Welcome to Wordy Wednesday - today in the hot seat I would like to introduce Fleur Hitchcock, author of Murder in Midwinter, Bus Stop Baby, and many others. The books are aimed at the younger reader, but I confess the story synopses sound like I might enjoy them too.
So Fleur, tell us about yourself,
I’ve worked as a shop assistant, a dinner lady, a gardener, and a curator. I have two almost grown up children and live in the West Country and wrangle all the strands of my life. Since 2011 I’ve written books of all sorts for children aged 7 +
My most recent book is Murder in Midwinter which was published in October 2016 It’s about a very average South London girl called Maya. She’s on a bus in London when she spots a man and a woman arguing on the street. The man seems to be holding a gun and Maya takes a photograph with her phone. But he sees her do it. Soon after there’s a murder, and kidnap, and for her safety, Maya is sent far away from home, to the snow covered mountains of Wales, she can’t get out, but can someone else get in? It’s a page turner thriller for children aged 9+
Do you have another job or are you a full time author?
I also garden. It’s hard on my back and knees which aren’t getting any younger, but brilliant for my head and also allows me to listen to the radio which is something I really miss about writing. Some people can write to music, but I have to have a pretty quiet house to function.
Why did you start writing?
I really don’t know – and I actually don’t think I remember beginning to write. I’ve always done it. It’s just I didn’t call myself a writer until I went back and did an MA in my mid forties.
List 3 things that are guaranteed to make you smile.
My neighbour the vicar jumping into his wheelie bin to compress the rubbish (even reading that made me smile, well done!)
Finding a table seat on the train.
Do you have any pets?
We have some decrepit goldfish, but used to have hens. I loved them dearly, but so did the foxes. We’ll have hens again one day. But for now we have to make do with visiting pets. Every summer, Nom Nom the tortoise comes to stay while his owner goes on holiday. He’s almost our pet, and I miss him terribly when he goes.
Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
My favourite author is Rose Tremain. Everything she writes is different, so much so that I couldn’t spot a Rose Tremain book except by the quality of the writing and the humanity of the characters. She doesn’t have a distinctive style as such but her work is always character led, something I aim towards, and I think RESTORATION is a perfect book. If you haven’t read it, you really should.
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a proof copy of “The Cost of Living” by Rachel Ward. It won’t be published until later on this year, so I’m terribly excited to get an advanced look at it. It’s a brilliant piece of “Cosy” detective fiction that begins in a supermarket with characters called Ant and Bea. I’m racing through it but I know I have tottering TBR pile cramming in behind.
Where do you do most of your writing?
On any available flat surface in our house. Sometimes that’s my knees. In theory I have a desk in the spare room but it’s so cluttered I often can’t work. Right now it’s piled high with my accounts that will probably stay there, almost finished, until 30th of January.
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
That’s like asking which of my children I love the most! I shouldn’t possibly choose, but I’m very fond of Amy in Bus Stop Baby. She’s 12 and she’s angry and she can’t really express it. The world only just makes sense to her and she finds adolescence difficult. She wants everything to be simple and logical and it won’t behave that way. During the book, Amy gets herself into trouble with everyone she loves because she jumps to conclusions. I suspect I love her because she’s a bit like I was at that age.
What is your favourite biscuit?
Choco Leibniz – they dunk well, no palm oil and they’re delicious. Excellent choice!
In the film of your life who would play you?
Oh dear – I really don’t know – but I suppose a young me would be a young Diana Rigg – kind of out of control and a little larger than life. Prone to wearing rather tight fitting clothing and creeping around solving crimes. The now me might be the late great Patsy Byrne – she played Nursie in Blackadder. I think Nursie was wiser than she looked. (I adored Nursie)
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a potato and a sloth...could you get a lazier creature? (my soul mate)
A badger and a beetroot – just imagine all that purple seeping into the white. BEAUTIFUL!
You can follow Fleur on Twitter @fleurhitchcock
And check out her blog page at www.fleurhitchcock.com
And buy her books via Amazon
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