Today I’m pleased to welcome A.J. McCreanor, author of Riven to the blog. Her new book Silenced, the second in the Wheeler and Ross series is published under the name Anne Randall by Constable on 3rd September 2015
A.J. answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Silenced.
Silenced is the second novel in the series featuring DIs Wheeler and Ross. It’s a crime novel set in Glasgow and begins when Mark Haedyear, a convicted murderer, escapes from prison. Fiona Henderson, the daughter of the victim is missing and her sister Annabelle is desperate to find her. Meanwhile the body of a young homeless man is discovered.
As the investigation progresses and more deaths are uncovered, a sinister pattern emerges: the victims are all homeless. Wheeler and Ross know that they are hunting for a ruthless killer who preys on the vulnerable.
Then the killer decides to target DI Wheeler.
2. Your first novel, Riven, was published under the name A.J.McCreanor. What did you find to be the benefits and downfalls to writing under a pseudonym?
Riven was published under my own name, however beginning with Silenced the rest of the series will be published as Anne Randall. This was a joint decision as my publisher wanted to use my first name Anne and I liked the idea of having a separate surname to distinguish my novels from my other work as a psychotherapist.
The only downfall might be remembering to sign Riven as A.J. McCreanor and Silenced and the rest as Anne Randall. But other than that it’s all good.
3. When you started writing about the characters of DI Wheeler and DI Ross did you envisage them as series characters? Do you find that the character development of the protagonists alters if you are aware the reader will see more of them in the future?
I always planned Wheeler and Ross as part of a series and for that matter Andy Doyle. I think as far as character development goes, it will be interesting to reveal more of them, including their flaws, as the series progresses. Or in Doyle’s case, perhaps show more of his humanity.
4. What has surprised you most about the publishing process?
I have enjoyed every aspect of it, from the initial signing of the contract through to seeing the fantastic book covers. I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team. Also, it’s great to meet my readers at book signings/book club readings.
5. What is your writing process? Do you plan it all before you start or just sit and write? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?
I write whenever and wherever I can, including in my office, on buses, in cafes and occasionally in the local pub. When on holiday I write in hotel rooms. Like most authors I carry a pen and a notebook and jot down ideas and scenes as they occur to me. I relish days when I can devote the whole day to writing but I also run a busy psychotherapy practice and facilitate writing groups so like many people the actual writing gets done as and when I can fit it in around other commitments. Oh and there is the dog to walk and the three rescued cats to feed and entertain.
6. What sort of books do you like to read? Who are the authors you turn to for when you are stuck in a book slump for example?
There are too many to mention! There are so many amazing writers out there. I read a lot of crime and many different novels appeal to me. If I had to choose one, it would be Thomas Harris. The Hannibal Lecter books are beautifully written and the characters are incredible.
7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. What question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
I am happy to answer any questions, so maybe a fantasy one to be asked at a book signing?
‘Would you like a drink?’
‘Yes, a Chardonnay would be great.’
And so the evening would go very well…
Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
About the book:
“The second Wheeler and Ross novel, from one of the most exciting new voices in the genre.
He buried his victim alive. And now he’s escaped from prison and is on the run in the city.
Fiona Henderson, the daughter of the victim who’d descended into a world of silence following her mother’s murder, has gone missing. Her sister Annabelle scours the city in a desperate attempt to find her. And then the body of a homeless person if found among the rubbish in a deserted alleyway.
As DIs Wheeler and Ross investigate, more suspicious deaths occur and a pattern emerges: the victims are all homeless. And so the police are pitched against a killer who is hellbent on a mission to rid the streets of the vulnerable and dispossessed.
As Wheeler and Ross descend further into Glasgow’s netherworld, their investigation reveals not only a flawed support system for the disaffected, but also a criminal class ruthlessly willing to exploit them. A city of double standards, where morality is bought and sold.
But it’s when the killer begins stalking DI Wheeler, that she and Ross realise that the threat is now personal.
Anne Randall’s first book in the Wheeler and Ross series, Riven, was written under the name A. J. McCreanor.”