With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…
… and now the fuel tank is empty.
When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.
With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.
Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…
… and he’s getting closer.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I write whenever and wherever I get an opportunity. I work on a laptop so it moves around from the office (I run a care agency from a large office attached to my house) to the kitchen table, sofa, bedroom and study. I’ve tried writing in the garden when the weather is warm but I can’t see the screen. As I work almost full-time I snatch five minutes whenever I can. I can usually pick up what I was doing very quickly. When I’m not writing I often think about plots, character traits and scenes.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I don’t think I have any rituals. I have to be totally flexible and responsive to the situation. We have a lot of rooms here so sometimes I try to hide so I can’t be dragged into the office.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
I love tea and bacon sandwiches but generally, if I’m writing in the afternoon I like to snack on olives, grapes, nuts, and smoked cheese.
– What is your favourite book?
Sings the Nightbird by Robert McCammon is absolutely fantastic. It’s a long story but the characters jump off the page and stay with you. It’s the first in a series. I listened to it on Audiobooks and the narrator, Eduardo Ballerini is exceptionally talented with an array of different voices. I was sad to reach the end of the series and am eagerly awaiting the next release. In fact, I may listen to them all again.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I sometimes think I’d like to write family dramas but I’d probably end up bumping someone off so I might as well stick to psychological and crime thrillers. I have signed up to a children’s writing course but haven’t had time to start it yet. I used to write stories with my kids when they were little and have worked with children for years so know what they like and respond to.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I use snippets of information from many different people – maybe an unusual behaviour, physical feature, anecdote of something they did/said or their unique beliefs and philosophies. DI Dave Paton is named after a good friend of mine but that’s where the similarity ends. In my first novel, Dying to See You, a lot of details were drawn from memories of my own family.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I haven’t been out much for a while with the lockdown but sometimes I see something when I’m walking the neighbour’s dog or driving to an appointment and I consign it to memory. Things like a toddler splashing in a puddle in their wellies or snuggling into their dad’s neck or something beautiful in nature. One night I had a nightmare and when I awoke the horror was so vivid I wrote a plot, title, and tagline within ten minutes. I’ve yet to write that book but it’s there waiting for me.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m not keen on science fiction or dystopia novels although I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey because it was so beautifully written. It was chosen by my book club which is a great motivator to read books I wouldn’t normally choose.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I’d love to write a novel with my husband but sadly he has no interest in my writing and hasn’t read any of my novels. It’s a shame because he is a great writer (especially of witty emails) and I believe he has undiscovered talents. I’d enjoy taking it in turns to write chapters, although realistically he’d probably get on my nerves if he took the story in the wrong direction. We both like to be in control so we’d probably clash.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’d love to go to the Maldives or Bali. I crave some sunshine. In fact, given the current restrictions I’d be more than happy to go to Perth to research locations for DI Paton. As it’s a lockdown I have to be content to visit Google Maps. I drop the little yellow man onto the road and ‘drive’ around. I can even stop and look around. It’s incredible that I can visit places all over the world without leaving my house.
Thank you, Karena Swan and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See You, Scared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.
Facebook : @kerenaswan · Author