Can I get a Wooooo Hooooooo for Wednesday??! I’m thrilled to be welcoming the lovely Rachel Amphlett to A Knight’s Reads today as part of the Cradle To Grave blog tour. Rachel has kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me!
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the blog tour.
When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.
The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.
Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.
Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?
Cradle to Grave is the eighth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett, and perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves, Peter James and Stuart MacBride.
Tell us a bit about what you’ve put Kay Hunter through in Cradle to Grave?
In this book eight in the series, a dead man is found floating in the River Medway, his face shot away and carrying no identification.
Kay and her team are tasked with finding out who he is and where he came from – and when they do, they get the shock of their lives because they discover a five-year-old child is missing as well.
How has your writing routine changed since returning to the UK?
Well, I’m definitely wearing more layers 🙂
I tend to write first thing in the morning as soon as I’ve got my first cup of coffee in hand – that stems from writing on my morning train commute into Brisbane every day. When I became a full-time writer in July 2017, I knew it was important to keep the habit going. I tend to write for an hour or so, then take the dog for a walk, and then either keep going if I haven’t completed my daily word count or move onto the business and marketing stuff.
Why did you choose to write crime fiction? And if you were to write something different what would it be?
I’ve been reading mystery fiction since I started off with The Famous Five when I was in infant school, so I think it was a natural progression to actually write it. It’s still my favourite genre to read, and I love getting recommendations from readers and bloggers who like the same sort of books as me.
I have a lot of story ideas bouncing around in my head for other genres and mediums, though and I hope one day to get far enough ahead of the publishing schedule to tackle one of those!
Do you do anything different when you’re writing the Kay Hunter books to writing the Dan Taylor books to your standalone books?
The spy novels take a lot longer to research – technology changes so fast, it’s important to get as many of the facts right as I can, and that can include reading the latest tech articles online to sourcing experts who have knowledge I can draw upon in order to tell the stories.
The Kay Hunter stories involve the same dedication to process and procedure, but because I’m so embedded into that particular team and have a lot of police experts on hand to run ideas past as I write, the progression seems quicker to me.
My actual writing process remains the same though – I’ll start off with an initial idea, rough out a five-Act structure to give me some scaffolding so I don’t lose sight of what I’m trying to achieve, and then I start writing and let the characters and the story evolve as organically as possible.
Tell us a little about what you’re working on at the moment?
The next Kay Hunter book is scheduled for release in time for the summer, and I’m going to be launching a new series in spring 2020, so a lot of my time at the moment is spent working with editors on those stories. I’m also plotting and finalising the research for a new standalone project that I’ll start writing in January.
What sort of books do you read? Do you have any go-to authors?
Michael Connelly is a must-read for me – I’m looking forward to his new release this month. I first read The Black Echo in my twenties and then when I was laid up for six weeks after major surgery in my early thirties I devoured the entire Harry Bosch series and all of his other titles.
When I started out writing crime fiction, I read every interview I could find with Connelly, Lee Child, Val McDermid, Peter James, and Robert Crais to understand how they’ve managed to endure for so long – it was like going back to school!
Just for a bit of fun, what would your specialist subject on Mastermind be?
Eighties hair metal bands between the years 1985-1989.
Who Is Rachel Amphlett?
Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, and dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC. She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.
The Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold have been sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series are published by Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
Her novels are available in eBook, print, large print and audiobook formats from libraries and worldwide retailers.
A keen traveller, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance.