Catch a killer or save a child. What would you do?
DI Jen Flowers thought she’d seen it all after fifteen years on the force, but when a vigilante serial killer hits the city and uses social media to gather supporters, she must fight the public and her doubts to catch a murderer and save her daughter.
Suffering from blackouts and abandoned as a child by her father, Ruby Vasquez has been chasing that one scoop to make her an internet star. Living with an alcoholic mother who hates her, Ruby discovers a secret about the vigilante’s first victim, which puts her in the killer and DI Flowers’ sights.
Jen and Ruby have to overcome the secrets in their past while battling each other to discover the Hashtag Killer’s identity. Jen will have to choose between keeping her daughter safe or finding a killer, while Ruby will need to decide if becoming famous is more important than doing the right thing.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
It changes by the day. For a few years, when I was working full time, I could only work at night, after 10 pm, and then punish the keyboard into the morning’s early hours. Now it depends if I’m working on a first draft, an edit, or that part of the process to compile all the files into the correct order. I travelled around the UK a bit before the pandemic, going to concerts, so I’d write using the phone while on the train, or if something inspired me at a gig, I could make notes using the mobile. A note for other writers – trains and gigs are great places to create character profiles for people, and of interior and exterior locations.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I work a lot on the move, at least in the early stages of writing. I cycle every day when the weather isn’t trying to kill me, so that’s an excellent process for developing ideas. I’m a great believer that, if you can move around, even a little bit, it stimulates the creative parts of the brain.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
If it’s during the day, it will be green tea or hot Ribena – just for the sweet tooth – but at night I might have the occasional alcoholic beverage. Food is usually snacks, all the bad ones which are good for you, such as chocolate and crisps. If there were an Olympic event for eating Mini Eggs, I’d fancy my chances of going for Gold.
– What is your favourite book?
This is a hard question, so I’m going to dodge it and give multiple answers. The book which probably stared my love of fiction is To Kill a Mockingbird. Science fiction and horror influenced my teenage years, so Dune and Salem’s Lot are firm favourites. My favourite book of the last few years is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’ve already got a few things nearly ready to publish – the first in a paranormal trilogy which is part Buffy, part Supernatural. I’ve completed a contemporary fantasy novella which should be released this year, plus some science-fiction titles. There’s also a four-book thriller series just about ready to go.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Not physically, but there are a few personality traits I’ve given to some characters. Not all of them complimentary!
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I use my mobile phone for that – it’s essential. A couple of years ago, I wrote the first draft of at least two novels on the phone.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I honestly can’t say I don’t like any particular genre, but some I haven’t read, such as romance.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Now that’s a tough question. Philip Pullman or Stephen King thought I doubt I’d contribute much.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
It would have to be somewhere warm, so I’d pick New Zealand during a British winter..
Thank you, A.S. French and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.