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Friday, 7 August 2015

Blog Tour - Sarah Hilary No Other Darkness

Today I am pleased  to welcome Sarah Hilary to my blog following the publiation of her second novel featuring DI Marnie Rome, her female lead detective character, No Other Darkness.

Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer's Book of the Month ("superbly disturbing”), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller and has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series is out now. The Marnie Rome series is being developed for television. 

 I recently met Sarah Hilary at my local literary festival, Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe, where she took part in the Illustrious Crime Panel with fellow crime writers: Clare Mackintosh, Alex Marwood and Chair of the Panel, local girl, Cally Taylor, read my review here. While taking part in the panel, Sarah Hilary mentioned that has always found it difficult to write strong female characters but after the discovery of flash fiction she hit the mark with DI Marnie Rose, and so I asked Sarah how she created the men within Marnie's world.....

Writing the Men in Marnie Romes life
by Sarah Hilary

Patricia Highsmith was a great advocate for writing from the subconscious or unconscious mind. She took it to the extreme of being blind drunk or half-asleep before she sat down to write. Dreams, weirdness, monsters, fearsall the best stuff, Highsmith insisted, is lurking in our unconscious minds. This, I think is part of the reason why she wrote such convincing men. Because she was mainlining her id, keeping her ego in its place (and taking every chance she got to thumb her nose at the superego).

So it is with me when Im writing Noah or Stephen or Welland. These characters so removed from me and my reality trip from my fingertips. Marnie comes more reluctantly, always guarding her secrets. But writing a nightclub scene with Noah and his boyfriend, Dan? Easiest thing in the world. Even nineteen-year-old Stephen Keele, his mouth lush with silence, comes more easily than Marnie.

So which of the men in Marnies life is the best fun to write? Heres my top five.

Ed Belloc

Every story needs a resting place. Eds my version of the underground bunker with the tinned peaches from Cormac McCarthys The Roadbut for that breathing space it would be impossible to continue. (Although readers of No Other Darkness will want to point out what I did with an underground bunker and peaches.)

Noah Jake

Noah is a joy to write. Hes smart and sensitive and no matter what I chuck at him, he comes back for more, usually after some well-earned downtime with Dan.

Tim Welland

Welland is Marnies boss, and father figure. Gruff as an old bear, I love the way he watches out for Marnie, knows her weak spots, keeps her on track.

Adam Fletcher

Adam makes his debut in No Other Darkness, but hes been in Marnies life since she was sixteen. Hes a snarky son of a bitch. Im not sure Ed would approve of the unholy kick I get out of writing Adam.

Stephen Keele

If Ed is the steady place in Marnies turning world then Stephen is the opposite. He became her bogeyman when he was fourteen, and shows every sign of becoming more frightening as the series progresses. In No Other Darkness he hands Marnie a reason for what he did that messes with her head, hugely.

Whether or not its my unconscious that serves up the men in my books, I do love writing them. I hope readers love (or love to hate) them too.

Thank you to Sarah for visiting my blog today. I am currently reading No Other Darkness, and loving it and my review will follow soon. I am enjoying it so much and didn't want to miss anything by rushing to the end to publish my review with this blog post.