A delicious 1940s mystery.
Birmingham, England, 1943. While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights. Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since. But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over twenty-five years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I write at home and tend to set time aside to do so. I didn’t used to be able to write well at home. It’s something I’ve taught myself. I did like to write in local cafes, but luckily, I moved away from this before the pandemic struck so I wasn’t entirely unused to working from home. I almost always wear headphones, or write to music as a way of distracting myself from whatever else is happening around me.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
No. I like to set myself a target wordcount each day, or each week, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it. I prefer to do the majority of my writing in the morning before my lunch, because hunger makes me keen and gives me an edge.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Decaf tea, coke or a nice fruity squash, and of late, some fruit teas as well. It depends if I’m feeling tired, cold or in need of some stimulation. I do need an unending supply of fluid to keep me going.
– What is your favourite book?
The only book I can quote from is Wuthering Heights, so I guess it must be on my list of favourites. I’m not the sort of person to reread books many times, but I have reread all the PERN novels by Anne MCcaffrey on countless occasions, so I think they’re my favourite series. Of them all, I’d pick out The White Dragon and All the Weyrs of Pern as two particular favourites. I love the way the story builds throughout the series.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
At the moment, I’ve written fantasy, historical fiction and historical mystery. I would also like to try my hand at some sci-fi and do have an idea, but haven’t yet managed to quite make it work. So yes, I am open to other genres although switching genres is quite daunting.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I try not to, but sometimes I will ‘borrow’ peoples phrases.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
No, I don’t. I try and hold onto them in my head, although it can be a great relief to eventually write them down, but only when they’re ready to come out. I am a huge daydreamer and sometimes, I plot my novels in that way.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I used to read a great deal of pretty gruesome crime fiction, but now I tend to keep it a little lighter. I don’t think I particularly dislike any genre, although I don’t like horror, mainly because it scares me and sometimes, I’m still pretty terrified of the dark even as an adult, as I live in a rural location without many street signs.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Now, that’s a hard one. Unfortunately, two of my all-time favourite writers are no longer with us, but if I could, I’d love to write with Anne McCaffrey or Terry Pratchett.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I would love to travel to Iceland because I think the stories of how Iceland were settled, and subsequently developed, are fascinating. And, having visited the islands of Orkney a few times, and been informed the landscape is quite similar, I know I would love the starkness of the landscapes and seascapes.
Thank you, M J Porter and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the Author
I’m an author of historical fiction (Early English, Vikings and the British Isles as a whole before the Norman Conquest) and fantasy (Viking age/dragon-themed). I’ve recently written a relatively modern mystery novel set in 1943. I was born in the old Mercian kingdom at some point since 1066. Raised in the shadow of a strange little building, told from a very young age that it housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia and that our garden was littered with old pieces of pottery from a long-ago battle, it’s little wonder that my curiosity in Early England ran riot. I can only blame my parents!
I write A LOT. You’ve been warned!
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Porter/e/B006N8K6X4
Universal Buy Link: mybook.to/TheCustardCorpses
Win 2 x copies of The Custard Corpses (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.