What’s it about?
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller in a new series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future.
First of all, could you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m originally from the UK, but I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. Before moving out here, I played guitar in bands, helped to run a pub, and later worked in local radio as a producer and broadcast assistant.
Scared to Death is my eighth book and the first in the new Detective Kay Hunter series.
In a nutshell, what is Scared to Death about and why should readers pick up this novel?
If readers enjoy the fast-paced crime thrillers of Peter James and Lynda La Plante, I think they’ll enjoy Scared to Death.
Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller in a new series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future
How did you come up with the initial idea of writing Scared to Death?
I’d been mulling the whole series over for a good three months prior to outlining the story for Scared to Death, and jotting down ideas for different scenarios, but then the scene that is now the first chapter of Scared to Death just popped into my head one day – it was too shocking not to use, and I thought it’d be a good way to kick the series off.
I’ve seen a lot of different lead characters in detective novels already. What sort of woman is Kay Hunter? Impulsive, flawed, emphatic or cold?
I’d describe Kay Hunter as being resilient. She’s been through a lot, both professionally and personally by the time we meet her for the first time in Scared to Death. She’s a survivor, and once she’s got over the initial shock of being under threat from an unknown aggressor, she becomes determined to find out who was responsible and bring them to justice.
In many detective novels there is also a sidekick. Is there one in this novel too and can you tell us more about him/her?
I’ve broken the rules a bit with the Kay Hunter series. I was determined not to have a detective who was a lone wolf, so I’ve surrounded Kay with a team of detectives and experts who all contribute to the investigation. I think that’s much more interesting – the dynamic between teams of people when they’re under pressure to achieve a result. It also gives me the opportunity to have some fun with them, and I particularly enjoyed writing the dialogue between Kay and her colleagues.
You have a few books out… what was your inspiration to start (and keep) writing in this genre?
I read a lot in this genre, so it seems natural to write in it and there are always plenty of news stories around that give me ideas for novels.
Is there any author whom you admire yourself?
I very much admire Peter James, Val McDermid, and Ian Rankin.
In between writing Scared to Death and working on the series arc, I read every interview I could find with those three authors about how to write crime fiction.
They’re so knowledgeable about the genre and the craft of writing. It was like having lessons with them – I’ve got pages of notes!
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I don’t really have a routine per se – I just put my bum in the seat and write! I do outline about 50% of the book by having a couple of sentences about each scene, so if I can’t get going on one, I can find one that I do and ensure I keep hitting my word count targets.
I have a part-time job, so I tend to do a lot of writing on my daily commute by train. It’s about thirty-five minutes into the centre of Brisbane, and I can average about 750 words each way. I’ve started doing writing sprints with an author buddy in the UK as well to boost my word count these past few weeks. We kick things off the minute I get through the door after work here, so it’s morning her time – I can usually get another 750-1,000 words down doing that.
I’m wondering if a suspense writer can enjoy other novels in the suspense genre as a reader or prefers to read books in another genre. What are you reading at the moment?
About three quarters of what I read are crime thrillers. I also enjoy historical fiction, and some dystopian fiction. I’ve just finished reading Angela Marson’s Blood Lines, and I’m currently reading Michael Connelly’s The Crossing.
Are you working on a second novel in this new series yet and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I am – Kay’s investigation into her past will upset some very powerful people who will stop at nothing to try and dissuade her…
Thank you very much for having me as a guest!
Thank you very much for visiting my blog Rachel and good luck with your book!