25 Days Of Crime, Thriller and Psychological Suspense Writers | Claire McGowan

When I was pulling together a list of people I wanted to feature on this 25 Days Of Crime, Thriller and Psychological Suspense Writers, I really hoped Claire would say yes.

So here is my interview with Claire McGowan.  You can check out her books on amazon below the interview! Claire’s most recent book is called Blood Tide, and it was published last month.  It was the 5th book in the Paula McQuire series.

1.       Who are you and what have you written?

I write crime fiction as Claire McGowan, and also women’s fiction as Eva Woods.

2.       Why do you write crime fiction?

I sort of fell into it by accident, but then realised it’s the perfect way to explore lots of big issues and themes, while still being entertaining and pacey. Plus I love a mystery!

3.       Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Definitely, I started trying to write books when I was still at primary school.

4.       What influences the content that you write? News? Books? Personal experiences? Previous jobs?

Mostly it’s things I see in the news or unusual stories I come across – I keep a file of ideas I’ve saved or bookmarked.

5.       Do you have to do lots of research when you are writing?

I’m not a big researcher, but will often read around a topic widely before I start, then just get on and write, then check the details later once I have a full draft.

6.       Do you have a writing routine?

I’ve always had other work to do as well, so it’s difficult to have the same daily routine. If I’m writing something new I just try to get down 1,000 words a day, and that can be done anywhere, any time I find a few minutes!

7.       Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome this?

I don’t think it’s a real thing, but I have definitely had periods where I felt burned out or discouraged. Usually you just need to rest, or otherwise to fix some fundamental issue with your story.

8.       Your stories have also been featured on Radio 4, can you explain a little bit more about this?

I was commissioned to write a short story set in Northern Ireland, so I wrote one about archaeologists looking for ancient bog bodies, only to find a recent one. It was narrated by Conleith Hill from Game of Thrones, which was amazing! 

9.       You also help budding authors, what services do you provide and do you have a top tip for anyone contemplating writing a crime based novel?

I read manuscripts and give feedback, and also run workshops and provide a mentoring service. My main tip is to make sure you have an urgent, compelling story in the present – a problem your lead character has to solve and fast. 

10.   Which authors and books do you like?

I’ll always read anything by Liane Moriarty. Tana French, Erin Kelly, Susie Steiner, and Sharon Bolton.

11.   If you could recommend just one of your books to my readers which one would it be and why?

I would say start with The Lost, as it’s the first in the series. For women’s fiction my new one, How to be Happy, is getting some lovely reviews.

12.   Where can people find more information out you?

I’m on Twitter at @inkstainsclaire and also have a website at www.ink-stains.co.uk

Claire has written many books and you can read more about each of them on Amazon here:

The Fall: A murder brings them together. The truth will tear them apart. 

The Killing House (Paula Maguire 6) 

The Dead Ground (Paula Maguire 2) 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and do check Claire out online, and also her books!

Rebecca x

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