Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very happy to welcome author Kerena Swan here today and to share with you her answers to my questions. Read on to discover her replies and to discover more about her, her writing and her book . . .
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
I read a news article about a woman who had done a DNA test with shocking results and it got me thinking… What if we’re not who we think we are? DI Paton and his son with Down’s syndrome were originally meant to be secondary characters in a psychological thriller but they took over and I’ve now embarked on a series about them.
What is your writing process?
I read news articles for inspiration and once I have an idea I outline a basic plot. I then think about my characters and how the plot would affect them. I write pages of notes about the characters – behaviours, history, values etc. – and they become a whole person in my head. It’s then easier to write appropriate reactions and behaviours as the situations present themselves. I tried writing a novella without any planning but I found it a real struggle not knowing where I was going with the story. It was supposed to be 20,000 words but it developed several storylines with the potential for a full-length novel. I put it to one side for book two of the DI Paton series and wrote another novella to introduce the characters instead. This one is called Here She Lies and is available for free download on my website www.kerenaswan.com
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I write pages of notes with a pen but once I start writing the novel I use a laptop with a basic word package. I don’t use any fancy software. I can’t even work the TV remote (much to my husband’s annoyance) so avoid challenging technology when I can.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I’m so pleased you ask this question because now I can talk about my favourite character, Arnold Eastwood, from my third novel, Who’s There? Arnold is a young man with Down’s syndrome and I drew on my lifetime career of working with people with disabilities to write from his perspective in the first person. It was a challenge to get his ‘voice’ right but I managed it eventually and the reviews I’ve had about him are gratifying. People asked me to write more about him but his story was told so I created Tommy, DI Paton’s son, instead. He has many similar traits to Arnold.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
That’s a difficult question as they all have their challenges. I’d like to be Jenna, mostly, because she has a desire to travel and is warm, generous, and not afraid to be different. She’s also a vegan, which I admire but would never have the commitment to achieve (and I’d struggle to forgo bacon sandwiches).
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
I think names are really important. When I choose them for people I look at their nationality, age, gender and personality. I hate reading names I can’t pronounce, those that conjure up the wrong image, characters’ names that sound similar or start with the same initial as other characters. I like playing around with words that evoke emotions, for example, a drug dealer called Spider and an elderly wicked old lady called Ivy. In my current work I’ve created Mabel Grimstone which I think has a certain ring to it. DI Paton was named after a friend of mine because I wanted a lesser-known Scottish name.
Thank you so much for answering my questions – I enjoyed reading your responses!
Read on to find out more about Kerena and her book, Blood Loss.
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.
Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.
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.
Social Media Links
Facebook : @kerenaswan · Author