Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
1. When and where do you prefer to write?
I am lucky enough to have an office at home, so always write at my desk. I once tried doing the ‘author’ thing and taking my laptop to a café, but ended up people watching instead of writing.
2. Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really, unless you count procrastination techniques as a ritual. I often tidy my desk, check my online bank account, answer emails (even those that could be left until the next day), try to find something urgent that requires my immediate attention and generally act like a total twit before sensible me takes over and gets down to writing.
3. Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Yes, but it’s a boring answer – I have to have a mug of tea on the desk before I even open the file!
4. What is your favourite book?
Wow, that’s a difficult question as I have so many. All of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, but in particular Night Watch, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and just about anything by Michael Connelly, John Lescroart or Dennis Lehane.
5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I think my D.I. Sterling Series is going to be my main focus for the next few years. So far, I have written five and have the plots for another three. I also write for children, but that is more of a hobby than a career.
6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
All of my ‘good’ people contain bits of people I know. I will take some physical characteristics from one person and match them up with a personality trait of another. However, I always add in a few aspects that are entirely spun from my imagination.
Some of the ‘bad’ people are based on people I’ve encountered in the past. Not in looks, but in character types. When I lived in South Africa I was a counsellor at a women’s refuge and came into contact with some of the men who were trying to reclaim their wives as if they were property. One particularly unpleasant individual we had to deal with, who believed God told him to beat his wife to save her soul, was the inspiration for the killer in Retriever of Souls.
7. Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I know the answer to that should be yes, but no, I’m afraid I’m not that organised. Apart from anything else, most of my best ideas come when I’m running in the mornings, so it wouldn’t be feasible anyway. What I tend to do is burst in through the door and yell at my partner: “Don’t speak to me! I have to write this down before I forget it.”
8. Which genre do you not like at all?
I will read most genres as long as the book is well written and holds my interest, but I’m not really a fan of Sci-fi.
9. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
The first book I ever had published was co-written with my friend Maureen Vincent-Northam. We collaborated on The Writers’ ABC Checklist, but that was over a decade ago. I don’t think I’d want to co-write fiction with anyone. I enjoy getting into the heads of all my characters too much to want to share them. I’m always so impressed by authors who can write fiction together, such as writing team Nicci French, but it’s not something I would want to do.
10. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’m lucky in that I’ve lived in several countries around the world (South Africa, Malta, France and Spain) and also been fortunate enough to travel to a few others, so I can’t offhand think of anywhere I’d want to go for research. Actually, as I now live in Spain, the only country I might want to visit for research purposes would be the UK, as that is where my D.I. Sterling books are set.
Thank you, Lorraine Mace and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.
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