Welcome to our very first Nine Lives Interview featuring crime author K.A. Richardson answering nine questions about her and her writing life.

Do you remember the first book you read?

Probably not the first book I ever read as I was a very early reader, but the first that impacted on me and made an impression was The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton – I loved escaping into the worlds at the top of the faraway tree with Moonface!

Where is your ideal place to read, and do you have a favourite time of day for reading?

Ideal place would be lying on a sunbed somewhere hot and sunny sipping on my favourite cocktail but other than that anywhere I can be comfy for a good while – nothing worse than starting to lose yourself in a book then being interrupted! I usually read at home on an evening before bed, but on holiday I’ll read as often as I can during the day or night!

Which authors have inspired or influenced you?

So so many – too many to list to be fair but some include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Steinbeck, and Shakespeare from being young – I had the complete works of Shakespeare by the time I was 13 yrs old and loved all of them. John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men which we studied at school – it was the first book to ever make me cry. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because – well Sherlock – no more explanation required!

Another of my inspirational authors is Karen Rose – to see a strong female who’s overcome much adversity and ill health produce such fantastic character based novels is just brilliant. Love every one of her books and I’m sure I’ll love all the ones to come. Met her at Bloody Scotland in 2017 and she is just as amazing and inspiring in real life.

If you could choose any book from any place or time which one would you most liked to have written?

Again there could be so many, but I’d have to say The Treatment by Mo Hayder – the wandering man character just pulls me in, as does the book as a whole – so creepy! But sooooo gooooood!

What led you to write your first book?

I was working as a CSI at the time for a north east police force, and I’d been given a push back into writing by a psychic – he encouraged me to believe in myself so I registered to do my MA Creative Writing straight after his reading. The first 15000 words of a crime novel became my thesis, which once I’d passed my masters, I just kept on writing and it became With Deadly Intent. From there I just kept going. I’d always written stories, ever since being small, but I’d never really believed I could be a published author until I got that encouragement from Anthony. He believed in me – and it made me believe in myself.

Pen, pencil, typewriter or computer keyboard?

Ooooo – for years as a teenager I wrote on a traditional keyboard, then an electric word processor that was sooooo slow. Now I love to handwrite if I’m out and about, though will always transfer this to laptop once I get home and if I’m writing at home I almost always use the laptop.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

I always start with a hot cup of coffee beside me which slowly goes cold before I remember it’s there. Actual routine though involves me quickly reading over the last section to refresh myself as to where exactly I am then I crack on. I don’t write for a set time or word count though – just until my head thinks I’ve done enough for the day. Sometimes that’ll be a few hundred words, othertimes a few thousand and on a mega good day I’ve been known to hit seven or eight thousand.

Was there a break-through moment for you, or a key person who helped you?

Depends on what context this question is meant but one break-through moment was being ‘encouraged’ (more like kicked up the bum in the general direction of…) speaking to Darren Laws of Caffeine Nights – he was at Harrogate Crime Festival as was I. it was truly one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done but he liked my pitch enough to want to see With Deadly Intent – he then gave me my first contract. Once this was published I was curious as to whether anyone else would be interested in the stories I’d written and approached Bloodhound Books – they got back very quickly with the offer of a three-book deal which after some consideration, I accepted and thus the forensic files series was born.

What piece of advice could you give a new writer trying to get published?

Be tenacious – if you give up on yourself or your writing then it’ll be a downhill slope and you’ll eventually stop writing. So keep writing, approach all the agents and publishers (who accept direct submissions) until you find one that suits. Don’t believe for one second that you have to pay a publisher to get published – this is not true and there are loads of reputable publishers who would never do this. And enjoy it! Writing can be so many things but it should never be a chore that you don’t enjoy.

You can find out more about this wonderful author here:

Web: www.kerryannrichardson.com
Facebook: KA Richardson
Twitter: @kerryann77

Her next book ‘The Forensic Files’ is published by Bloodhound Books.