Today it’s my great pleasure to welcome fellow author Lorraine Mace as a guest on the blog. Like me Lorraine writes mainly for adults but she has written for children as well. She’s best known for her series of crime novels – the latest of which is Rage and Retribution which you can find out more about below.
So, welcome, Lorraine, it’s lovely to have you here.
Can we start with why and how you became a writer?
I left the UK in 1979 to live in South Africa. At that time the only way to stay in contact with the family and friends I’d left behind was via letter – the old-fashioned hand written and snail-mail posted kind. I discovered that I had a knack for descriptive pieces, being able to put the recipients into my day to day life.
Twenty years later, when I moved to France, I decided I would turn to fiction and wrote some terrible short stories which were, quite rightly, rejected by every magazine I’d targeted. However, it was at this point that I realised how much I wanted to write, so knuckled down to learn the basics. Fortunately, this worked out well for me.
What genre do you write in and why does that hold a particular appeal for you?
My fiction falls into two genres and they couldn’t be more different. I write for children aged 8 to 12, but I am also the author of a hard-boiled crime series.
How many books have you written? Tell us a bit about your latest.
I have had two children’s novels published, but I now concentrate mainly on crime. I have four published by Headline featuring D.I. Paolo Sterling: Retriever of Souls, Children in Chains, Injections of Insanity and the latest, Rage and Retribution. Each of the books has a dual narrative. D.I. Sterling is the main character, but I have some chapters from the perspective of the villain. In Rage and Retribution I have used diary-type blog entries where the antagonist glories in dealing out punishment to those in need of correction. For a change, all the victims are male.
Tell us about a typical writing day?
I write for two hours in the morning and then have to move on to my day job, which is working with other authors on their manuscripts.
Do you plot your novels in some detail before you actually start writing?
Not fully. I always know the crime, the perpetrator, the reason behind the crimes, and how the novel will end. I have a rough idea about the middle section but am always amazed at the characters who arrive unbidden, but turn out to be essential to the plot.
What comes first for you, characters or plot?
I suppose it’s a mixture of both. I tend to get the idea for the plot at the same time as the antagonist comes to my mind. I can’t ever remember getting one without the other.
Where do you get your ideas?
I think I just have a twisted and slightly evil mind!
Have you got a favourite character out of the all the ones you’ve created? Tell us about them if you have – or is it too hard to pick just one?
It has to be Paolo Sterling. He’s a good man with lots of flaws simply trying to do his best in a very sick world. I have put him in some awful situations with regard to his family and romantic life. It seems the more I throw at him, the stronger he becomes.
Can you share some of the feedback/reviews you’ve had from your readers?
I have had some fabulous reviews about the series. I’ll put a few comments below. I hope it doesn’t come across as too boastful.
The Northern Witch’s Book Blog – great British crime drama: I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I can’t wait to start the next book in the series!
Books and Emma – excellent police procedural: This book kept me hooked and at one point I was convinced up to 4 different people could be the killer!
Feed the Crime – could not put my kindle down while reading this! It isn’t very often that I just know I’m gonna fall in love with a series halfway through the first book!
K T Robson Reviews – kept me guessing right until the end: Every time I thought I had it figured out, another spanner was thrown in the works and all my amateur detective work was thrown out the window!
Wow! What great comments – and not boastful at all to share them – you should be loud and proud 🙂
Thank you so much for dropping in today, Lorraine, and for telling us about yourself and your books.
And here’s more about Lorraine’s latest book:
The latest in the series is Rage and Retribution. This is the fourth instalment in Lorraine Mace’s dark, gritty and shocking series featuring D.I. Paolo Sterling – perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen and Mo Hayder.
Can two wrongs ever make a right?
A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.
It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.
A councillor is accused of fraud.
Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?
Two cases. One deadly answer.
As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.
‘A dark, cleverly plotted tale . . . I was gripped from the opening scene and raced through the book to its final, shocking ending. Crime writing at its very best‘ Sheila Bugler
‘Gritty, topical, sometimes lacerating, but always enthralling. A truly compulsive read‘ Abbie Frost
You can buy Rage and Retribution here
When not working on her best-selling D.I. Sterling series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.
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