is there a book you wish you’d written?

 

That’s a hard question. Probably a children’s book, something that generations grow up with and love, like a Dahl title or Ahlberg. That must be amazing – to have a special place in a reader’s affection.

 

You can find out more at Cath's official website.

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