I’m delighted to welcome fellow Accent Press author, Lesley Cookman, to my blog today. Lesley is the creator of the hugely successful Libby Sarjeant mysteries and last week saw the release of the e-book of Murder in a Different Place. The paperback is out on May 15th. Murder in a Different Place is thirteenth – yes, thirteenth! – in the series, which follows the adventures of amateur sleuth Libby. Lesley has kindly agreed to answer some questions which I’m intrigued to hear the answers to, as I’m sure you are. Over to you, Lesley.
Why cosy mysteries?
I started reading my parents’ books when I was nine, so began with Ngaio Marsh, Carter Dickson and Rex Stout, moving on to Margery Allingham and Dorothy Sayers. Although I read much more broadly as I grew up, the detective story remained my favourite, so that’s what I began to write. I didn’t, of course, know that they were “cosies”, because that was a term coined in the US. I just thought I was writing Murder Mysteries!
What was the inspiration behind your latest?
The inspiration for this book came from my eldest son (who frequently provides ideas) when he said take Libby – my eponymous heroine – and her gang away to either a wedding or a funeral. And preferably to an Island. So I did.
Did you have to do a lot of research? And do research first then write, or research as you write?
Oh, research while I write. Things crop up all the way through, often historical, and I’m always very pleased when a reader lets me know how much they’ve learnt from my essentially light novels.
What should readers expect from a Lesley Cookman novel?
Not too much! I’m always worried when I meet someone in Real Life who says “I must read one of your books”. My books are light and written for entertainment and don’t appeal to everybody. My – ahem – devoted fans say it’s like meeting a group of old friends, and they read them for comfort. Indeed, one of our very tip-top authors in this country got through a night waiting by her husband’s bedside in hospital with one of mine. One of the best ever compliments.
Not having to stack the shelves in the supermarket.
Top Tip for aspiring writers?
Read a lot in your chosen genre and learn how it works. Learn about dialogue and pacing, what’s allowable and what’s not. Genres vary, so make sure you know yours and don’t deliberately try to break the rules.
What do you like to read?
Mostly my own genre, although I’m not so keen on the bloodier end of crime, and really don’t like horror. I’ve grown to love historical murder mysteries, particularly because they have to be so self reliant – no phones, mobile or otherwise, databases or Google!
Your favourite place to hang out online?
I prefer real life, but if I have to, I’d say Facebook, where I belong to several real life groups, so I keep up with family and friends.
Best thing that’s ever happened to you?
My four children.
And to finish, what is guaranteed to make you smile?
Red wine and whisky!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Lesley and all the very best with this latest book. Here’s some more information and ways to buy the book.