Today is the first in a series of Author in the Spotlight blogposts featuring authors who are members of the Book Connectors Facebook group. I asked if anyone would like to take part and was overwhelmed by the response! It seems appropriate that the first to feature is a very local author who also lives in Portobello, Caroline Dunford. The lovely picture above was taken by local photographer Jon Davey at our community garden on the prom on what looks to be a sunny day (it’s always sunny in Portobello!). Caroline’s latest book, was published in January 2015 and is available to buy here: A Death for King and Country
(You can find out more about the photographer here: Jon Davey Photography https://www.facebook.com/JonDaveyPhotography/)
First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
I’ve been everything from a journalist to a psychotherapist to an archery instructor and playwright. I now spend all my time writing novels and plays. I occasionally teach creative writing as I love working with new writers. I live with my partner, who is also a writer, in Portobello with my two young sons. I keep meaning to go swimming, but I am usually found when not working either with my nose in a book or experimenting in my new kitchen. I try to convince everyone that driving counts as exercise.
What inspired you to start writing?
As an only child I learned from an early age to entertain myself. I created imaginary worlds and spent far too long examining the back of my wardrobe for secret passage ways. I also discovered my schoolmates, who otherwise weren’t particularly interested in me, loved it when I told stories in the playground for them to act out.
Tell me about your journey to publication?
I always knew I wanted to be an author, but it took me a long time before I could make money at it! I published a lot of short stories, but my first book was one about living with a toddler (How to Survive the Terrible Twos: Diary of a Mother Under Siege). Not long after that I had my idea for the Euphemia Martins Mysteries and was lucky enough to sign with Accent Press. I’m currently writing the 9th book in the series. I’ve also written some romances and a YA novel for Bloomsbury Sparks. I work with local theatres and have had a number of plays stages and even toured internationally. Basically, my route to publication came because I kept writing, trying to improve and didn’t give up. My family tells me I am a very stubborn person. I was certainly determined to get there in the end!
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
After witnessing the devastation of the sinking The Titanic, my heroine is drawn into a mystery involving a missing spy and a possible plot against the British Empire. (A Death for King and Country)
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I’m working on the ninth book of The Euphemia Martins Mystery series, A Death by Arson, which will be available in Spring 2016. Set in a Highland Castle at Hogmanay 1913, a family wedding takes a sinister twist when a sudden fire reveals two bodies and old secrets are revived.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read so far this year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
That’s hard! Robin Stevens Murder Most Unladylike was a lovely discovery. I’ve also been enjoying the Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler. The final book in Gail Carriger’s YA series Manners and Mutiny was adorable.
What are you reading just now?
I’m reading The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans, Tasha Alexander’s The Counterfeit Heiress and Scarlet Thomas’ The Seed Collectors. I always have more than one book on the go.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I love both paper and ebooks. Ebooks always go on holiday with me and I always have a new book or two on my phone now it has a larger screen. I read whenever I have the chance. I think it’s important as a writer to read not only in your own genre but as much as you can.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Facebook as Caroline Dunford, Twitter as verdandiweaves and I have a landing page I should really update more often at www.carolinedunford.com but does still contain some interesting stuff.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
With a full time writing career and two young children I rather think I might like a character who wasn’t one running around all over the place and high kicking villains with well aimed Kung Fu strikes. In fact there are days when I feel like Bagpuss. I also have to steer clear of historical romances as I am very fond of my duvet and memory foam mattress (and a hot daily shower). I wouldn’t mind being Sherlock Holmes as I love solving puzzles, but my version would definitely be doing more thinking than running and while I don’t mind the odd disguise, hiding out on the moors as a tramp would definitely be out. I’d rather spend more time in a comfy armchair in front of a blazing log fire in Baker Street.