Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.
Today on the blog, is N.M Brown, author of The Girl On The Train.
N.M Brown ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview
Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?
Elmore Leonard’s ‘Out of Sight’ -the dialogue was perfect and I loved the central relationship between US Marshall Karen Cisco and bank robber Jack Foley
If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?
Mystical, Beguiling, Vibrant, European
Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?
Michael Connelly – I think that Harry Bosch is a such rich and complex character, with so many titles that you can dip into or binge read.
What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?
A tricky one, but I would probably have to say the National museum on Chamber Street – it always fascinated me as kid, and having been there since 1866 is a reminder of the city’s rich Victorian history.
If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?
Lisbeth Salander, Harry Bosch, Karen Cisco and Leighton Jones
About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?
Mostly in my own ridiculously overactive imagination. I often imagine stories and lives behind the places and people I see in everyday life then write about them.
If your current book had a theme song what would it be?
Riders on the Storm – The Doors
Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.
…The detective turned off the demented wipers and clambered out of the car into the dark gothic labyrinth of Edinburgh’s old town. Up ahead a parked police car was casting blue flashes into the misty night air. Leaning against this vehicle was a shivering officer.
‘Hey,’ the detective said as he approached the officer, ‘I got dragged out of a bloody warm bed for this, it had better be good.’
‘Sorry sir,’ the officer stood up and unclipped a slick metal torch from the holster on his belt, ‘I was the one called it in – it’s just horrific. It’s best if you see for yourself.
In one easy move, the officer clicked the torch on and shone a bright cone of light on to something behind the detective, who turned around and had to suppress a retch of revulsion. The bronze statue of Greyfriars Bobby which had sat proudly on the corner of Candlemaker’s Row for more than a century had been repainted banana yellow.
‘Jesus,’ the detective dragged a hand across his stubbled face, ‘what kind of sick mind would do something like this to a harmless replica dog?’
‘It’s anyone’s guess sir,’ the young officer shrugged, ‘But I heard on the radio that other tourist sites have been hit – The Scott Monument has been painted beige, the Castle has been whitewashed and they initially thought The Wash Bar had been targeted too, but apparently it was always been painted in garish colours…
Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?
I will hopefully be attending Bloody Scotland in September. In the online universe I can also be found engaged in daily activity on Twitter.
Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?
My Current novel is called The Girl on the Bus and is based around a girl called Vicki Reiner whose best friend has vanished during a bus journey through California’s dusty backroads. Vicky enlists the reluctant help of a retired detective Leighton Jones and they both embark on a mission to uncover the shocking truth.
The novel was inspired by a journey I made in my youth.
About twenty years ago, I was completing my university studies and was working mornings and evenings with a local youth charity in Stirling. My manager at the time had arranged to give a presentation to a group of employees in the highland city if Inverness. However, she had double-booked herself and asked if I could go in her place. I happily agreed, thinking that it would only involve a brief train trip. I was wrong. My manager had pre-booked a bust ticket! That meant a journey of over three hours through the picturesque but isolated Cairngorms National Park.
The trip was lovely and the scenery stunning. Stirling merged into Perth then Perth into Pitlochry. As I sank into my bus seat, complete with curtained window and complimentary cup holder, I lost myself in the pages of a cheap paperback book. Occasionally, I would drift off and wake with my face sliding on the cold glass of the window. But at some point, as the bus weaved its way through the craggy mountains, I realised that the dramatic landscape outside was quite devoid of civilisation. If anything happened to the coach party out there, no-one would ever know. Then, in the typically morbid spirit of any crime fiction fan, I considered how terrible it would be if anyone on that solitary bus was actually a killer. Glancing nervously around at my fellow commuters, I studied their faces for traces of psychopathy, and concluded that they all had potential (it was Scotland after all). I then hit on an even more worrying possibility. What if everyone on the bus, including the driver, were killers? It would be a mobile crime scene. And what if that bus picked up a naive passenger who felt safe because there were plenty of other people on the bus with them?
The following day, I delivered an undoubtedly dreadful presentation to some poor bored souls. Then I packed up my rucksack and clambered back on a bus to Stirling. This time it was an evening journey and the rumbling bus slid through a shadowy landscape of jagged silhouettes. However, throughout this entire journey home, I purposely didn’t nod off and, even as I read the final pages of my novel, I kept one beady eye on the driver…just in case.
How can my readers connect with you?
Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her old friend, Laurie, for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up.
Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter.
Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice.
The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods they track down the answers across the dusty freeways of North America. Soon Vicki and Leighton will find themselves in grave danger.
Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie?
And can they both escape with their lives?
Purchase your copy here ~Amazon UK
HUGE thanks to NM Brown for taking the time to be on my blog today.
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