And last, but definitely not least today, is another Meet the Author interview for you – yay!! Today I’ve been chatting with the lovely Rhen Garland about why no-one will take her on at a movie quiz, love at first sight, New Zealand and her book Victorian Murder Mystery series….
Victorian murder mystery with touches of magical realism and the macabre…it’s a bit niche!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in Somerset, England with my lovely husband Adam, who is also my illustrator. I am a dedicated reader and movie buff, we have a collection of over 4,000 books, and 3,000 films…no one will play movie quiz games with me anymore.
My early years choice of reading material was really rather questionable and possibly not suitable material for a child of my age, the first Agatha Christie I ever read was “By the Pricking of my Thumbs” when I was nine years old; a child of that age reading and enjoying a murder mystery about a child killer explains a great deal about the type of novel I write today!
My books are Victorian in era, messy in their murders, creepy in their otherness, and will make you double check the windows are all locked before you go to bed.
What’s not to like about mysteries with a touch of Grand Guignol?
I enjoy Golden Era murder mysteries, light fantasy, British style horror, and I love a good New Zealand Pinot Gris but you can’t get it for love nor money in the UK.
My favourite authors and influences, amongst others are; Ngaio Marsh, Gladys Mitchell, Agatha Christie, Carter Dickson aka John Dickson Carr, Kerry Greenwood, Toby Frost, Terry Pratchett, Kelley Armstrong, Simon R Green. and James Herbert.
I have managed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the last twelve years and I advocate for positivity and understanding.
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I started writing the Versipellis Mystery Series shortly after I was diagnosed with CFS, I ended up spending a huge amount of my time at home, on my own, staring at four walls…the options were, go mad, or use my overactive imagination to entertain myself…so I started to write.
When I read, I see the words almost as a film being played inside my mind…I can think in pictures, and that is how I “saw” the first words I wrote for my first book; “the shabbily dressed man walked down the moonlit lane”…it was changed around a bit, but the gist stayed the same.
How many books have you written and published?
I have written two full books in the Versipellis Mysteries Series; A Portrait of Death and Death in the Sound, and I am 50,000 words into the third book, tentatively titled, The Shadow of Death.
I am also plotting books four and five, and I have several ideas for short stories in the same series.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book took ten years, my second took one year, and book three seems to be heading for 12/14 months.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Probably Abernathy Thorne, not just because he is a superbly catty and entertaining person, but also because he has a dog, a black Labradore called Veronique, who would have to come with him.
What’s your favourite film of all time and why?
I’m a gemini…both sides of my personality demand one each!
I absolutely love “The Dish”, a movie from 2000 about the moon landings, staring Sam Neil and the late Tom Long…it’s just such a gentle, feel-good film…and the music is excellent!
And “Legend”, a fantasy movie from 1984 with the utterly fabulous Tim Curry and a very young Tom Cruise…classic 1980’s fantasy, when children’s films were rather dark and scary.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Absolutely! When I first saw the man I would marry, it was across an archery field…my first thought was “I know that walk”…we had never met before, but I knew him.
If you could travel anywhere (world/universe etc!) where would you go and why?
New Zealand…I absolutely love it there, the people, the wine, the scenery, the wine, the food…did I mention the wine?
You win a million pounds – you give half to charity. Which charity do you pick and why? What would you do with the rest of the money?
Animal charities…any local sanctuaries that help abandoned and abused animals, the rest I would use to fulfil a dream my husband and I have had for years…to buy a little plot of land, built a tiny cob and earthbag cottage, and go as off-grid as we could.
If you could be, or meet, any mythical creature, what would you choose and why?
A Dragon, I adore dragons…I always have.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
Book one and book two are currently available from Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited.
final words from chelle…
Thank you so much Rhen for you fantastic interview. I’m so jealous of your collection of 4000 books – goals for me for the future! I love the fact that you were reading Agatha Christie at the age of 9 – I’m sue this definitely set you up for your future writing career! I love the film Legend ~ I’ve watched it so many times but haven’t seen it recently so now I’m going to have to go and find it and watch it again ~ thanks for the reminder!! Finally, I absolutely love the sound of your books ~ history, murder, mystery and magic are all of my favourite things combined in one, so I’ll make sure these go on my wish list!!
If you have any questions/comments for Rhen then either pop her a message on social media or drop a comment below.
Enjoy your Thursday everyone – the weekend is in sight!
Take care all