Meeting Cath Staincliffe

Meeting Cath Staincliffe 

On March 13th, 2018 I attended an event at Mansfield Central Library where Cath Staincliffe was giving a talk about her move from writing novels to writing the scripts for the Blue Murder TV show and also about her experience in writing for the radio. 

Staincliffe's first novel was the first in the Sal Kilkenny series. This series is about a female private investigator, with a family and lots of personal baggage. This series shows how a working mother makes things work and all the troubles that go alongside the two worlds. 

After this Staincliffe wrote a police procedural novel about a female police detective inspector. After working with smaller publishers, she decided to send this book off to some bigger publishers. Unfortunately, she was rejected. This was an issue she was not alone in. In 2000 Staincliffe and a group of other crime writers set up a group called Murder Squad.
They use this site to advertise their work, put on events and they also wrote an anthology together of short stories. 

It was due to another member of Murder Squad, Anne Cleaves that Staincliffe got into TV.
Cleaves suggested to Staincliffe that she should take her Blue Murder books to Granada Studios in Manchester as they were looking for a series based on a female detective. It is was from here that the TV series Blue Murder was born. Staincliffe also wrote the scripts for the show. 

With the success of Blue Murder came an invitation to take the TV series Scott and Bailey from the TV into novels. The books are about what happens before each season of the TV show, so they act as a filler while the show is off the air. This also means the books are completely new content and not just writing what has already happened. 

Staincliffe was given five months to write the first book. She did this alongside writing another book she had already started. The first book was such a success they commissioned her for two more. 

Staincliffe also does Radio series on radio four along with some other crime writers. At the moment she has a radio drama running on radio four called Stone. 

Cath Staincliffe has agreed to do an interview with Lu's Reviews, so keep your eyes out for that coming soon. 

Absence Recently

Recent Absence 

Hey guys, I want to apologise for my recent absence. I have been unwell and unable to type up my reviews and of course all about my meeting with the amazing author Cath Staincliffe.

I have, however, hand wrote them so please bear with me while I get them typed up and uploaded to the blogs. Being ill meant plenty of time for reading so there is a few to come over the next few days. I am hopefully on the mend now and feeling a little better so I should be back on track pretty soon. 

Thanks Lu x 

Author Interview with Jenelle Schmidt

Author Interview with Jenelle Schmidt

1) What got you into writing? 

A couple of things got me into writing. First, my grandma was a writer. I grew up listening to my dad reading her novel out loud to us kids, and I guess because of her it never really crossed my mind that writing might be something intimidating. The other thing was that I was always telling stories... making up games to play with my siblings and cousins, creating fantastical worlds and characters for us to pretend to be. It was only natural that I started writing down some of my ideas.

2) Do You believe in writer's block? 

I do not believe in writer's block. Unfortunately (or "misfortunately," as they say in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!") it sometimes believes in me. But when it attacks I have found two strategies for holding it at bay that seem to work pretty close to 100% of the time. The first is turning on Christmas music. I do not know what it is about Christmas music... perhaps it is because it is so extremely familiar to me that it provides a pleasant backdrop of creativity-inspiring sounds, or because it is peaceful, or it just has to do with the way my brain is wired, but it almost always cures my writer's block. The other way is to just dive into a timed session, a "word war" against the clock if you will. This is the battering ram approach, where I just force the words out, whether I like them or not. In those strange instances where neither of these solutions works, I find that it is best to walk away for a bit. Get some exercise or fresh air, read or watch something I love, and come back to the project with a fresh perspective later.

3) If you couldn't be an author what job would you do? 

There have been many times in my life when this was not a hypothetical question. And at those times in my life when I couldn't be an author, I was a teacher (jr. high and high school English), a play-director, a full-time stay at home homeschooling mom, and a student. By far, my favourite of those "other" jobs is being a mom to my four munchkins. I also have distant dreams of owning a horse ranch...

4) If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

I would be a peregrine falcon. The idea of flying has always fascinated me, so I'd want to be something that could fly. I've also loved falcons ever since I first read "My Side of the Mountain" and fell in love with Frightful, and Ladyhawke is one of my favourite movies so those might be influencing my decision a bit. Not much hunts falcons, so that would be in my favour, as I'd just stay away from bigger birds of prey! The idea of eating mice and other raw meat is the one downside to this scenario... so if "any" animal includes mythical creatures, I'd definitely rather be a dragon so I can at least cook my food. And because dragons are awesome.