In today's Author Spotlight, L M Krier discusses her thrilling crime fiction novel, Baby's Got Blue Eyes: Introducing DI Ted Darling.
What is your book about?
Someone is dumping bodies on DI Ted Darling's patch and he's not happy. Ted's a good solid copper, in an old-fashioned way, with an excellent clear-up rate. He's not at all like your average cop and has his own unique way of dealing with any prejudice his differences bring him. No heavy drinking, no failed marriage, just a steady, long-term relationship. He and his partner have cats, not kids. But this serial killer seems to be running effortless rings round Ted and his team. Every promising lead just takes them up another frustrating blind alley. Then it starts to get personal …
What inspired you to write this book?
I'm sorry to sound naff but it really is true – I had a dream! I read a lot of crime fiction, and watch crime on TV. I was becoming tired and a bit disillusioned with the endless stereotyping of police in crime fiction. The men always seem to be hard-drinking, chain-smoking, possibly gambling, woman-chasing mavericks, and the women are all ballsy, damaged, in bad relationships, hitting the bottle, and so on. I think my sub-conscious must have been mulling over a different type of copper, with none of those faults, because on Christmas Eve, 2014, I had a vivid dream which was more or less the entire book, and very much the central character, DI Ted Darling, as a complete entity. Since then I've written five books in the series and just started the sixth.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
I have a huge soft spot for the main character, Ted Darling. He's a man of great integrity and considerable modesty. My least favourite is hard to talk about, without giving spoilers of the plot!
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I've always enjoyed crime, since being young and reading Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Being a court reporter for years kept up my interest. I also write travel memoirs (I live in France) under the pen-name Tottie Limejuice. My first children's fiction book, again with a crime twist, will be out later in 2016, under the name L M Kay. I've also co-written a book with my great friend Jill Pennington, who also writes. It's called Take Three Birds and is published under the collective name of Jilli Lime-Holt. We laughingly call it 'chickality' as it's rather like reality meets chicklit.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
Baby's Got Blue Eyes makes a good standalone as it's the first in the DI Ted Darling series which now has five books and I've just started Book 6. It's being relaunched with a brand new cover on 1st July 2016.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
My late father was a newspaper editor and former president of the Guild of British Newspaper Editors. He reviewed books for his own and other papers so I grew up surrounded by books. We also didn't have a television when I was young so reading was very much a way of life. I trained as a journalist and worked on papers in England, Wales and Germany for ten years, later retraining to become a freelance copywriter and copy editor. Because I've written as a profession for most of my life, once I retired, I just kept on writing, but this time for myself. When I was young, through my father, I was fortune enough to meet Alan Garner several times. I loved his children's books, and do still read them from time to time.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
The Lord of the Rings is one I will often dip into for a browse. I would really struggle to pick out a single favourite as, aside from the crime fiction, my taste is eclectic. I especially like Steinbeck.
Have you written other books we should know about?
The travel memoir Sell the Pig series, as Tottie Limejuice.