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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

‘I am constantly reading about structure and writing technique and trying to improve.’ P

Crime authors spill their guts about writing…


I’ve always loved puzzles and writing psychological thrillers is like writing a puzzle 

Tell us about yourself…

I am a bit of a rolling stone – born in Nottingham, grew up near Blackpool, went to college in Leeds and stayed there for ten years until I moved to North Wales where I brought up my family. I now live on the Isle of Man with my husband, two dogs and two guinea pigs. I have three children and two step-children, so there’s always something going on and lots of material for new storylines.

I started writing when I was fifty and decided that I better get a move on if I was going to get that novel written. Just the one, that was my initial goal, but once I got started, I can’t actually stop! So many story ideas, I’ve no idea where they’ve been hiding. I’ve always loved puzzles and writing psychological thrillers is like writing a puzzle and hoping that your reader won’t work out the solution until the ending!

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

Character names just pop into my head when I’m starting a new book and then I have to ask myself whether the name fits the character. I really enjoy this part of the process – matching names to people.

In my last book, I asked one of my readers if I could use her surname, as it was a perfect fit for my character, so that was fun. In my latest book, I have a character named after my mum, which has allowed me to spend a little time with her memory, and that has been rather lovely. Mind you, I’m not sure she’d approve of all the troubles I’ve put my character through!

How long does your first draft take you?

Having started off being a pantser, I’m a…[TO CONTINUE READING, CLICK HERE]

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