Happy Sunday everyone, today I have Caroline Dunford popping in with a wee interview. Don’t forget to check out Caroline’s latest book A Death Overseas: A Euphemia Martins Murder Mystery (Euphemia Martins Mysteries Book 10).
Caroline Dunford ~ Crime Fiction Exclusive Interview
Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle, which I read as a child. I remember vividly falling into the story, walking on the windswept moor and seeing the terrifying beast coming towards me. I was always stunned (as a kid) about how Holmes always used logic to defeat superstition and even when everyone else was scared witless he wasn’t.
If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?
- Home. Diverse. Busy. Inspiring.
Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?
- Aside from Holmes, I’m rather fond of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. She’s a bond agent, trapped in a love triangle, permanently getting herself into and out of trouble, and surrounded by a mad set of characters she adores.
What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?
- The easy answer is my home. It’s by the sea and we’re now managing, after extensive building work (when I did feel like killing people for real) to get it in the shape we want. Other than that, I have fond memories of the University, where I’ve studied on multiple occasions and now teach in a very part time basis.
If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?
- I think like a lot of authors I’d very much like to meet some of my own creations in the flesh. Other than that I’m not at all sure most fictional crime characters would be much fun at a dinner party. Poirot, I suspect, would be patronising. Holmes would quickly get bored and start filling his pipe or even leave. Mrs Marple would correct me on my baking shortcomings and lack of pride in my housework. And for the villains, you wouldn’t want to invite anyone who had a penchant for poisoning, would you? Or even someone who might get a bit worked up if they didn’t like the soup you offered. No, I think I’ll keep my characters on the page at dinner time, thank you! 🙂
About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?
- My Euphemia Martins Mysteries are inspired by my Great Grand Mother’s decision to run away from home and go into service. I have two parallel sections in mind when I write. One is the main characters and their continuing lives and the other is the puzzle that will form the heart of the mystery. Both run side by side and need to be intertwined. So as well as thinking about how my characters are being changed by their experiences I am also looking at what is going on in the world around. My favourite themes are when I can use a historical event that also reflects something that is going on in the modern world. Although whether my readers pick up on that I don’t know. I’m also a psychologist and psychotherapist by training, but I don’t practice anymore. However, my understanding of how personality is shaped, how mental health issues affect people and even how body language works, can all be found in my stories. Especially the more modern ones.
If your current book had a theme song what would it be?
- Vertigo by U2 (It’s a contemporary novel)
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.
Jimmy McGinty lay dead as the proverbial dodo outside The Wash Bar. People walked by and laughed. Some of them put money in his hat. No one seemed to realise that the man inside the bright yellow banana costume, with the carefully drawn split on the side, had bled his lifeforce away. That is, until, four year old Billy, spotted the red liquid seeping out from under the figure of the banana lying on the pavement. His mother, who had him secure in rains, was trying to decide whether or not she wanted to tow Billy all the way down the mound only to have to convince him to come back up again for the Festival show they had booked in the museum that afternoon. Billy bent down, stuck his hand in the redness and then put one finger straight in his mouth. He then set up a huge wail, when he discovered, it wasn’t as he had hoped raspberry sauce, and in fact tasted quite nasty. His mother turning round, saw her son’s face overhead in blood and began to scream. When help finally arrived and the paramedics carefully undid Jimmy’s banana skin, they found a leaflet protruding from between his lips, inviting people to join a site seeing group at Grey Friar’s Bobby. Although this was a curiosity in itself, more baffling yet, was the serious head wound that had Jimmy’s brains spilling down the back of his previously zipped shut costume.
Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?
I’ll be at the Portobello Book Festival on Sat 7th Oct in the evening. Exact time tbc. I’ll also be at the Society of Authors in Scotland Conference on September 22-24 at the Westerwood Hotel talking about psychological motivations and finding inspiration for writing. Society Of Authors Website
Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?
- I’m currently writing the story of an Ex Military Policeman, who finds himself investigated the reported murder of a man, who is apparently still alive. Daniel ‘Uneasy’ Truce is extremely poor at relationships. He’s a nice guy, but a background in foster homes and orphanages hasn’t exactly equipped him with good people skills. Instead, he has become an expert in reading body language – to the extent that a lot of people feel somewhat ‘Uneasy’ around him.
How can my readers connect with you?
You can purchase A Death Overseas the most recent in the Euphemia Martins Mysteries
The collection ~ click here to order.
Caroline, thank you so much for being on my blog today. I always enjoy talking with you at events. Hope to see you again very soon.
Check out the exclusive giveaway of a £15 Amazon Voucher courtesy of author Daisy James, in celebration of the launch of Sunshine After The Rain. See our pinned Twitter post for the details. Love Books Group ~ Twitter
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