Today I’d like to welcome Carol Hedges, author of Victorian crime fiction books such as Diamonds & Dust, Honour & Obey, and Death & Dominion.
Can you give us your quickest description of your books?
I write Victorian Crime Fiction. The three books are set in London in the 1860s and feature the same pair of detectives: DI Leo Stride and DS Jack Cully.
Extra bit: They come up against a host of REALLY dastardly villains: a werewolf masquerading as a Countess, a poisoner, a serial killer ..as well as them, the books feature a whole host of minor characters, and the city of London itself. They’ve been called ‘Terry Pratchett meets Charles Dickens’. I like that.
That is a great comparison! With the werewolf thrown in there, is there a fantasy element as well?
In Diamonds & Dust there certainly is. The others have a slight Steampunk flavour to them, I’ve been told. Kind of Victorian but slightly off beat. There is a lot of humour in them too.
Sounds cool. What are you working on currently?
I’ve just started the fifth book: Rhyme & Reason. It’s only in the initial stages, so I can’t really say where it is going to end up. The fourth book Murder & Mayhem will be out early Autumn. Oh – did I mention, all the covers are designed by a local graphic artist and use original Victorian paint colours and typefaces. No soppy girls in crinolines for me
I’d really like to reinforce that inspiration and perspiration are two sides of the same coin. When I started writing, I thought I could only do it when I was ‘inspired’. Now, 14 books later, I know that the inspiration comes from sitting down at that screen and writing. Day after day after day.
14 books is a great accomplishment. I admire you. 🙂 Do you find it gets easier and easier the more you write?Nope. It does, in that I know I CAN finish a book. It doesn’t as I spend a lot of my time rolling my eyes, deleting what I’ve written and feeling a total fraud. I think most writers go through this. If they don’t, they aren’t ‘real’ writers, in my opinion.
I am inspired by all the wonderful Victorian writers like Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Mrs Gaskell. They didn’t have the internet; they used quill pens and ink, no ‘track changes’ for them. Yet they wrote masterpieces! I know there are many wonderful writers working today, but I’m never sure how much of their work comes from other sources or editorial intrusion. These authors had their brains, their experiences and out of them, they wove amazing and enduring stories that have lasted and will last long after people like me are forgotten.
Do you ever wonder where you fit in comparison to the greats? You picked a genre full of wonderful, rich classics.I know… humbling isn’t it. I think I fit somewhere a long way behind. I’m delighted that people read and appear to like the books (Diamonds & Dust has ratcheted up over 70 reviews) but I’d be loth to place myself anywhere near the ‘greats’ of the past.
I have several strategies: One is just to keep writing, even if I end up deleting it. Another is to do some reading round the area or visit London and walk round some of the Victorian squares. Actually, I’m also very good at lying on my back and staring at the ceiling – I call it horizontal research. Oh, and I drink a lot of coffee. And try to keep off Facebook and Twitter!