The writing process a Q & A with crime author, Pauline Rowson

Here's a Q & A I did for a blog on the writing process. Thought I'd share it here.

1. Where do you do your best  thinking?

Walking the coastal paths of the Isle of Wight, Langstone, Chichester and  Portsmouth Harbours where my Inspector Andy Horton crime novels are set.


The Camber, Portsmouth featured in Inspector Andy Horton crime novels

Portsmouth, Inspector Andy Horton's patch
Also out on research further along the south coast for the Art Marvik mysteries, set in the Southampton (Silent Running) on the beautiful Dorset coast (Dangerous Cargo) and East Sussex at Cuckmere Haven and the Severn Sisters cliffs (Lost Voyage).

Dorset coast featured in Art Marvik Mystery 2, Dangerous Cargo


2. If you could live anywhere, where  would it be?

Where  I  live now in the Solent area of the UK; it’s vibrant, diverse, and in turn  both beautiful and ugly but most of all it’s full of characters and a rich  source of ideas for crime novels.


Portsmouth,  Inspector Andy Horton out with the Police Marine Unit

Two of the four Solent Forts, featured in Inspector Andy Horton crime novels


3. Who was your first literary crush (author or  character) and why?

I  had so many when I was discovering the delights of reading, devouring crime  novels by Leslie Charteris featuring Simon Templar, The Saint. Also those written by John Creasey featuring The Baron and Gideon, among  others. Creasey was also the author of Westerns and I went through a phase of  reading them too.

Along with those I read Raymond Chandler and the Golden Age of Crime novels, those written between the two world wars and I am delighted that the British Library are reprinting these classics including crime novels by John Bude, Freeman Wills Croft and Miles Burden to name only three of a whole raft of great crime writers

4. What is the first thing you remember writing, and  how old were you?

I  wrote my first novel at the age of eleven, an adventure story in the style of  Enid Blyton, but before that I was always writing stories and plays, the latter  of which I’d stage with my friends and brothers in the garage at our family  home.

5. If people like your writing, what other writers  would  you recommend to them?


My  writing has been compared to that of John Harvey, Peter Robinson, Ed McBain and  Joseph Wambaugh.  Also R. D. Wingfield’s DI Frost series and the crime novels of Ann Cleeves.

'Andy Horton is an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage – an abrasive supervisor and an antagonistic soon-to-be ex-wife. Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms.’ Booklist, Starred Review


6. What do you hate most about the writing process?

I don't hate any of it but the part I favour the least is checking through copy edits and proofs.

7. What do you love most about the writing process?

All  of it, the research, the plotting, the crafting of the first draft and the  revisions

8. Do your books share your personality? If  they’re different, what’s the difference?

I  write from the male point of view so my heroes don’t share my gender (although  there are strong female characters in them).

My  crime novels contain quite a lot of dialogue and have been described as a ‘punch in the ribs’ rather than being bogged down with long descriptive  passages. They contain action, are fast paced with a touch of wry humour, so maybe they do reflect my personality!

The Art Marvik mysteries and my standalone thrillers, In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill, have plenty of action and have been compared with those written by Jeffrey Deaver.

'A tense, terrifying thrill ride that twists and turns with dizzying speed, combined with a likable, smart, tough, but all too human hero, make this a cracking-good new series, action fans need Marvik on their radar." Booklist (USA)

'A change of direction at every turn. Keep notes on all the players. If you like Jeffery Deaver, you'll love this story. The best mystery I've ever read by a female author." Amazon 5* Review In For The Kill

9. What do you do when you have writer’s block?

I don't suffer from 'witer's block' but there are times when I'm not sure how to develop a character or plot, so I either go for a very long  walk/s or I knit. Both are great for stimulating the creative juices and with  knitting not only does it help when thinking through plots and characters but  I also get a very nice cardigan at the end of it.

10. What are you working on now?

Having just finished writing a 1950 set crime novel set on Portland Island Dorset, featuring a Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Alun Ryga, and the fourth in the Art Marvik mystery series I am now working on Inspector Andy Horton number 15 which might be the very last one in the series... who knows?


Inspector Andy Horton number 14, DEAD PASSAGE, is published on 18 October 2018 in paperback and as an e book. More on this to follow. You can pre-order your copy now.


Where to buy

Pauline Rowson's books at The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

Pauline Rowson's books USA

Pauline Rowson's books UK

From your local bookshop


Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries


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