What inspired you to write crime fiction?

This is a question that I often get asked by journalists, readers and people who attend my talks.  So I thought I'd give you a shortened version of my answer, below.

I loved adventure and mystery novels when I was young, and this has continued throughout my adulthood with crime fiction. I adore heroes and I think most women do and most men want to be one. I like tough but caring men, which is probably why I married a man who was first an RAF police officer and then a fire fighter.

My DI Andy Horton is modelled on a combination of many firemen I have met: strong, fit, cool, resourceful, fearless. Think of fires, 9/11, tube disasters and train crashes. It's the firemen who go in when everyone else is running away. They don't think twice at risking their lives. DI Horton is like this, he goes charging in risking his life, often when he shouldn't or when procedure tells him differently. He’s very much an action man and that’s another reason why he appeals to both men and women readers, or so they tell me.

Andy Horton first appears in Tide of Death. Since then he has gone on to solve many crimes as he attempts to unravel his complicated personal life and search for the truth behind his mother's disappearance when he was just ten. The last in the current series of six in the DI Andy Horton marine mystery series, Footsteps on the Shore, was published in January 2011 and I am currently writing number seven, so there's a lot more of DI Andy Horton yet to come.


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