Sun, sea and… murder in Fuerteventura!
Boring. Going nowhere. That was Tarah’s life in the UK, before she moved to Fuerteventura to start a new adventure. But things came unstuck quicker than she’d planned. A dead guest on the holiday complex she manages threatens to pull apart her hoped-for dream life.
If she wants to keep her job and save the reputation of the business, she’s got to find out what happened to Patrick. Did he die of natural causes – or was he murdered?
Tarah’s pet guinea pig, Mr Bob, has a knack for sniffing out trouble and he suspects foul play. The mission is on: Who Killed Patrick?
With the assistance of Mr Bob and Diego, a local plumber, Tarah turns amateur sleuth to find out the truth.
Can Tarah and Mr Bob find the murderer before it’s too late? Will they be able to save the business and protect their blissful new life?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write early, early morning like 5am when everybody else is asleep and the world is still quiet, but preparing to wake. I prefer to write alone in my room with a firmly closed door with a window that looks onto something, but not anything too interesting. (It’s 5.26am now and I can see a fat pigeon balancing on a tree branch).
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I need to have the first sentence for me to make a start. When that pops into my head I know it’s going to be a good day and I can go with the flow. I do have to spend time forcing this, so for example, I will think about how angry, or sad or confused a character is while having a shower or making some tea. Then I give those emotions time to grow, and usually within a few minutes I’ll be in their head and I rush to my laptop to write their story.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Gum. I have a terrible habit of chewing so much gum. All. The. Time.
– What is your favourite book?
The Iliad by Homer. I was a late comer to the classics, but now I’m hooked. It started a few years ago when I was researching a book I plan to write (that I still haven’t written!) I love the multiplicity of lives, events, emotions, the surreal, the real, the mythical and the big, big story lines. It’s an epic text. I firmly believe Homer really did see the battle of Troy and write it all down for us to read and enjoy all these years later.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
At some point when I feel brave enough, I will write my ancient Greece based book. If all goes according to plan (!) it will be an historical fiction. It requires a very different style of writing which I love, but right now I don’t feel ready to do it.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I always take bits and pieces from people I know, people I’ve met and people I’ve yet to meet. I pick up behavioural characteristics from everything – including the way people buy their shopping in the supermarket. I am a hoarder of dialogue, tics and silly conversations. There’s nothing I love more than listening to the chatter of strangers on a bus or down the pub.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I use the notes function on my iPhone and do talk to text. I get some strange looks sometimes when I’m walking down the street as people can tell I’m talking to myself! I use my phone like a digital Dictaphone. It’s great because you can easily capture those fleeting ideas for future use. It’s also really handy to take photos of things you feel inspired or unnerved by. Life is the best material for any writer.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say there’s a genre I don’t like at all, but there are genres I’m not so familiar with. Sci-fi and fantasy aren’t books I tend to read, and I don’t really like being scared (reading the news is already enough!) so I tend to avoid horror.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
What a lovely question! If I had the chance to co-write, I’d like to push myself further and aim for something that could be turned into a TV series. I love laughing, so a comedy would definitely be what I’d aim for. I’m a big fan of ‘Arrested Development’ (Mitchell Hurwitz) and ‘The Good Place’ (Michael Schur) because they’re light, but also deal with deeper issues, if you choose to look for them.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Last year I was fortunate to undertake quite a lot of research in Greece for my future book, but more research is necessary, so I need to return to continue that. Alongside that trip I also need to go to Turkey to see Troy. I’m a firm believer that only by visiting these places can you really understand what it feels and smells like to convey that to a reader.
Thank you, Syl Waters and Rachel’s Random Resouces
About the author
Most people know crazy cat ladies are a ‘thing’, but I’m a proud crazy guinea pig lady! I love fun in the sun and plenty of cocktails. My happy place is flip flops. I write stories to keep me company – my characters ensure I’m never lonely and always smiling (when I’m not tearing my hair out!)
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