Time for yet another Author Spotlight. This week we meet an author who like to thrill her readers with murder mystery.
Name: Jane Isaac
Tell us a little about yourself and where you live.
I live amongst the rolling countryside of rural Northamptonshire, UK with my husband, daughter and very naughty Labrador, Bollo. A part time writer of psychological thriller/police procedural crossovers, my other passions include family, travel and dogs. I’m always looking for the next adventure.
Tell us about your book/books:
My debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was published by Rainstorm Press in February 2012 and launches Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery into the world of crime fiction as she heads her first murder investigation.
I like to blend an old fashioned murder mystery with a psychological thriller, so we follow the rest of story through the eyes of Anna Cottrell who comes home from work to find the murdered body of a stranger in her flat, becomes chief suspect in a murder enquiry and, just when she thinks she has convinced the police of her innocence, further evidence comes to light to link her inextricably with the victim.
In the sequel, The Truth Will Out, Eva Carradine is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend. She calls an ambulance and, fearing for her own safety, goes on the run.
Helen returns and faces her biggest challenge yet as she races against the clock to track down a killer before he reaches his ultimate victim. But what she doesn’t realise is that someone is after them both. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
What would you say your writing style is?
Years ago, I remember a reviewer describing the writing in a particular book as, ‘writing so good, I didn’t notice it.’ This is the philosophy I subscribe to.
I write psychological suspense and want to pull my readers into the world of the mystery. I spend hours researching to create characters that are like real people, they could just as easily be you or I, so that we feel their journey, therefore the prose has to reflect this. When I get messages from readers that say, ‘I couldn’t put it down’ or ‘I read it in a day’, I think – I’ve done my job.
Out of your characters, who are your favorites?
Tough question! During the writing process I spend so much time with my characters that they become real to me. Certainly, DCI Helen Lavery. I couldn’t leave her behind after the first novel, there seemed so much more of her to tell and in the second we see her with a love interest and at loggerheads with her superiors to get to the truth.
I loved Anna Cottrell in An Unfamiliar Murder. Many readers have asked me if we will see her again. The truth is, I would love to work with her again. Hmm. Maybe one day…
In The Truth Will Out, I really enjoyed writing the serial killer. I did copious research into his character background and even consulted a psychologist regarding his profile. Although I have to say, he did give me a few nightmares!
What was the publishing experience like for you?
I think it’s wonderful that there are so many avenues to publishing these days. As a working mum, my time is limited and I chose the traditional route. This enables me to concentrate on the writing while my publisher deals with the formatting, cover art and other necessary preparations leading up to publication.
However it has been a complete rollercoaster ride! I was bowled over when I received offers from two agents for my first novel. I quickly signed with a London agency, only to discover that months later they were unable to find a home for the book. Luckily, I signed soon after with US based indie Rainstorm Press. They were wonderful and worked very closely with me to nurture An Unfamiliar Murder to publication.
With my second book, I decided to seek a British publisher to aid the distribution in the UK which plunged me straight back into the submissions process. Fortunately, the fabulous team at Legend Press pulled me off their slush pile and my second book, The Truth Will Out, will be published April 2014.
What are some of your favorite books?
Goodness, I have so many! Recent books I’ve loved include Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson and Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.
Authors who have inspired you:
Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie are masters at ‘whodunnits’, and from an early age I absorbed their work.
More recently, I’ve enjoyed the twists and turns of Jeffery Deaver, the police procedurals of Peter James, and the engaging prose of Alison Bruce.
What do you do for fun?
As I said earlier, travel is a passion of mine. Many years ago, my husband and I took a year out to travel the world. These days, family commitments mean our adventures are closer to home, but we look forward to exploring long haul again one day.
Do you have a favorite genre?
Um… Crime fiction. I read all sorts, but something always pulls me back to murder and mayhem!
An Unfamiliar Murder is available to purchase on Amazon and Amazon uk now.
The Truth Will Out will be published by Legend Press on 1st April 2014. The paperback version is available for pre-order here on Amazon and Amazon uk.
Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The sequel, ‘The Truth Will Out’ will be released on 1st April 2014.
Jane was runner up, ‘Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2013’. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies including Rainstorm Press’, Whacked, in 2012, and Bridge House Publishing’s, Crime After Crime, in 2012, and Rainstorm Press’ Through the Eyes of a Storm in 2013.
More information can be found at http://www.janeisaac.co.uk