Today I am over the moon to welcome Tara Lyons! 🙂
Happy Publication Day, Tara and Bloodhound Books!
Tara is a writer, mum to one, reader, tea and cider drinker! The second book in The DI Hamilton series is published today!
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me on your blog today Kerry. I am a mother, a reader and a writer. I began writing in 2015, after my grandfather passed away and, with the support of some very special friends, I published my solo debut novel, In the Shadows, in March 2016. I also co-authored with M.A. Comley – The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella, and signed a two-book deal with Bloodhound Books in August 2016. It’s been a rollercoaster few years. I’ve always loved reading and watching crime and thrillers, so it’s no real surprise to me that’s the genre I’m drawn too. I was never sure if In the Shadows would be a series, but I was over the moon when readers wanted to know about DI Hamilton. With the help of Bloodhound Books, that’s happened and we’ll be seeing more of him and his team this year.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
A lot of the time, ideas have sparked by something that happened in my life or something I have seen. But, that’s usually just the jumping off point. I love then delving in and going further with the idea. Real life stories, magazines and the news are also where I find inspiration.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Yes, a lot of my characters are. Not so much the “baddies” but then I think even they have some traits of people I know. But, there isn’t one character based on just one person I know. As they grow and develop in the story, I find them amalgamating different aspects – quirks, accents, flaws – of family and friends.
How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes they just come to me as I’m typing, without a second thought. This was certainly true of Grace in In the Shadows and Rocky in No Safe Place. I’ve also started using Google – researching what names would have been popular when a certain character was born, which is really interested. While editing No Safe Home, I realised I had to many K names in one scene and decided to go back to the drawing board. I also enjoy using reader’s names for characters as I think it’s a lovely way to give back to them for all their support (or I run competitions to have a names character).
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
In a nutshell, every day is different and I don’t have a real routine. Not yet anyway. My son attends part-time nursery, four half days a week. So, actually sitting down to write, revolves around him. But, the actual process is that once I have a glimmer of an idea, I start writing notes. Names, places, plot, twists etc to build a foundation. From that, I try and prepare an outline for the book – but nothing to rigid, the characters like to surprise me while I’m mid-writing. Once I have the basics, I just start typing.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
This list can change on a weekly basis – depending how I’m feeling, what I’m reading or writing myself at the time. But, right now, the authors who have kept me going back to their books and who I’d buy without reading a blurb first…
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’d love to meet Truman Capote. In Cold Blood was a book I chose to study for my dissertation at university and I was hooked by the story. It was a true crime and it took him six years to write, mixing factual details with stuff he didn’t know. I’d ask him to tell me all about this process and why he chose to travel to Kansas to follow that particular murder.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I always had my nose in a book, magazine or even a colouring book! My mum would take me to the library at least once a week and I loved Roald Dahl, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps and Point Horror.
When did you start to write?
I was always scribbling stories, from a small child, I liked to make up characters and take them to far-away places. When I finished university, I was an Assistant Editor of an in-house magazine for eight years. I started writing novels in 2015, when I turned 30 and was gifted a kindle, laptop and online crime writing course. My family and friends are so supportive, and encouraged me to take that leap.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I don’t want to contain any spoilers… but, I’ll have to say Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I understand the ending, but it made me cry like a banshee.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes because it is a novel that really got me reading the thriller genre. It’s clever, brilliantly-written and I held my breath a few times while reading it… masterpiece.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
It would have to be my guilty crush… Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga. For obvious reasons, we’d have to go someone dark. So, it would have to be Cahoots – a secret, underground cocktail bar in central London. Whoops, no coffee then.
What are you working on right now?
Plans are well underway for book 3 in the DI Hamilton series. I have a general outline for the plot, I’m just getting to know the new characters before I start writing.
Do you have a new release due?
We don’t have a date planned for book 3 yet, but I am hoping it’ll be published later this year.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
There’s a few ways to keep up-to-date with all my news and ways to contact me:
Sign up to my monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bN2KoH
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I’d just like to thank all the readers and bloggers who buy my books, leave reviews and help spread the word about them. I really hope you enjoy what I write, and that you’ll continue to follow DI Hamilton and his team.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Tara 🙂
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (31st January 2017)
Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.
In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.
A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?
But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…
London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.
Order your copy HERE
You will find all of Tara’s book on her Amazon author page