Authors reveal the images that inspired 100,000 words



About the author...

Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara's debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley. In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017. When she's not writing, Tara can be found at a local Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball-pit with her young, energetic son.

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I’ve never thought where I live was very inspiring. Yes, London Town is beautiful, and has many views to be admired, but I don’t live in the heart of the city. I live a tube ride away, actually at the end of the line, and can see nothing of its charm from my bedroom window. There are no lakes, or oceans surrounding my office, and it feels like forever since the sky was clear blue, and the sun shone through my window. I’ve always thought it’s these settings that must be the most inspiring locations to write from.

Yet, without even thinking about it, the location of one of my character’s homes in my latest novel, No Safe Home, is mine. I’ve taken my apartment, my street and my views and made them hers. I may not have the costal scene, but what I do have actually has inspired me. But then, I do write in the crime genre, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

In the editing stages of No Safe Home, I realised just how much of what I see every day has gone into the book. (Although, poetic license has been used, and I’ve taken my home and planted it in another county.) Since then, I keep taking pictures from my living room and kitchen and balcony. Sometimes, the darkness of the night makes the pathway look frightening, and a haunting place to be. Other times, as the sun rises, it casts a beautiful glow over the houses. I’m now keeping a file of these images because I don’t want to forget the scene, or how they made me feel.

Now, I don’t want you thinking I live in a dark, depressing and crime-filled neighbourhood – although I’m sure some might argue that’s true. But, the photographs I’ve taken from my balcony are atmospheric, eerie, haunting and sometimes even hopeful, with a magical feel about them. You may see them and disagree, but that’s what I’ve taken from them and in turn, they’ve inspired scenes and feelings in No Safe Home. I may not live in the heart of London, but my area has enthused me.

I’ll also share a little teaser with you… the last photo in this collection was not taken from my balcony. It wasn’t even taken in London. I won’t say where it is, but all I can tell you is that it has inspired a big part of book three in the DI Hamilton series. I had the general idea for the book, but was unsure where I wanted to go with it, and what I wanted to do to make it different. This view motivated me, and I can’t wait to start book three.

Thank you, Tara, for the insight into your writing world!