Today we’re celebrating not only Halloween, but the release of the latest Elm Books anthology, Undeath and the Detective!
as well as many other wonderful historical novels and stories. In addition, she has a new novel set post-WWII, coming soon from Bold Strokes Books, entitled Awfully Glad.
Let’s get to know her!
1. In one sentence, sum up your story in Undeath and the Detective.
A ship, a ghost (or two), a murder, a relationship which must remain hidden, and several red herrings.
2. List 5 random facts about yourself.
• I do freelance training of school governors. Always amazes me I get trusted with stuff like this!
• I was born just about within the sound of Bow Bells (on a good day, with the wind behind them) so am just about a cockney. Sort of. If you squint sideways.
• I’ve fed the famous racehorse Red Rum a Polo mint.
• I do a lot with the local church – like leading the prayers about once a month. I do have a habit of putting ‘messages’ in them, reflecting my view on a truly Christian interpretation on things. 🙂
• I can do mirror writing. A group of us learned to do it at school so we could send each other notes which couldn’t be read outside our circle!
3. What in particular inspired you to write this story?
Patrick O’Brian’s wonderful Jack Aubrey books. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at the Age of Sail and this is the second short story I’ve set in that era. (It’s the ships I like, not the handsome men in uniform. Honest.)
4. What do you most like to write? Is it the same or different from what you like to read?
A bit of both. I like to have a non-fiction book on the go (currently reading a great book searching for the truth about British heroes real and legendary) but I could never write non-fiction. I do, however, enjoy reading cosy mysteries and gay historical romances and I write both of those genres.
5. Is this your first detective story? Your first supernatural story?
No, on both counts. I’ve done two stories with ghosts in. The Shade on a Fine Day, is set in Regency times and features a curate seeking love and a ghost who wants to act as matchmaker. Music in the Midst of Desolation has two old soldiers, killed in wars almost a century apart, coming back to earth to stop somebody going off with the wrong man.
In terms of detectives, I have a whole series (the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries) featuring a pair of Edwardian gay sleuths, who have to combine solving mysteries with keeping their relationship a secret.
6. Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, how?
Not really. It was never a tradition when I grew up (much bigger emphasis on Guy Fawkes’ Day when I was little) although it’s becoming much more established over here now. I’ll be spending this year’s October 31st at a rugby match, England Legends vs Australia Legends. People who know me well won’t find this surprising. 🙂
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Watching rugby, of course! Actually, watching almost any sort of sport. I also like walking, eating out, visiting the theatre, poking around old castles and other historic buildings, and pottering around on beaches looking for shells and fossils.
8. Are there any particular authors or artists who inspire you?
Loads. The aforementioned Patrick O’Brian, particularly for his characterisation and Mary Renault, who could say more in one line than most writers can say in an entire page. I reread The Charioteer (at least in part) every few months, just to help hone my craft.
9. Are you working on anything new? Tell us about it!
I’m supposed to be working on a re-write of a contemporary gay romance, but it’s got a bit stalled, so I’m dabbling with another Jonty/Orlando (Cambridge Fellows) story, as those lads are just so easy to write, they clear any sort of creative blockage.
10. Promote your work! What is your favorite thing you’ve written, and where can readers find it?
Oh, that’s like asking which of my three daughters is my favourite. I do have two stories for which I have a soft spot, though. Promises Made Under Fire is a bittersweet novella set in WWI, which I think might be the best serious story I’ve ever written.
Then there’s the newest Jonty and Orlando romantic mystery, Lessons for Suspicious Minds. Authors’ minds are always full of their latest release, so this is buzzing round my brain at present. I had great fun writing it and I guess it’s the closest I’ve got to the traditional ‘classic’ cosy mystery.
This post is by Jess Faraday and was originally posted on her blog. Reproduced with permission.