So Kerry; Watch You Burn; your latest book in my opinion is an absolute cracker of a read, and it is rocketing up the charts. I have already given it a very well deserved five stars, just for the sheer excitement of the story. It’s certainly a page turner, and it’s not just me who thinks this. Anyway, why don’t you kick of this interview and tell me all about it.
Watch You Burn is the fourth book in the North East Police series – I like to overlap characters and locations so each book features new protagonists. This one features Kevin Lang who is a Crime Scene Manager, and Edina Blaze who is a fire investigator. Edina is having some personal problems and has to put these aside to attend scenes of crime where arson is suspected. These scenes include several grisly murders and they have to work together to find out who the killer is.
It’s quite clear to me there has been a great deal of research gone into this book, especially when it comes to the arson scenes, and of course when the fire investigation takes place afterwards. So my question is, just how hard was it to research this part of the book?
I used to be a CSI and did my degree in crime scene investigation. From this I had some experience dealing with Arson scenes. I did have to perform additional research however – to do this I have been speaking to a lovely fire fighter named Tanya, and also a fire investigator. They were both very helpful in the nitty gritty stuff, like pressure from hoses and how the team would work alongside the CSI. Research is essential for any novel, I think anyway, especially if you want it to be true to life. We still allow a little artistic licence but I like my novels to read as though these things could really happen.
You’ve now got quite a few books to your name, and I must say they all seem to be very well received judging by what people are saying about them. But tell me, out of all the books you have written, which one is your favourite?
I think my favourite in this series to date is I’ve Been Watching You – I just love Ben and Jacob’s characters. I hated having to challenge them the way I did throughout the story! Another favourite is one I’m writing outside of the crime genre – it’s not like anything I’ve ever done before so it’s refreshing to write. It’ll eventually form part of a supernatural trilogy.
One of the things I really like about your books is what I would describe as a no nonsense writing style, which I think is great for the type of books you write. But what I would like to know is, how would you describe your own writing style?
Probably simple haha. I did my MA in Creative Writing and used the start of With Deadly Intent as the base for my dissertation. Doing this course provided me with many tools to go forward with my writing – but I’d always written in my uneducated uncouth way and sometimes bad habits still spring forth. I try and keep my writing simple as I know how much I enjoy a book I can just start reading and not stop until I finish – I hate books where I have to constantly think ‘what does that mean’ and ‘what happened 10 chapters back cos I’ve forgotten’.
What do you think is a good secret to great writing?
I think the secret to good writing is just to keep at it, finish the piece you’re working on and if you’re writing with a view to getting published, then make sure you have a good editor. Be tenacious, and believe in yourself. We all get refusals – it’s part of writing. But if you firmly believe that your writing is good enough to be published, then it will be, whether through traditional publisher or because you decide to self publish. And also another secret, is to read. A lot. Read the genre you’re writing in, know your craft. And read everything else you can get your hands on, because truthfully, life’s too short not to have great books in it!
Would you ever consider writing in another genre?
Yes definitely – as mentioned above, I’m working on a supernatural trilogy, and I’d love to dip into romantic suspense also.
What do you think is the most frustrating thing about being a writer?
Time management! It’s so hard to work a day job, write, read and promote on social media! There just aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes!
Personally, what do reviews mean to you as an author?
Personally I love reading reviews – I love positive ones (obviously – what author doesn’t?) but also enjoy constructive ones even if they’re negative. The ones I don’t enjoy are those from people who just want to slate the author, or whinge at an issue that is not within the authors control – I’ve had some cracking great reviews, and some really scathing bad ones. Swings and roundabouts I guess for the most part.
If for any reason you were unable to write; what would you do?
Oooo good question – if money wasn’t an issue I’d love to open a wildlife sanctuary and deal with sick animals, fix them up, rehabilitate them and get them released back into the wild. It would also have several huge fields so I could take in abandoned horses.
Do you know of any unsung heroes in the writing profession that deserve a mention?
Gosh so many! Sheila Quigley is one – she took me, Danielle Ramsay and Eileen Wharton under her wing and made us part of the Femme Fatales of the North East. I love working with all of them and am so grateful to Sheila for kickstarting it. Jacky Collins from Newcastle Uni who organises Newcastle Noir festival, is just a lovely down to earth lady who loves everything about crime writing. She’s very inspiring and just a gorgeous lady. My friend, Victoria Brown, who has previously written chick lit, but is now doing her damndest to branch into crime writing deserves a mention too. She’s so inspiring and is a big part of the reason I am the positive, bubbly person I am. She’s a great writer to boot! Also Betsy Freeman Reavley – I wouldn’t be where I am without this wonderful lady who is co-founder of Bloodhound Books.
Apart from crime fiction which other books do you enjoy reading?
I love romantic suspense, children’s books, and occasional chick lit and supernatural.
Has there ever been a moment in time that sticks out as being a turning point in your writing life?
When I was doing my MA, one of the lecturers appeared to take a dislike to me – he basically told me that my writing was bad and that I’d never make it in the writing world. Once I’d stopped sobbing hysterically at this, I jutted my chin out in determination and proved him wrong. Perhaps though, as bad as that sounds, if it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t have tried so hard….. actually no, scratch that. I would have done exactly the same thing as that’s the kind of tenacious person I am!
A positive turning point has to be when I signed with Bloodhound Books – I initially signed with a 3-book deal after moving to them from Caffeine Nights. Since then I’ve signed another 3-book deal taking the North East Police series to 7 minimum!
Another turning point is the first time you receive your paperbacks – there is nothing in the world like that feeling of knowing that you wrote those books!
Kerry, I would now like to thank you very much for taking time out to answer these questions for my. What a cracking interview. The only thing that’s left for me to say now is only that I wish you the very best of luck with, Watch You Burn, and of course all of your future books that will no doubt grace my bookshelf.
Thanks so much for having me Peter! Loved answering all the questions.
I've just finished a book called Watch You Burn by the author K.A. Richardson and loved it. Anyway as luck would have it, I asked her to do an interview for me, and she agreed. So if you want to know what this very interesting lady has to say for herself, then please read on.