A Dudley Green Investigation
Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.
Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.
While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.
Thank you for inviting me onto you Blog. Some good questions. I enjoyed answering them.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write straight onto the computer in my study. Study sounds grand, but it isn’t. It’s my third bedroom which I turned into a writing space when I moved to this house. It’s an extension built over the kitchen. It has two windows. It’s bright and cheerful in the summer and freezing in the winter. Thankfully the window in front of me doesn’t look onto the garden. If it did, I’d never get any writing done.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
The only ritual I have is going onto Facebook and Twitter to promote my books twice a day. I Tweet my books and retweet other author’s books first thing in the morning before I start writing. Often while I’m having my breakfast on my laptop in the kitchen. If I don’t do promotion early, I spend too much time on it and half the day has gone before I know it. It’s too easy to settle into reading posts and commenting.
I don’t have an actual writing ritual. However, when I’m at the beginning of a book I might wake up with an idea, come straight into the study, open the computer and start hitting the keys. When I’m editing, I get up, have breakfast while I watch the news on the television, go out and feed the birds – and the fish in the pond – and then come up and edit. There was a time when I could only write in the morning, but because of a family commitment, I had to change that. Now I write anytime.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
I’m a teaholic. I’m rarely without a cup. But with food, I fit it in when I have breaks from the computer. I can’t drink alcohol and write. When I started writing I occasionally brought a glass of wine upstairs in the evening, especially if I’ve had an idea. Wrong! I could write okay, but what I wrote was mostly rubbish. I don’t drink and write now.
– What is your favourite book?
I honestly can’t say which of the books I’ve read is my favourite. I love John le Carré, John Lawton’s books are great, they’re lighter than le Carré, and I love C.J. Sansom. To be honest there are others, but, as I have to choose just one, John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
A great question. I’m glad you asked me. The answer is, yes, and in many ways, I have already written in different genres. Even in my first saga, The Dudley Sisters Saga, the four sisters were very different and had very different wartime jobs. I went from Foxden Acres, which is a class divide love story set on the land, to Applause, set in a West End theatre with night clubs and showgirls. China Blue is set in France with Resistance. It is about the SOE, sabotage and German the occupation of France. In places it’s a darker story than the other books with more passionate love. And The 9:45 To Bletchley is a spy thriller. Since the saga, I’ve written sequels that are psychological thrillers, murder mysteries and spy thrillers. My current book Old Cases New Colours is a detective thriller with a murder case at the Old Bailey. Writing a court case in 1960 was a challenge. I want to write a sequel to Applause which I hope to do before Christmas. The genre will be very different. I am going to attempt to write a time-slip novel. Set in the same theatre as Applause. Christmas Applause will go from 1960 back to the Second World War, 1939 – 1945.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
No, but my original idea for the saga was to use my four aunts. But my imagination soon took over. I called the oldest Dudley sister after my favourite aunt, Bess, but she was nothing like my aunt. Something funny happened when I was reading passages to my late mother. I got to a love scene and mum said, “Good Lord, your aunt Bess wouldn’t like that.” Actually, my lovely aunty Bess would have loved it. As I said, the character of Bess wasn’t anything like my real aunt, nor is the youngest Dudley sister Ena, who has my mother’s name.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Yes, there are notebooks all over the house, on my bedside table and in every handbag. I’m never without one.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Can I miss out this question? I know some excellent writers and I have a couple of very good friends who write chick-lit. It just isn’t for me.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Oh, my goodness. What a brilliant question. Okay, as John le Carré died recently, it would have to be Robert Galbraith who wrote the Cormoran Strike series of crime fiction novels. Of course, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J. K. Rowling so Rowling would have to wear her Galbraith hat.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Germany, to Berlin. When I was an actress, I toured Germany and I had the opportunity to go to Berlin (before the wall came down) and I didn’t go. That is one of my biggest regrets. I have researched Belin, from Hitler’s Olympics in 1936 to the cold war of 1958, but it isn’t the same.
Thank you for asking me such thought provoking questions. I’ve really enjoyed answering them.
Thank you, Madalyn Morgan and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the Author
I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.
In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.
In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book – Christmas Applause – and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.
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