Wednesday, 16 January 2013

An interview with Frances di Plino

Today my guest is Frances di Plino, author of Bad Moon Rising, from Crooked Cat Publishing. Here are a few things you may not know, yet, about Frances di Plino.

I know that Bad Moon Rising is your debut novel, yet you’re no stranger to writing. Can you give us an idea, please, of what you’ve been doing in the publishing world and for how long? 

Hmm, how much time do we have? As Lorraine Mace, I started out writing short stories for women’s magazines and had my first success in 2002. As we were living in France at the time, I also wrote features for country-themed magazines in the UK, the USA and France. I was the humour columnist for Living France until we moved to Spain, where I became humour columnist for Spanish Magazine. I’ve won and been placed in fiction and poetry competitions. I’m now humour columnist for Writing Magazine, a Writers Bureau tutor, provide short story critiques for Writers’ Forum, run my own critique service am the founder of two international writing competitions – one for flash fiction and one for humour verse.

That’s quite a range across different genres. Have you tried any other genres?

I write children’s novels and was fortunate enough to be represented by a specialist children’s literary agent, but haven’t yet had any success in that genre.

And what do you write for Crooked Cat Publishing?

As you know, as Frances di Plino, I write crime.

What made you veer towards the ‘crime’ genre for your debut novel?

I love reading crime – everything from dark thrillers to cosy crime. So it was a natural progression to write something that I would enjoy reading. The idea for Bad Moon Rising came to me many years ago, but until last year I was too busy with my other projects to devote time to it.

Do you tend to watch crime series films and dramas on T.V?  If not, what would you watch instead?

Yes, I love all things crime. I watch many cop series, British and American. I love forensic shows, such as CSI and Silent Witness. In fact, if there’s a crime committed on the small screen, I’ll watch it to try to figure out who did it and why. I love trying to work out why even more than who.

I believe there is a sequel to 'Bad Moon Rising', or a second in the series, on the worktable. Can you tell us about that?

It’s called Someday Never Comes and I think the good folk at Crooked Cat Publishing are beginning to think the title might be prophetic because it has been an awful long time coming. Last year was a difficult one for me on a number of personal levels, so writing had to take a back seat. However, I’m thrilled to say that D.I. Paolo Storey is once again on the trail of bad people. This time the criminals are people traffickers, bringing children to the UK to sell into prostitution – not something Paolo will allow to go unpunished. The first draft is nearly done, so I’m hoping it will come out later this year.

What do you think might be your next future writing project?

Now that I’ve got my writing life back on track, I should have time to complete another two books this year. I have a third in the Paolo Storey series planned and I’ve also mapped out the first in a cosy crime series set in Spain (where I now live).

How do you fit novel writing into your daily schedules? 

Short answer to that is: I don’t! I get up at six each morning and write until it’s time to go and shower, have breakfast and take on the day job. But I intend to change that. I have a major writing commission which will be completed at the end of February. My plan is that from March onwards I’ll be able to spend at least a third of my time writing in place of other work.

Your 'Bad Moon Rising' story is set in what I’d call a small city environment. Did you have a particular city or large town in mind when you wrote the novel?

Bradchester is a composite of various places I’ve lived in, but not too close to any of them. I wanted to be free to create my own town for my characters to inhabit.

Are any of your characters’ traits based on people you’ve encountered in your own life? If so, who in particular might have influenced you?

All of my characters are based at least in part on people I’ve known over the years. I take bits of different personalities and mix and match them to create new people. I’m not going to say who I’ve used, though.

What would be the first few novels you’ll be reading from your ‘To be Read’ for leisure pile?

I have several Crooked Cat books to read and also quite a few on my TBR list for my crime/thriller review site.

On a different tack, if you ever have the free time time to do anything, what do you enjoy doing?

I swim every day during the summer and I run three times a week all year round. Other than that, I have very little free time and when I do have an hour or so to spare, I read.

I haven’t had a proper holiday for a few years as I’ve had to spend quite a lot of time with sick relatives, so I am planning a nice relaxing time somewhere in Europe later in 2013. I want to wander round old buildings, spend some time next to the pool, eat fabulous local cuisine and generally recharge my batteries.

Here's to you having that time soon, Frances. It's been a pleasure asking you these questions and learning a bit more about you. Thank you for visiting today. 


Frances di Plino is the pseudonym of columnist, editor, non-fiction author, short story writer, poet and writing tutor, Lorraine Mace. Writing as Frances di Plino gives her the opportunity to allow the dark side of her personality to surface and take control. She is currently working on Someday Never Comes, the next in the Paolo Storey series following the highly acclaimed Bad Moon Rising (now available in paperback).

*** SEMI-FINALIST in the KINDLE BOOK REVIEW 2012 contest ***

One more soul is safe.

Brought up believing sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victims’ souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Storey is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

From Bad Moon rising:

He peered through the car’s windscreen and smacked his fist against the steering wheel. None of the girls strolling up and down the street matched his ideal. After a while the windscreen misted over, so he wiped away the condensation with a gloved hand. As a gap cleared he saw a newcomer join the procession and his heart raced. Snapping down the sunshield, he took the photo from its hiding place and compared the features and colouring of the young woman on the other side of the road. She moved under the street light, and he realised she was perfect. She was everything the Lord demanded. He started his car, ready to edge over to her side of the road.
At that moment, a car came round the corner and crawled to a halt. The girl sauntered over. Within seconds, she’d climbed in. He burned with rage as his prize was driven away.
Waves of nausea flowed over him as he fought to control his fury. Eventually he was able to breathe again. Reaching up, he replaced the photo and flipped the sunshield back. At least now he knew where to find her. He’d come back tomorrow and the next night, every night until he could pick her up.
He had to save her – he had no choice but to relive his first killing again and again until the Lord told him to stop.

Frances would love to read any comments or questions you'd love to ask her...



  1. What a nice interview thanks Nancy and Frances for sharing these insights into Frances's writing life. ^_^

  2. Thank you for dropping by, Helen. Have a good day.

  3. Thank you, Nancy, for inviting me (as Frances di Plino).

  4. A great interview and a terrific excerpt! Thanks for sharing the background.

    1. Hi, Maggie. I love reading about other authors and finding out what they manage to do in a day!


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