Morning my lovelies and welcome to a new week. First up today I’m on the blog tour for Coldharbour and a thrilled to bring you a Q&A with author, John Mead. Firstly though, here’s all the info you need on the book…..
Author: John Mead
Genre:Crime Fiction – Police Procedural
Series/Standalone: Standalone Third Book in a series
Estimated page count: 226
Formats available: eBook.
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd (12 Nov. 2020)
Tour organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.
For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.
And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.
q&a with john mead
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Raised in East London in the 50’s and 60’s, married, went to university, became a teacher. After 40 years of building a career in education, I decided to retire early and focus on writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always loved reading, and writing my own stories, even as a child, and the two things seemed to go hand in hand with each other. I went into teaching believing the job would give me sufficient ‘me time’ to also pursue my writing — that proved not to be the case. But with my family having flown the nest and my teaching career goals having been achieved, I decided it was time to go back to plan A.
How many books have you written and published?
My first book was a historical crime novel, I was pleased to get it published, but ended up hating the thing (I learned a great deal about the publishing industry from that book, shattering my somewhat romantic illusions) though it remains popular with readers.
Since then I have written and had published three crime novels, a series set in the modern day; with a fourth ready to go: The Fourth Victim, Geraldine, Coldharbour and Skeletons.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I think I enjoyed writing Geraldine the most. I found I had developed a process and style of writing that enabled me to write ‘effortlessly’ so I could focus on the characters and language. It is something like going for a run, when you stop worrying about your speed and your body falls into a natural rhythm so you can simply enjoy the flow and movement of your running.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
It varies. Sometimes there is a literary connection: as in Matthew Merry and Antonio Montepluciano. In Matthew I wanted a rather dour character and, thinking of George Smiley, I looked for an old English name that would be the direct opposite of the character. With Montepluciano I wanted a direct nod towards Inspector Montalbano, a favourite character of mine from Camilleri’s series of the same name. His father is a Sicilian wine producer, so picking one of my favourite wines – which has also featured in the TV series – seemed obvious.
In other cases, it is because I want to suggest a certain ethnic background, as in Julie Lukula. Or because it simply sounds right: as in Charlie Parks, whom I couldn’t imagine being called anything else.
I always keep lists of names, to try and avoid confusion, especially when someone is known by more than one name.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Julie Lukula – she is the most resilient and resourceful person I know.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I have a very long list of favourite authors: from Connelly to Wodehouse, and who could fail to appreciate Sansom. However, I am going to pick RL Stevenson and Treasure Island. If you haven’t read it in a while I would urge you to do so, it is a master class in how to write a crime novel. Not a single word is wasted, and each word helps create a scene, a character or moves the plot forward. Such an economy of language is rare.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
A story about Earth being invaded by spidermen – don’t ask – I was a about eight at the time. I haven’t liked spiders since. Although, I suspect it’d make a great TV series.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Teacher, College Director, Head of School and School Inspector – all education based.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Going back in time sounds a bad idea – think of the lack of medicines, no antibiotics and anaesthetics – it doesn’t sound like it would end well. And, as it looks like the the human race is going to hell in a hand basket, to know the future is unappealing. I’d rather stay in the present and retain my hope that things will work out.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My first thought was Dr Who, he/she travels around a great deal yet always seems optimistic. Then I realised that the character never dies and, in reality, has never lived, so doesn’t really count.
Then I thought of Edgar Allan Poe, I understand he struggled for many years before finally achieving success as a writer. I feel this would give us something in common to chat about.
What are your favourite things to do?
Read, eat, drink, write, walk, run, travel and watch people – not necessarily in that order.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I got married very young.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Watch out for punctuation.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
(Or one of mine.)
follow the tour
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour and to John for coming to chat with us!
Back soon lovelies!