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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

BLOOD TYPE: Mary Jane Riley

“There is no room for waffle in this genre. I try never to use three words when one will do.”

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


Tell us about yourself…


I live in East Anglia with my television reporter husband and Golden Retriever Bella. We moved here about thirty years ago intending to stay for two years, but the place gets hold of you and now I don’t want to live anywhere else – especially anywhere there are streetlights. I was a radio presenter with the BBC and Independent radio for many years, presenting news, magazine and sports programmes – I am nothing if not versatile! In recent years I worked on the BBC News website and covered many crime stories – great for providing kernels of ideas. I have three children – they all live away from home but do keep coming back… My first book, The Bad Things, was published by Killer Reads/Harper Collins in August 2015, and my second After She Fell, in April this year.

How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you?

That’s an interesting one! The names of main characters seem to come out of the ether and suit their personalities – I’m not sure how it happens, it just does – and it’s so important to get the right one, after all, you have to live with them for the best part of a year. Minor characters are more difficult and in both my books I have shamelessly stolen the names of friends and colleagues – they don’t seem to mind. Once, in the first book I wrote (that hasn’t seen the light of day) I couldn’t think of a name for a pretty important character. He was eventually called Belkin – the name on the side of my wireless router. TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

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