Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Wendy Cartmell, author of the novels STEPS TO HEAVEN, VIOLATION, 40 DAYS 40 NIGHTS, and short story collection NO MERCY, amongst her works, and welcome her to my blog.
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
A: I became ill six years ago and as a result had to take early retirement from teaching. I used this as an opportunity to start honing my skills as a writer, firstly with children’s books and then novels. I joined a writing group with a tutor and after several false starts I began writing the Sgt Major Crane crime novels.
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: As long as I can remember. I used to work in PR and marketing and was editor of a corporate newspaper for many years. After I retrained as a teacher, I wrote stories for the children in my class.
Q: You have a prolific output of both short stories, and longer works. Do you have a writing program/schedule which works for you?
A:I kept all of my work, especially that from the creative writing strand of my university degree. I also worked with a tutor, producing material for critique every two weeks. I therefore had quite a store of work to publish. Now my writing schedule is to grab a couple of hours at a time every day to work on the 4th Sgt Major Crane novel.
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A:Crime is my passion. I have always read crime thrillers or mysteries and adventures. I am also a huge Stephen King fan.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: Several British crime authors including Ian Rankin and Val McDermott. US authors include Stephen King, Elizabeth George and Jodi Picoult.
Q: From my readings of your stories, you are a versatile author who successfully wears different writing hats in terms of the diverse book genres in which you have written. All of your books have a painstaking attention to detail, from your military-themed works, to your children’s books. Would you like to write in any other book genre which you have not engaged in as yet?
A: Thanks for the compliment Marcia! At the moment I am still learning the craft of crime writing, so will stick to that genre for a while. Even if I take a break from Sgt Major Crane, I have a psychological crime thriller in mind.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, from either the past, or still on the air?
A: Without doubt Luther. This is the best crime thriller the BBC have ever made and I’m really looking forward to the new series this spring. Another huge favorite was Wire in the Blood the dramatisation of Val McDermid’s books. It goes without say that Homeland needs to be included in my list of favorite shows. At the moment I am hooked on a US show, Monday Mornings about a highly skilled team of surgeons and The Following. The writing for both those shows is excellent.
Q: Do you have any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: What spare time? My hobby is writing and I am still going to a Writing Group every two weeks, although we no longer have a tutor.
Q: Do you have any other writing projects which you would like to mention?
A: I work with local authors, formatting their working for publication in ebook format and paperback. We are an affiliation of authors called Costa Press. I am extremely lucky to be agented by Leslie Gardner of Artellus Ltd, who is giving me insightful critiques and support. Together we are hoping to take my work to the ‘next level’ and secure a publishing deal!
I am certain that you will join me in thanking Wendy today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Wendy, she is available on:
*Facebook page: Wendy Cartmell’s author group http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/265819433456253/
*Her website is: http://www.wendycartmell.webs.com
– Wendy’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below: