This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
This month sees the publication of Maureen Jennings' latest book in the Detective Inspector Tom Tyler mystery series, No Known Grave. Set in Ludlow, Shropshire, during the second world war, a horrifying double murder takes place at a convalescent hospital staffed by nuns. As well as writing the Tom Tyler mysteries, Maureen Jennings is the author of The Murdoch Mystery books (now a TV Series, The Murdoch Mysteries) and today she's telling us a little about her writing.
My day always starts with walking our two dogs. It gets my brain going even when I complain about the cold. Come back, answer emails. Every other day, I sit on stationary bike and watch helpful DVDs. By then I have had sufficient time to procrastinate so I get to work. Early evening it’s dog walking again then tv watching or book reading. Writing that down it sounds quite leisurely so I don’t know why I always feel as if I don’t have enough time!
When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
Writing crime fiction is a great way to get revenge. People I don’t like have inspired victims or villains.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
I have to say two. I loved Little Women and when I re read it a few years ago, I still loved it. Especially Jo as she struggles to become a writer.The other book I adored was Jane Eyre. I suppose you could call that women’s fiction. Even though she is ‘little and plain and poor’ she wins the love of Mr Rochester. (a man with a past good heavens) No wonder it’s been adapted to film and tv so many times. It’s a wonderful book
What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
I do a lot of preliminary research which I love. Then a work on character biographies and back stories, then I outline then I write. Yes, lots of drafts along the way. I do that on going. I couldn’t imagine waiting until the end. It would be like writing a second novel.
Poetry first; short story contest recognition gave me confidence but big boost was having two plays professionally produced. I learned so much from actors as they created their characters. After that my first book was published. Twelve now.
Not sure. Maybe the impression that’s all you do. For me the life is not lonely and solitary. Sometimes I long for some quiet time so I can keep working.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Absolutely write about what you love. Is this a book you yourself would like to read? Study as much as you can other successful books in your genre.
I spent some time initially reading first pages of the books on my shelf. I wanted to study what in my opinion worked. Like any other art form, writing needs practise. You wouldn’t think of being a violinist without lots of practice. Same with writing.
What are you working on at the moment?
Book four of the Tom Tyler series. It is called. Dead Ground In Between. (I like quotes for titles).