- Lynne Shelby
This Writing Life #11 - Jane Risdon - This Crime-Writing Life
Today, I'm delighted to welcome Jane Risdon to my blog, with a guest post about her (writing!) life of crime. Her latest book is Undercover: Crime Shorts, a collection of short stories.
Over to you Jane...
This Crime-Writing Life
I’ve an inquisitive mind, a criminal mind you might say because I love to delve deeply into things which interest me. Being a crime writer, although not exclusively, I love anything to do with crime. I read about it, study it and its causes, and those who commit crimes and solve them.
A few years ago I undertook seven courses with various universities, tutored by the very best in their field, to better inform myself about Forensic Science and Criminal Justice, as well as a course in Archaeology, to ensure my crime writing is as accurate as it can be in regards to the detection and investigation of crime, the identification of the dead and how to follow a case from the crime scene to the court room.
Crime and criminals fascinate me, miscarriages of justice intrigue me; how can the detectives and the courts get things so wrong? I’ve studied this and much more in detail and so when I come to write I feel I have armed myself, as a writer and not an expert, with the very best tools to ensure my crimes and criminals are as realistic as possible.
I don’t write police procedurals, however, but I do call upon friends who have backgrounds in Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism to fill any gaps in my knowledge.
Plotting and setting red-herrings is both enjoyable and a headache. I need to guide the reader through a story without giving the game away until the very last minute. Agatha Christie was fantastic at doing this. I’m not comparing myself to her, but she is a great plotter who lays red-herrings all through her work. I can twist myself into knots trying to do this.
Undercover: Crime Shorts represents a very small number of stories I have written and each one is different, has a very carefully plotted crime at its heart and is designed to keep the reader guessing. I researched poisons which don’t leave a trace after a period of time, thus enabling the killer to be miles away when the actual ‘murder’ happens. I’ve devised unusual methods of murder which appear to be unfortunate ‘accidents,’ and I try to ensure that the crimes are believable and practical.
I’ve sufficient short stories to fill several more collections as well as five crime novels completed. Many have elements of espionage in them. I’m a great lover of Spy novels, and often there is a musical theme too. I’ve worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as enjoying a long career in the international music industry. Both careers have influenced my writing greatly.
~ Jane Risdon
Thank you, Jane, for guesting on my blog and writing such a fascinating piece about your crime-writing life. I very much enjoyed reading your earlier book, Only One Woman, and I look forward to reading Undercover: Crime Shorts.
About Jane Risdon:
Jane Risdon has spent most of her life in the international music business, travelling the world and experiencing many events, meeting a variety of peoples upon whom she often draws for inspiration for her crime writing. She writes in a variety of genres when the story dictates. She and her musician husband have managed the careers of recording artists, singer-songwriters, musicians, record producers and have placed music on movie and television soundtracks around the world.
She has contributed to 15 anthologies, many online and print newsletters and magazines and has co-authored the women’s fiction novel, Only One Woman, with Christina Jones, (Headline Accent) which is set in the late 1960s UK music Scene, and it’s their experiences and involvement in that era which both women have tapped into when writing together.
Jane is also the author of Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd) which features a small collection of short stories written specifically for the reader to enjoy when a longer story is not convenient.
She is writing the sequel to Only One Woman, taking the story beyond the late 1960s and has recently completed a series of novels featuring a former MI5 Intelligence Officer, Ms Birdsong, desperate to find her way back into the Security Services following a disastrous joint operation with MI6 resulting in her ‘voluntary’ retirement.
If you would like to purchase Undercover Crime Shorts and Only One Woman, please click on the links below or copy and paste into your browser.
Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd) Jane Risdon:
Available in Paperback from Waterstones and in paperback and eBook from most digital platforms.
Undercover for the first time: a collection of crime shorts from Jane Risdon with more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction - a must for those who enjoy gripping yarns with edge-of-your-seat stories and adrenaline soaring plots with last page surprises in this cleverly crafted mix of crime fiction stories.
Only One Woman: (Headline Accent) Christina Jones Jane Risdon:
Available in Paperback from Waterstones and WH Smith and in paperback and eBooks from most digital platforms
To find out more abut Jane Risdonand her writing, please click on the links below or copy and paste into your browser:
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