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Mrs. Jones, by B.A. Morton
This is great fast paced thriller is a wonderful light read for a weekend treat.
Rugged, pragmatic and honest, Detective Tommy Connell picks up an English girl, Mrs. Jones, who claims to be a witness to a murder and promptly falls in love with her. While trying to protect her he attempts to discover the secret she's hiding and fends off the growing number of attempts to wrest her from his care. Who is this woman that both sides of the law want?
This debut novel is available on Amazon and The Book Depository in ebook and paperback.
Below B.A. Morton tells something about herself and the inspiration behind Mrs. Jones.
K - I’m sure you’ve been asked before but it’s still an interesting question--what brought you to writing?
B – I’ve always been a scribbler and an avid reader. But
it was only following my escape to the country that I found the time to seriously write. A change in scenery and career, gave me the opportunity to develop all the stories fighting to be told.
K - What inspired you to write Mrs. Jones?
B – I love crime thrillers and I particularly like to be
kept guessing till the end. I basically sat down with my new fangled net book and started writing...6mths later there it was. The title comes from the song. There’s a line or two in it which get you wondering about the man and woman, about what they have going on in their lives that we’re not privy to...secrets! ...and I do love intrigue.
K -- Did you have to do much research for the novel, say on American police procedures or the landscape?
B – Mmm, in this novel no. I try not to delve too deeply into things I don’t have great knowledge of. I sketch the outline and leave the reader to imagine the detail. As author Jean Gill summed it up, it’s an action movie on paper; a little farfetched in places, but what the heck it’s fast paced, fun. On a more serious note I have taken the advice of an American writer in an attempt to get the US dialogue etc correct.
K - You’re English and the main character, Mrs. Jones is English, yet you set it in New York. What made you decide to do that?
B - I had this idea of a young woman from a fairly sheltered background being thrust into a strange place and facing unknown dangers. I picked somewhere as far from “the village with no bus” as I could think of. I liked the idea of cultural differences between what are perceived as similar western lives. NY just seemed the right place to drop Lizzie.
K - How do you develop your characters? Do you spend a lot of
time creating them?
B – My characters, and in fact my stories, usually start with a few lines of dialogue in my head. The conversation develops along with the characters and the story is born. I like them to be whole, flawed and interesting and I do create little background bio’s which chart their background and influences, to ensure I don’t stray too far from what was initially intended. I have changed whole plot lines however, because I’ve realised that my characters would never do or say what I initially planned.
K - Is there something you want your readers to take away with them?
B - I’d love them to get to the end, thinking...hey, that was a bloody good read and well worth the time.
K - Can you share anything about your next project?
B – I tend to run a few things at the same time. Currently I have two crime thrillers on the go. One set in the US, the other between London and the North East. I also have the early stages of a third Tommy Connell adventure.
K –You have a sequel to the book about to be published, Molly Brown. Can you tell us anything about it without giving away the previous book’s finish?
B - In Molly Brown, Connell is up against all manner of baddies, as he attempts to find a missing child, bring down crooked cops and avoid a serial killer...he also has to sort out a few personal issues...well, he’s human after all. :)
K - And in a complete departure you’ve just finished an historical novel, Wildewood, what inspired you to write that after crafting two thrillers?
B - I actually wrote Wildewood first and it sat in a file on my computer gathering dust while I was swept away by Mrs Jones.
Wildewood is very close to my heart. It’s based on local history (lots of research) and my own home which has medieval origins, features in it. My inspiration came from solitary walks in the real “wild woods” and the fascinating lore which seeps out of this area of Northumberland. It’s planned as the first book of a trilogy.
K - Were you influenced by any particular authors in your writing?
B - John Connolly...I like his Charlie Parker character, tortured and flawed but trying to do the right thing. Ken Follett...Pillars of the Earth...wow! Bernard Cornwell...The Winter King trilogy, or in fact anything of his; his historical detail is spot on but he has the knack of combining all that research with a cracking good yarn. Daphne du Maurier...Jamaica Inn, all time favourite and written way before it’s time...a wonderful heroine...the list goes on. I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m influenced in some small way by everything I’ve read.
K - What are your writing habits?
B - Hopelessly chaotic and undisciplined. I write curled up on the sofa with my net book on my knee and usually at least one dog. I work part time so quite often I’ll write into the early hours. (I’m writing this at 2:15am) I set off with a vague idea of where I’m going and most chapters begin simply as a conversation or scene in my head; I then go back and flesh them out. I’m continually reviewing previous chapters...kind of two steps forward, three steps back. When I stall I switch to a different project (which is why I have a few going at any one time)
K - What book is on your bedside table now?
B - Bill Bryson’s Down Under...My daughter is off to Oz in October.
K- Do you own an ereader? What do you think it’s place is in the
B - Yes I do own a kindle. I currently have approximately 30 books on it, waiting to be read. To be honest I much prefer a “real” book, but e-readers allow you to store and carry books with ease and
download your latest purchase within seconds. E-publishing offers opportunities that can’t be ignored. Currently publishers decide what we should read based on profitability. The advent of the “no overhead” e-book has given that choice back to the individual reader and this allows opportunity for new talent to be discovered. There will always be a place for the book store and the look, smell
and feel of a real book...but real longevity in any industry is about providing economical and viable choices.
Kristin Gleeson is a writer, artist and musician who lives in the west of Ireland in the Gaeltacht.
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