Today, on Welcome Wednesday, I'm pleased to have fellow Crooked Cat author - Frances di Plino (also known as Lorraine Mace) - drop in to answer some questions. When we agreed to interview today, I didn't realise her next novel from Crooked Cat was going to be published so soon, so my questions were mainly centred around the middle book you see above - Someday Never Comes.
Like me, Frances also has a new novel being released in December by Crooked Cat, the third novel in her Detective Paolo Storey series. If you look to the right of the banner above you'll see Frances' forthcoming December release Call It Pretending.
What can you tell us about your other daily writing commitments that are in addition to any new fiction writing for your Paolo Storey series of Crime Novels?
I am a columnist for Writing Magazine and writing agony aunt for Words with Jam, so both of those have to be factored in each month, but most of my time is taken up with critiquing the writing of others. I provide the short story critiques for Writers’ Forum and am a competition judge for them as well. I also run my own private critique service and writing competitions, so I’m busy every day and struggle to find time for my own writing.
For readers who may not have met you already, how long have you been writing professionally, and how long for purely your own satisfaction?
I have been writing professionally for about ten years. For my own personal satisfaction? not that much longer, about fourteen years.
Do you have other books published, in addition to your Crooked Cat novels?
I have a non-fiction book, co-authored with Maureen Vincent-Northam, called The Writer’s ABC Checklist. I also had a book on tips for moving abroad published, but unfortunately the publisher went insolvent. On a much happier note, my first children’s book (written under my own name) will be published in America in April.
That's brilliant! Congratulations on getting your novel for children published. Do you think you'll write in any other sub-genre, apart from crime?
I have a literary novel I keep returning to whenever I find some spare time, which isn’t very often. It’s called La Putain Anglaise and my dream is to finish it one day because I think it might be my best work.
I’ve read Bad Moon Rising and loved it. I’ve got Someday Never Comes on my kindle still to read, but without giving any spoilers (which I hate) can you tell my readers a little about it, please?
The subject matter is very topical: it covers people trafficking and the sex trade, with horrible characters using and abusing others, including children. Detective Inspector Paolo Storey has to find the person at the top of the syndicate, but finds it hard to do so. The subject matter means the book isn’t by any means an easy read, but I have been told it is compelling fiction. In fact, I had an email from a fan yesterday who said once started he couldn’t put the book down and finished it in a day.
Were there any triggers which led to the plotline for Someday Never Comes?
I have long been appalled at the idea of people using others as commodities and wanted to do something to highlight the plight of those who find themselves sold into modern day slavery.
As well as Detective Paolo Storey - the main character in Bad Moon Rising - is there another character who would be considered a main one in Someday Never
I can’t answer that without giving away plot spoilers.
Okay- I can accept that! Did you need to do any particular research for Someday Never comes?
Yes, I spent a lot of time researching the crimes involved in the story. I now know far more than I ever wanted to about the trade in human beings.
I can believe that, since that type of research doesn't really appeal to me either - I think I'd find it too sad and seriously disturbing. We now know you're having the third Paolo Storey novel published in December 2013, but what's your biggest writing related challenge in the coming year?
To write the sequel to my children’s novel (the publishers are already asking for a sight of it – eeek!) and to write the fourth in the Paolo Storey crime series. The third, Call it Pretending, will be released by Crooked Cat Publishing on the 18th December this year.
Since you’re in the business of writing, as well as being an author, do you have any quick marketing tips you might like to share with my readers?
I wish I could say yes to that question. I’m afraid there are no quick marketing tips. First you have to write books that are as good as they can possibly be (and then be prepared to rewrite them several times). Then you have to build your audience. It takes time. I remember when one very successful author, John Lescroat, was asked how it felt to be an overnight success. He said it felt great, but that it had taken nineteen years to achieve being an overnight success.
Patience in an author is definitely a virtue, as you say, Frances.
Books 1 and 2 are available from Amazon, and other ebook stores. Book 3 will be published on December 18th 2013.
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. Call It Pretending, the latest in the Detective Inspector Paolo Storey series, which follows on from highly acclaimed Bad Moon Rising and Someday Never Comes, will be released by Crooked Cat Publishing on 18 December.
Thank you for visiting and best wishes with all of your writing, Frances.