Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Clare Mackintosh

WEDNESDAY 01st APRIL 2015

Cuppa and a Catch up pic



I am delighted to feature on my blog today the lovely Clare Mackintosh, author to the brand new psychological thriller that everyone’s talking about ‘I Let You Go’.

~Author Bio~

Clare MackintoshClare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You Go. She is currently writing her second novel.

~Synopsis~

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everythingI Let You Go she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

~Thoughts~

2015 has haphazardly seen my reading habits drift toward the psychological thriller. The pleasure I receive for these books toying with my mind is exquisite – I get a kick out of reading material messing with my brain.

And I Let You Go is not one to disappoint.

The story itself is an extremely good concept – however it’s the structure, the style of narration and the writing that make it breath-taking. It’s a book that not only has a great twist, it’s full of surprises.

The depth in which we’re allowed into the minds of the character’s and what makes some of them tick is what makes this such a great psychological thriller. It allows us a greater understanding of the big picture.

We’re even privy to a glimpse into Detective Inspector Ray Stevens life; we get to experience his struggles not only investigating the incident, but within his own family as well. 

The final pages of the story catapult us into an extremely tense and emotional ending. The pace doesn’t give you the opportunity to put the book down – you’re yearning for the next chapter, the next sentence, hell you’re even craving the next word.

I’m on a spate of reading such good psychological thriller’s and I Let You Go is no exception to the rule.

In fact, it’s as if it wrote the rule.

So grab that cuppa and snuggle in as we get to know more about Clare Mackintosh …

cuppa

What was the inspiration behind ‘I Let You Go’?

Many years ago, when I joined the police, a young boy was killed by joyriders on an estate in Oxford. It was a terrible crime and the offenders were never caught. I tried to think how it would feel to be responsible for something so horrific, but not coming forward, and couldn’t begin to imagine how the child’s mother felt. The hit and run that starts I Let You Go is very different, and the subsequent story is not at all the story of that boy from Oxford, but I thought of him and his family often when I was writing the book. I wanted to explore what motivates people to commit and conceal crime, and I wanted to create characters that weren’t straight forward.  

How would you compare writing this book with anything you have previously written?

My first book was a romantic comedy called Hot Property. I worked with a great literary agent who really helped me develop the story, but after a year or so it became clear this wasn’t the right book. I had a yearning to write something much grittier, and as soon as I started I Let You Go it felt right. When it was finished I signed with a different literary agent and worked on a rewrite before she submitted it to publishers.   


One thing that impressed me with ‘I Let You Go’ was the structure of the story – I thought it was incredibly clever. Without giving too much away about the storyline, how did you plan this out?

Thank you! I’m obsessed with structure and dissect everything I read, or watch on television. I love seeing how stories are put together. With I Let You Go I started in the middle, where I had a really clear idea of what I wanted the story to do, then I worked out from there. I knew how the book started, and I was fairly certain I knew how it ended, so it was a question of filling in the gaps! With psychological thrillers it’s all about the pace, so I had to drop in pointers that would keep a reader turning the page, without giving away the plot!

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

I’ve always written: I have a diary I kept when I was seven, and a fictionalised account of a family holiday in which I detail our ‘intrepid’ explorations of a campsite in Yorkshire. I wasn’t encouraged to consider writing as a career (and doubt I’d have made a success of it, back then), but carried on writing bits and pieces throughout the years. When I was pregnant I took over as editor of the local NCT newsletter and loved writing columns and putting together features. I started a blog which quickly gained followers, and from that was invited to write a column for a regional magazine. Gradually I began pitching features to other publications until 2011 when I left the police to write full-time.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

I have several! My regular writing space is my office: a very small room in my house where I have my desk, printer, huge book case, a wall planner and two enormous white boards. At the moment I also have a vast map of the London Underground (research for my next book). When the house is empty I can work quite well in there (although am easily distracted by the internet, a beeping washing machine, or a dog needing a walk) but I find it almost impossible to work when the children are in the house, however quiet they ‘think’ they’re being… I sometimes write in cafes, where I feel obliged to be productive because I’ve spent £2.50 on a latte. My favourite place to write is Chez Castillon, a writing retreat in the South of France, where I write four times as much as at home. If only I could live there all the time!

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know

When I was 19 and at university I wangled an invitation to Downing Street. I was waitressing at a golf club and was talking to one of the guests who was involved in an award ceremony taking place at the PM’s place. I persuaded him to include me on the guest list, and he sent me an invitation the next day! 

Thank you for being here today Clare and best of luck with the book.

~ Where to find the Author~

Website

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

 Love Missuswolf xxx 

Please note this post contains affiliate links

ARC

Choose a Job You Love and You Will Never Have To Work Another Day …

WEDNESDAY 14th MAY 2014

Hello ladies and gents!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new Freelance Writing business:

Freelance cover

 

Why not hop on over to www.glwilfordfreelancewriter.com and take a peek?

I’m also on Facebook.

Freelance Bus Cards

Business Card Love <3

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work another day.

Have a fab day whatever you’re up to 🙂

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Monday Morning: New Week, New Book

MONDAY 14th APRIL 2014

Good Morning folks! Did you have a good weekend?

Martina Cole

 

I finished reading Martina Cole’s ‘Hard Girls’ last Thursday and read Chrissie Parker’s ‘Integrate’ over the weekend, so I’m now looking for what to read next. I have a study stocked with books, a Kindle full of downloads and a locker at work bursting at the seams. So I’m spoilt for choice.

Integrate_SMALL

I hope you’re all as happy as you can be, for a Monday morning I suppose.

You see, as I’m a shift worker in the day job, I never have that Monday morning feeling. Some people may consider that a good thing, however I would rather experience the dread of dragging myself out of bed early on a Monday than the inconsistent life that shift work brings. It can be lonely at times so it’s no wonder I bury my head in books.

My intention wasn’t to start Monday with a negative post. The point I’m getting at is that my unhappiness at my lifestyle at the moment is what spurs me on to change it and no-one can do that but me.

I turned thirty this year and with that it brought all the usual nostalgia of where I am in my life and where I want to be blah blah blah.

And I’ve been stuck in this place for far longer than I intended.

Plus I had a bad experience with back pain a couple of weeks ago, which really frightened me, so I’m looking at what changes I can make in my life to improve it.

So I see every Monday as a positive – it brings a fresh start with brand new opportunities. All across thecoffee and cream North East offices are now springing into life, bustling with staff exchanging weekend escapades with their co-workers by the coffee machine, delaying the inevitable retreat to their desk.

And that is good news for people like myself who are looking to change their career. Monday brings the possibility of new plans, ideas and regeneration in a business which may provide that career move I’ve been searching for. To me, Monday is a day of eager anticipation of a brand new working week.

It’s undoubtedly time for a change and one of these days, I will be back in the rat race; the stressful drive to work in rush hour, the hustle and bustle of an office environment and the Monday Morning feeling eventually merging  into that Fabulous Friday Feeling. I’ve discovered I’m very much a routine person and I’m not sure if that’s a sign of age or I have some form of OCD.

study2You get one life and it’s too short to spend it being miserable. Sure, we all have to earn a living but sometimes it becomes an unhealthy lifestyle.  I’ve learnt to do what you love so in-between searching for my next move,  I will continue to blog, write and lose myself in books; something that is consistent and that I know I will do for the rest of my life. Hell one day it would be amazing if that was my day job.

But until then, I continue with my mission to find a new job. However I just need to decide what book to read next …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Liebster Award

MONDAY 24th DECEMBER 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!

I have been chosen by the amazing Andrea Buginsky over on Andi’s Realm to receive the fabulous Liebster Award! So thank you very much Andrea!

This is an award bloggers give to introduce blogs you might not have found already that we think are completely awesome. Here’s how it works. You post the picture of the award to your blog:

You give 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you. Then you think up 11 new questions and nominate 11 new blogs – and you can’t nominate the blogger who nominated you.

Here are 11 random facts you may not know about me:

Newsround1) I was once a Press Packer with BBC’s Newsround

2) As a Press Packer, I was a runner up in a competition where I had to audition in the Blue Peter Garden for a News Feature – Twice

3) I love Jazz music. I listen to it when I write (as I am now)

4) I love mice pies and have been through about six boxes since November (gulp!)

5) When I was little I had an imaginary friend (some say it may have been a ghost) called Jenny, with black hair in pigtails

6) I became an Auntie for the first time this year wohoo and I love my lil nephew to pieces

7) I LOVE pizza – especially Asda create your own pizzaPizza

8) I have two tattoos

9) I once went quad biking

10) I once went white water rafting

11) Re the above two – done once – don’t really fancy doing again

Andrea asked me the following questions

The Hunger Games1) What is your favorite book?

The Hunger Games. It was the first book in a long time which I could not put down. The idea and concept behind really fascinated me, yet actually frightened me at the same time. The book has a lot of elements of your own fears inside and what it would truly feel like to fight for survival.

 2) What kind of books did you originally want to write?

I always knew I wanted to write a Chick-Lit novel of some sort but my burning passion since I was a child has been to write adventure stories – born from my reading of The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Nancy Drew. The Ruby of Egypt has been my starting block in that area which I intend to vastly expand throughout my writing career

 3) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Total plotter. I am the Queen of lists and plans in my everyday life to the point of OCD therefore it was bound to trickle through into my writing.
 4) Do you listen to music while you write?

As mentioned in my fact list, I certainly do. I listen to Jazz music which I find comforting, soothing and relaxing – putting me in the right frame of mind to escape and write.
 5) If yes, what kind?

I either listen to Jazz FM through the Sky Radio Channels or Jazz 24 online

6) What is your favorite comfort food?

Pizza!

 7) Who is your favorite author?Marian Keyes

It would have to be Marian Keyes. She has the right balance of humour in her novels as she tackles some pretty serious and sensitive issues in her novels, but they are dealt with sensitively and with the right about of light-heartedness that they make for great reads. Genuine laugh out louds and sob your heart out books all in one.
 8) What is your favorite movie?

Ohh I’m not really much of a movie buff, I loved Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit, but then I love Christmas themed films like The Holiday, Elf, Love Actually. Can’t pick a favourite.
famous-five-01-19919) What was your favorite book as a child?

The Famous Five. I had to pick this particular book cover image as this is the one that I had and  it brings back so many memories. I loved the adventures that they got up to.
10) What is your favorite holiday?

In terms of holiday period – definitely Christmas. In going abroad, I have loved every holiday but will most definitely be returning to Florida again. Loved it.

11) What is your favourite colour?

Purple

As a recipient it is my honor to nominate the following 11 bloggers:

Author Michelle Betham

Author Kerry Richardson

Blogger A  Mummys View

Author Sylvia Stein

Author Jim Cantwell

Author Denise Stanley

Author S.I Hayes

Author Joyce Strand

Author Lee-Ann Griff-Vinson

Author Sheila Deeth

Blogger Book Reviewer Heather Cranmer

I think all of your blogs are excellent, and you highly deserve this award! As my nominees, these bloggers will share 11 fun facts about themselves on their blogs, as I’ve done above.

They will also answer the following 11 questions:

1) What inspired you to start writing/blogging?

2) What is your new year’s resolution?

3) If you could be in someone elses shoes for one day, who would that be and why?

4) What is your favourite season?

5) Where has been your favourite holiday destination?

6) Where do you see yourself this time next year?

7) What has been the highlight of your writing/blogging experience so far?

8) Do you prefer coffee or tea?

9) What is your favourite song?

10) What has been the most influential book you have read, that has really caught your attention and made you think?

11) What has been your highlight of 2012?

Thanks again to Andrea for nominating me.

Xmas Men

Have a wonderful Christmas

Love Missuswolf xxx

Beautiful Blogger Award

 

MONDAY 27th AUGUST 2012Back on the 13th August, the fabulous blogger, A Mummys View, nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Her kind words were:

A wonderful, friendly and aspiring novelist who already has a fabulous book, The Ruby of Egypt which you must check out

Now I must nominate six bloggers and tell you ten things about myself that you didn’t know.

Therefore, I nominate:

Michelle Betham – Romance Author an inspirational Indie Author from the North East of England who has successfully self-published five romance novels within the past year.

Kerry-Ann Richardson – What to Write…. A lovely work colleague and a lady who is also on a journey writing a crime novel.

The Fabulous Moms Guide –    a fab lady who has a beautiful blog on parenting with some yummy recipes thrown in the mix too

E.M Tippetts – a wonderful blog from a Chick Lit and YA Author who has just released her new book Castles on the Sand. I have just viewed her media footage for her new book and it’s fantastic.

I am woman campaign –  a great blog that’s about using our voices to help other women, publishing flash fiction aspart of their fundraising strategy which also supports us authors.

H.C Elliston – Fab  and friendly writer,  a lovely lady whose books include that of fast action paced Think Fast Die Last

TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME

1) When I was about 7 I was the Princess of a local Shopping Centre…The Keel Row in Blyth! I got to go and cut ribbons at shop openings and parade with Santa around the centre!

2) I am Woman Campaign are have kindly accepted a submission of my flash fiction which they will be featuring in their next anthology eeek.

3) I started to learn how to play the guitar when I was about 11. My poor parens got me a guitar and I went to lessons at school but promptly got bored and put an end to that fad.

4) I used to go to dancing classes on a Saturday morning from the age of 5 til I was 9, doing ballet, tap and modern. I received numerous awards for my capers.

5) I was born in Nottingham but then moved up to the North East when I was 3

A piccie from a walk along Druridge Bay on a rare sunny day this summer

6) I LOVE Geordie Shore, it is my guilty pleasure

7) I visited Mother Shiptons Cave for the first time this summer too and really enjoyed it

8) I have been dog sitting my mother in laws dog a few times this summer and have had some wonderful walks at Druridge Bay with her

9) Went to the Baltic in Newcastle today for the first time. I will most definitely be returning.

10) I love good old British Classic comedies, Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses to name a few.

So thanks to A Mummys View for my nomination:-)

Have a great evening

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Versatile Blogger Award

TUESDAY 03rd APRIL 2012

Good Afternoon all!

Whilst getting ready for a ten hour shift at work and seeing the gloomy rain and wind outside the window (that I have to venture out into in order to get to said job) I was thrilled when I received that oh-so-familiar ping! of the mobile phone indicating an exciting new email!

On investigating further, I was overjoyed to see that I had been nominated by the lovely amummysview (fab blog sharing her experiences/advice/products/classes – you name it!) for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Look what I got:

So a huge big ‘Thank You’ soooo much to amummysview!

Now here are the conditions of the award:

1. Thank the blogger who has awarded you and link back to them.
2. Share seven things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to other newly discovered blogs
 
Here are my seven things:
 
1.) I was a runner up twice in the ‘Press Packers’ competition, when I was about 12 years old, following articles I had written and submitted to their comp. As a part of this, I had to audition in the Blue Peter Garden and also in The News Round Studios as a reporter. Unfortunately, I did not win but enjoyed my trip to the BBC studios and having a stint in front of the cameras! (And also to see the Blue Peter Garden)
 
2.) I wrote and self published my first children’s book ‘The Ruby of Egypt’ last year and it is such an amazing feeling to see your words in print and it’s a bonus when other people enjoy your work.
 
3.) I work shifts and I must be a night owl as I love night shift! More down time to read I suppose 🙂
 
4.) I am going to be an Auntie in October and I can not WAIT! I have no children of my own and I will definitely be taking tips from amummysview blog
 
5.) I love jazz music, I could quite happily sit in a jazz café all day and sip champers (however there is work to be done!)
 
6.) Has a fear of flying yet I insist on watching Air Crash Investigation in a bid to tease myself and also understand why crashes happen (?!)
 
7.) I love reading! I’m addicted to it, I get bored easily and always have to have a book/My Beloved Kindle nearby to fend off boredom.
 
Enough about me…over to you! I nominate:
 
 
Love Missuswolf xxx

Novel Project 2012 – Another milestone reached!!

SUNDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2012

Well ladies and gents, I am proud to announce that I have hit 60,000 words – yes I am now three quarters of the way through writing my first ever novel whoppeeee!

Although I must admit I was naughty and I did not contribute anything towards it yesterday, after having six days off work and then going back on a ten-hour early shift I somehow managed to just eat my tea before snoozing on the settee.

Not very productive at all tut tut.

However, it is only the third day since January 01st that I have not written anything. I have made up for it tonight despite being at work for ten hours again I have pushed through the pain barrier and achieved one of my goals!

For those who know me, there is a scene I am about to write involving the main female character getting rather drunk at a social club party and an unsuspecting males shirt.

Love Missuswolf xxx