Tuesday 12 May 2015

Why I wrote Throwaways - a novella about murdered sex workers in Glasgow

I've written stories, ever since I was little and always used to keep a diary. One of my first ever sales was a short story to Jackie magazine when I was 15. A friend of the family cashed the cheque and posted the money through the letterbox. It was such an exciting moment finding £60 in three twenty pound notes waiting for me when I came downstairs in the morning.

I got fed up with the lack of strong female women in fiction, so I decided that I wanted to write entertaining books with tough women (and male characters) and that's how I came up with the Crime Files books featuring Nancy Kerr and Tommy McIntyre. The first book was Hell To Pay and focused on Nancy Kerr who gets revenge on the men who killed her parents and left her bleeding to death on the kitchen floor.

The inspiration for Throwaways came from the unsolved murders of a spate of sex workers in Glasgow in the 1990s. They were treated like throwaways and even when one lady was murdered in her own home that had paper thin walls, her neighbours claimed they hadn't heard a thing.

I wanted to write a book about people who did care about the disappearance and murder of women like them and who decided to carry out their own investigation. Although Throwaways is set in Glasgow, it's completely fictional.

My best time to write is in the wee small hours. That's when inspiration hits. I do have a tendency to spend too much time on Twitter. 

I tweet as @jenthom72 and @The_CrimeFiles and also have two blogs - about my writing and also one about zombies (my not so secret passion).

I'm a huge fan of the George Romero movies and The Walking Dead and I had a zombie novel set in Scotland published called The Restless Dead

My main writing influence has been Stephen King. For me, he's the best living writer and his books are always entertaining. I also love Sue Townsend, Shaun Hutson, Mark Billingham, Craig Russell, Stuart MacBride, Margaret Atwood and Marian Keyes.

If I'd to offer any advice to budding writers it would be to never give up. It's so hard to get published, but the more you write and hone your craft, the more chance you have of being successful. You also have to be able to take criticism on the chin, from publishers and reviewers, which for me is the toughest thing.

The third book in the Crime Files series, Don’t Come For Me, is out on May 26th and unlike the first two books that are novellas, it's a novel. 

At the start, Nancy finds herself in a nightmare situation – he boyfriend Tommy has gone and in his place is a puddle of blood and a knife. Then the police arrive and think she’s killed him…

the Crime Files series

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