Hemmie Martin is a UK based crime writer, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Her latest novel, In The Light of Madness, is out now… we caught up with Hemmie the day before her birthday (which was on July 2nd – HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEMMIE!), for a quick chat about her books and herself… here’s the interview:
Tell us a bit about your book, what’s it about?
This is the first case together for Detective Inspector Eva Wednesday, and Detective Sergeant Jacob Lennox. Lennox has just moved to Cambridgeshire from the Metropolitan force.
A teenage boy has been found dead in a graveyard in a local village. Wednesday and Lennox delve into the lives of the local community, finding many people harbour secrets; deceiving those around them with apparent ease. Investigating the local church and school, the detectives unearth some puzzling clues, querying the involvement of a sect. Wednesday has her own secret she vehemently guards from her work colleagues.
Although this is a crime novel, I enjoy studying characters, and not focusing solely on the crime. People are interesting to watch, and getting to know their underlying fears adds another dimension. The reader gets to know a bit about Wednesday and Lennox’s backgrounds; displaying their weaknesses and attributes that make them who they are, and who they become as the series develops.
Is it part of a series? Are you planning more?
When I wrote this book, I had not planned on writing a series; in fact it was something I said I would never do. However, I found that I had become very fond and intrigued with Wednesday and Lennox, and missed them once I had finished the book. I wanted to know where life would take them.
The second book in the series, ‘Rightful Owner’, is coming out this coming November, and the third one, ‘Shadows in the Mind’, has been scheduled for May 2015, with the publisher. Getting a two-book contract was both exhilarating and daunting, but ultimately fun! I am currently writing the first draft of the four novel.
What inspired you to write the book?
I have always loved the arena of crime. As a youngster, I did the Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver medals; choosing to work with the police on both occasions. I wanted to be a police woman, and although I passed the entrance exams, a sergeant said I would most likely end up in a typing pool (possibly true in the eighties), so I went into nursing instead. Ironically, I ended up as a forensic nurse working with young offenders; working in a team including the police, and spending many hours in police stations and prisons. I love reading crime fiction, and watching crime dramas and documentaries, so writing crime seemed a natural progression.
Who do you think will enjoy reading it?
People who enjoy character-led plots; where delving into the psychological issues of the human psyche is almost important as the crime itself. It does not contain detailed, graphic crime scenes; although some of the crimes may be harder to read about than others, so it may suit those people who dislike too much blood and gore, but still desire some action.
When did you start writing and why?
I began writing in earnest in 2007 after a personal issue unbalanced my life. Prior to that I was an ardent writer of a diary during my youth, and at High School, my English teacher commented that I had probably written a book over the years, as all my stories were about Hayden Moss, a fighter pilot. However, my adult life became too busy to nurture my passion. Now, thankfully, I manage to fit it into a still busy life.
Which authors, dead or alive, inspire your writing?
When I was young, I loved Vera Brittain (autobiographical), Sylvia Plath and Anita Brookner. Brookner would bring a book out yearly, and I used to long for her latest publication. The latter two authors wrote of flawed, damaged, and insecure characters. I have reread Plath and Brookner recently, and I am still moved.
Going further back in time, I loved the Nancy Drew series created by publisher, Edward Stratemeyer, and written by a number of authors under the collective pseudonym, Carolyn Keene.
In the crime genre, I admire PD James, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, and Agatha Christie (especially the Miss Marple series).
When is your book available to purchase and from where?
‘In the Light of Madness’ is out now, and available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, in paperback and eBook.