Author Lorraine Mace Answers all our Questions
- Latest Book: Love Me Tender
- Can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’ version of your latest book.
Desperate to find love, a man is prepared to kill to keep it.
- Tell us something about yourself that we likely don’t know! The more obscure the better!
I have an irrational fear of seaweed. I will only swim in water that is crystal clear, but even then if something touches my leg I will react like a madwoman and scream for help!
- Do you write in silence, or with music? If you write to music, give us the top three songs on your writers’ playlist this week.
I write in silence. If I had music playing it would distract me.
- Are you a plotter or pantser?
Both! I plot the basic outline of the story, so always know the crime, the criminal and how D.I. Sterling will catch him or her, but outside of that, I always have several characters appear as if by magic. They are always crucial to the storyline, but who I had no idea would feature until that point. They arrive, fully formed, and take the book off in a new and surprising (especially to me) direction.
- Have your characters ever ‘gone off-script’ – hijacked your story and taken it in a direction you didn’t expect?
Oh yes – see above!
- If you could spend time with any character from any of your books, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d love to spend some time with D.I. Paolo Sterling. I’d take him on a slow river cruise and try to make him understand his choices in women suck.
- Which of your characters can you say you would least get along with in real life?
Lydia Sterling, Paolo’s ex-wife. She knows he’s never stopped loving her and she uses this to manipulate his emotions. I’d get into an argument with her over the way she treats him!
- Do you read your reviews?
I do. I believe any reader who has taken the time to review an author’s book deserves to be given the courtesy of reading the review. I may not agree with it, I may not like what the reader has to say, but it is that person’s honest thoughts and so should be read.
- What has been the toughest criticism you have been given since becoming a published author?
I did a Zoom talk to a book group recently and was told by a reader that the opening pages of my book were too gruesome. Why, he asked, did you write such a horrible first chapter? He went on to say that once he got beyond those pages he was completely hooked and loved the book, but would not have read the rest if he hadn’t had to because it was that month’s designated book. His advice/criticism was to change the way I open my books and start with the detective’s point of view. He has a point, but I’m not going to do as he suggests because most of my readers enjoy being inside the killer’s head, which is always how I write the first chapter.
- What is the best compliment you have received?
Being told to write faster because one book a year in my D.I. Sterling series is not enough.
- Do you have a day job when you are not writing? If so, what do you do?
I am an author mentor. I run a critique service and have clients all around the world. I write my own books in the morning and work on the novels of others in the afternoon.
- What was your favourite book as a child?
The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. I was an avid reader as a child and would go to the library at least twice a week, but that is the book that has stayed with me over the years.
- What scene in your latest book was the hardest scene to write (without giving away too many spoilers!)
A potential rape scene written from the point of view of the rapist.
- Do you have any other author friends? If so, can you name a few and have any of them given you a piece of advice you would consider invaluable on your publishing journey?
I have some fabulous crime writing buddies without whom I would be lost. They have all helped me in more ways that I can put into words. Sheila Bugler, Marion Todd, JJ Marsh and Chris Curran who also writes as Abbie Frost.
For Bonus Points – Answer four fabulous frivolous questions!
- What is your biggest fear?
Although I mentioned the seaweed fear above, this isn’t (believe it or not) my greatest fear which is the fear of not being on solid ground. I have stood on the edge of Table Mountain without flinching, but put me four rungs up a ladder and I fall (not literally) to pieces.
- If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
Typing faster. The words in my head come at me at a far greater speed than I can get them down on paper even though I touch type.
- If you could write one line to be etched into your tombstone, what would it read?
Here lies Lorraine Mace who used to kill people for a living!
- If you could give your younger self ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
You are lovely just as you are, so stop trying to live up to the expectations of others!
You can purchase Lorraine’s latest book: Love Me Tender here, or click on any of the covers below to purchase her back catalogue.
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