I was going to write about my inspiration for the detectives Dave and Shirley. Then I realised it was two years ago, and they are so entrenched in my mind that it seems they’ve always been there. I can’t remember the spark that brought them to life.
I know I wanted to write about detectives because I was reading a lot of detective fiction and enjoying it. I had been writing lots of short stories and I needed something that would turn into a novel.
I wanted a detective who heard voices because I have heard voices myself in the past and find that people are not very knowledgeable about this area. They think, “you hear voices, you must be a psychopath”. But in reality, the people I know who hear voices are the kindest and gentlest people. So I decided to write a book with goodies and baddies, to put it simply. And I wanted my good main detective to hear voices and still catch the killer.
I wanted to create a strong bond between the two detectives because Dave was going through a lot of change in the way his mind works. I hope if you’ve read Only The Good Die Young, you will see the strength of the friendship between Dave and Shirley. Everyone needs friends, particularly when you’re going through shit.
I started by writing short stories with the two detectives and they began to feel like real people in my mind. I’m not sure entirely what the characters mean to me. I find it unhelpful to analyse why I write what I write. If I analyse my instincts, it makes my writing self-conscious, and I want it to feel natural.
There will be five books in all. I hope the arc of the characters over the five books is satisfying for the reader, but also at this point, where I have the first draft of the third book and am over halfway, I’m looking forward editing it. It’s going to be juicy.