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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

BLOOD TYPE: Joel Hames @joel_hames #writingtips #writerslife


CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday top-notch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

“That someone else read your book and likes it – it never ceases to amaze me.

This week: Joel Hames

Tell us about yourself…

I’m Joel Hames, I’m 43 years old, with a wife and two daughters, I live in rural East Lancashire, and I started writing a few years ago after a career in law and finance.

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That’s the boring stuff over with.

I love reading – anything and everything. And I love writing. I studied English Lit at university, and despite working in very different fields for a long time afterwards, I always felt writing was what I was born to do. I didn’t think I’d end up writing crime, but that’s the direction my mind seems to bend in. I like looking for the hidden angle, the surprise, the message between the lines, the secret that was always there, just below the surface – which may account for my love of the cryptic crossword. My first novel was Bankers Town, a no-holds-barred semi-fictionalised account of crime and death in the City against the backdrop of the crisis of 2008. I was delighted with its reception, but went for a broader readership with my next novel, The Art of Staying Dead, which took a down-on-his-luck human rights lawyer and plunged him into a prison riot and a political conspiracy. The novella Brexecution followed, a black comedy thriller written in eight days following the referendum in 2016, and I currently have one novel (Dead North) with my agent, another (No One Will Hear) completed, and a third in the outlining stage.

When I’m not writing I like cooking, watching TV, and burning off all that food, drink and sloth by practicing mixed martial arts.

How do you go about plotting your book?

I’m very much a planner. There are scraps of paper all over the house, audio recordings, ideas I come across in the “notes” on my phone months after I’ve finished a draft – and when I find them in time they all make it onto a handwritten one-A4-page-per-chapter outline that eventually morphs into a OneNote file. I’ve tried Scrivener…TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

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