Today I’m pleased to welcome Tara Lyons to the blog. Tara is the author of In the Shadows, which was published on 1 March 2016 and has co-authored Web of Deceit and The Caller with M.A. Comley.
Tara kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about In the Shadows.
It isn’t a strict police procedural book, but is full of criminal acts. It looks at the effect crime, death and grief can have on a collection of people. It introduces a murder investigation team working for the London Metropolitan Police who feature heavily in the next book.
2. What inspired the book?
After my grandfather passed away last year I was feeling quite low. I lost myself in a range of books – most of them crime and thrillers. Then my own characters started speaking to me and I decided to combine those two things together, and In the Shadows was born.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?
While writing In the Shadows it was more of a sit down and just let it flow, but I think that had a lot to do with the story being cooped up in my mind for so long, it was dying to get out. I began writing in the August of last year and it was sent to my editor in January 2016. However, when I co-authored Web of Deceit and The Caller with M.A. Comley, it was important that we planned, planned and planned some more.
4. What did you discover about the process of creating a novel that surprised you?
Just how long the writing process can take. In the past I’d written assignments and dissertations and articles for the magazine I worked on, so the writing and editing part I’m used to. However, these pieces of work were minuet in comparison and so took hardly any time at all to edit. The idea of releasing your work to the world is an exciting and nervous experience, but the latter feeling could have you re-writing and editing for a lifetime if you let it.
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
When I’m not writing I’m raising my energetic three-year-old son. As I type this it’s the summer holidays and I’m riddled with guilt for not writing enough, but our various days out are making me sleep at night. To relax, I read. I enjoy a variety of genres so always have something to enjoy with a cuppa and packet of chocolate peanuts.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
This is a really difficult question… But, as it’s a book I’ve read numerous times – and once got in trouble from a P.E teacher for reading it in my free time at school – I’ll have to say Romeo and Juliet. It has crime and romance, so it can’t be bad.
7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
I’m sure I’ve been asked all the questions possible, but if I really think about it… I have never been asked: why do you write (not the certain genre you do, but in general)? And the answer would be because I love sharing stories. I don’t necessary mean the make-belief, sitting around a bonfire kind of stories – though those are fun and I’ve certainly done more of that in the last three years with my son. But because I love to find out what’s happening in ordinary people’s lives and share my experiences with them – be it an awful journey on the tube, an unexpected encounter with a stranger or something that was so funny your stomach hurt. The great thing about creating a novel is that you can make the characters come alive in different ways. You can take it one step further by making it dangerous and exciting and thrilling. That’s why I write.
You can find out more about Tara here:
“In the ShadowsDetective Inspector Denis Hamilton is tasked with apprehending a brutal murderer stalking the streets of London – and leaving not a shred of DNA evidence. As the suspect list mounts, his frustration and pressure from his superiors intensify.Grace Murphy, who is dealing with the recent loss of her beloved grandfather, falls deeper into despair when her friends’ bodies are discovered. Fearing she may be the killer’s next target, she begins to question if her horrifying nightmares are the key to unravelling the murderer’s identity.
How far would you go to uncover the truth? Would you venture into the shadows to unmask a killer?”