Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Limited Justice and a giveaway!

I’m absolutely delighted to welcome fellow Crooked Cat author, Catriona King, to the blog today. 

I don’t know very much about Catriona, yet, so I’ve asked her some nice little questions. Stay tuned and learn some fascinating things about this new author on the writing scene. 

One lucky commenter can earn an e-copy of her brand new crime  novel- A Limited Justice. Keep reading to find out how!

ps....I’m reading it just now. Watch out for a review to follow...if I get more reading done during the day. No spoilers given here, but I really want to learn more abut DC Craig! 

Nancy, thank you for asking me to be on your blog. It’s really great to be here!

What made you decide to write crime novels?  

I’ve always loved reading crime novels, especially series where you can get to know the characters and the author’s style. My first real love was the Edinburgh –based Rebus series, by Ian Rankin. They are brilliant. I’ve read many other series since, UK and US based in particular, but I always come back to Rebus.

I also watch practically every crime series on TV. And then of course my professional background as a doctor took me into the world of police reports and forensic examiner work, and going to court with cases testifying, so I have a certain amount of knowledge of the forensic and police world.

I thought…Edinburgh has Rebus, Glasgow has Taggart…shouldn’t Belfast have its own series? So D.C.I. Marc Craig was born.

What bits of your debut novel did you like doing best?

I love writing but I’m like a writing machine when I start, which means that nothing else (in real life!) gets done …the dishes pile up, the hoover stays in the cupboard etc. And it’s difficult to be that focused for too long.

So I’d have to say that my favourite part is editing, because it refines the characters and tightens the book. But also because I can do it for a few hours and still keep a grip on real life!

Book Promotion I find difficult, principally because I’m quite private and in some ways shy, so even having an on-line presence was entirely new to me. I didn’t even have an active Facebook account before the book. Never mind twitter!!

Laurence and Stephanie of Crooked Cat have had to be very patient with me and they’ve been great. And as for press interviews and the public side of writing…well let’s just say I know that I have to do it, but I’d rather hide under the bed until it’s all over.

If you decided to try to write a new genre or sub-genre what might you have a go at?

I think possibly romantic comedy as a complete departure, or the fantasy world. But I’m not sure how good I’d be at either of them!

Where would you like to set a new novel?

In court… or in New York…or both!

You’ve an invitation to a stay at an expensive - all expenses paid - retreat in the countryside. Which of your characters, or a character in a novel you’ve recently read, would you ask to accompany you?

Oh, definitely my lead detective. Detective Chief Inspector Marc Craig. Mainly because I wrote him to be a very attractive man, and that inevitably means that he’s attractive to me !!! We could have fun together. And, as I write murder novels, I could always kill off any fictional opposition. Ha ha

Do you ever have days when you think maybe I’ll not bother doing any more writing?

Yes, I think I do feel like that, when I’m tired or have been editing or writing for days on end. But then…after a break of about a week, I find myself listening to people’s expressions and phrases and scribbling them down on post-it notes, thinking.

 “Ooh, I like that phrase, I must write a character who would say that.”

And then I’m off thinking about a new novel and I start writing again !!!

In what ways has your life changed since you’ve become a published author?

Goodness…that’s a challenging question. Well, in some ways not at all. I still have to go to work and pay the bills. I still socialise, eat too much chocolate and run my theatre group.

In other ways it has changed enormously. I think being published finally gives you the confidence to believe in your writing. You start to think. “Well actually, maybe I can write. Maybe it wasn’t just a day-dream!” 

It also gives you the help a professional editor like Laurence from Crooked Cat who will look at your work honestly and critically, and help it improve. I think being published gives you to confidence to keep writing, to take risks and push yourself, and not to give up. It’s also improved my spelling and grammar enormously!

Finally….I think that there were some  people that I couldn’t mention my writing to before I was published, in case they looked at me kindly but pityingly in a way. As if I was a fantasist who was never, ever going to be published and was just deluding myself. There were some people who I would have felt embarrassed telling that I wanted to be a published writer. Now they don’t look at me like that .

What’s your writing goal for 2013?

I’d like to build up the D.C.I. Craig series and watch the characters develop. I have two more books in the pipeline which will hopefully come out next year. I try to do them in real time and use local events to anchor them in a time of year, for instance. ‘A LIMITED JUSTICE’ is set in October 2012 and published in October 2012. ‘THE GRASS TATTOO’ is set in December 2012 and out in paperback and Kindle on 11th December 2012. So next year should be busy!

                             BELFAST GETS A NEW CRIME FIGHTER

Belfast has a new fictional crime hero – Detective Chief Inspector Marc Craig, who has just made his debut in ‘A Limited Justice’, the first in a planned series of books by local author Catriona King.

Catriona is a doctor who also trained as a forensic medical examiner in London, and has brought that experience to bear in her debut novel, in which Marc Craig and his team comb well known Belfast streets in the hunt for a triple murderer.

The novel is published by Crooked Cat Books; an Edinburgh based publishing company is gaining five star reviews. 

‘A Limited Justice’ is the first in the series and Catriona hopes that her fictional detective Marc Craig might one day be Belfast’s version of Edinburgh’s Rebus character.

“I’ve always written for my own pleasure and, as I love reading and watching detective series, I had often thought of writing one. I’m delighted that the book is now out, and with the response it has received. In fact, I’ve finished the second book in the series. The series is rooted very firmly in Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole and has lots of local references. I hope that it appeals to readers of crime fiction and especially with local readers.

“I wanted to write a series set in 2012 and beyond, with a detective who reflects modern Northern Ireland. So Marc Craig was born.”

‘A Limited Justice’ is available in paperback and Kindle from , and

‘The Grass Tattoo’, which will be available in paperback and online on December 11th 2012.  

More about Catriona King

She trained as a Doctor and Police Forensic Medical Examiner in London. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police on many occasions. In recent years, she has returned to live in Belfast.
She has written since childhood: fiction, fact and news reporting.  ‘A Limited Justice’ is her first novel and follows DCI Marc Craig and his team through the streets of Belfast in the hunt for the murderer of three people.
A second novel in the DCI Craig series is nearing completion.

Twitter @catrionaking1
Facebook: Catriona King

What question would you like to ask Catriona about? Please add your question to the comment box to be entered into the draw for a giveaway copy of A Limited Justice.

Thank you for being here, today, Catriona. My very best wishes to you. 



  1. Lovely interview - goodness Catriona you sound busy. Knew we had a lot in common but so nice to find out just how much through this Q/A session. I'm a detective TV series addict too. Really looking forward to reading your boook. I've got two more to review before I get to yours... but I'll get there! Best of luck and much success

    1. Hi Cameron. Lovely to read your post(now that I've finally worked out how to access posts! I'm a bit of a novice technically I'm afraid, so the whole world of blogs and twitter etc is still very new to me.)

      I love TV detective series,but if I didn't switch them off I would get nothing else done! Thank you for reading A Limited Justice and I really hope that you like it. Hopefully it will be a long running series and tell some modern stories about Northern Ireland. Bye now. Catriona

  2. Catriona, what elements of Belfast do you use to 'set' your characters and the storyline? The physical background such as the river or the older buildings or Belfast's history? Everyone seems to have a penchant of their own that sets a background and I wondered what you prefer.

    1. Hi Vonnie. That's a really interesting question. I chose to set the fictional police headquarters in a historic dockland area called 'Sailortown' in Belfast because of my family's links to the area.(My Mum's family had a business there and she loved the area and its people, so its a bit of a tribute to her). The river runs right through Belfast and in fact I live facing another part of it, so I think that the river view from my own window inspired me as well. Plus there are an enormous number of old Georgian and Edwardian buildings here, it's why a lot of war-time and pre-war TV shows have been filmed here e.g. recently 'Christopher and his kind'. Added to that the countryside is very accessible(less than a twenty minute drive) and there are beautiful lakes and hill everywhere, so I think that I wanted people to see the 'real' Northern Ireland of 2012,not the negative image sadly portrayed for so many years on the news. Overall though, I'm a city girl and have spent all of my life in either Belfast or London (equally split) so I love cities generally. I also love Italy enormously and have been there many many times so when I decided to make the lead character half Northern Irish and half something else (to reflect the fact that we are all a mixture in some way and there are many people from outside the UK living here) I made him half Italian. But overall I think that the river and cities are my natural home. Thank you for your question and I hope that I answered it? Goodbye now. Catriona


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