Another Authonomy friend takes my guest spot today. She wishes to hide behind her pen-name, so I left it to Juliet B. Madison to decide the format. She has treated us with a Q & A session on her popular mystery series.
What made you decide to write crime fiction?
Juliet B Madison: It’s one of the most popular fiction genres. I have read virtually nothing else for years so I decided to have a go and see if I could pull it off myself.
What do you think makes DI Frank Lyle different from other detectives in the genre?
Juliet B Madison: Frank Lyle may have a broken marriage behind him; like so many fictional detective’s wives Frank’s ex wife, Sarah, got sick of coming second place to the job. But he doesn’t have problems with alcohol or recreational drugs or a prescription drug addiction. Frank is not a maverick though, he tries not to break the rules and gets results by toeing the thin blue line. He has a passionate commitment to justice and the truth. He also believes that murder victims lose their dignity in the manner of their death, however it was carried out so he insists on the victim always being referred to by their real name wherever possible. Frank also gets on well with his senior and junior colleagues and has a real love for his family and friends. He isn’t a lone wolf; he values his team and their contributions to whatever case he happens to be working.
What are DI Lyle’s passions and pet-hates?
Juliet B Madison: Frank loves his son, James. He is also rather partial to the music of folk singer Joan Baez, especially her 1975 Diamonds & Rust album. He hates injustice and those who exploit others for personal gain, whether it be financial or sexual. He also hates corruption.
What do you think are the hardest lessons Frank will learn during the series?
Juliet B Madison: In the first book, Second Chances, Frank learns about the pain of personal and professional loss. He also learns that following your gut instincts doesn’t always prove right. In the second novel, Heir to Misfortune (my current WIP) he learns that things are not always what they seem so nothing can be taken for granted.
How many books do you plan to write in the DI Frank Lyle series?
Juliet B Madison: (laughs) I’ll keep writing until people either get fed up, the series gets stale or I run out of ideas, whichever comes first.
When will Heir to Misfortune (the second DI Frank Lyle mystery) become available?
Juliet B Madison: I’m not sure yet. I am aiming for the end of the summer but why put unnecessary constraints on myself since I have to sacrifice a large part of my weekday evenings to a yawn-fest office cleaning job.
Can you tell us a little bit about Heir to Misfortune?
Juliet B Madison: Heir to Misfortune is set around Christmas 1990 with the discovery of a body by two beat coppers. The victim appears to have been a vagrant but subsequent enquiries reveal he is actually the young heir to a corporate fortune and he appears to have been blackmailing a prominent local politician. Enough said for now. You will have to wait but if you can’t then you can read the prologue and first 8 chapters on Authonomy.
Have you had to do much research so far?
Juliet B Madison: I have had to research coroner’s inquests, post- mortems (autopsies) and determining time of death. There is also detail in Second Chances about Type 1(Insulin Dependent) Diabetes but after nearly 34 years of living with the condition I think I am pretty accurate on that score. I also had to do some research on the Hindu faith and for that I turned to my good friend, Malika Gandhi.
Other than DI Frank Lyle who are your favourite and least favourite police characters in the series so far?
Juliet B Madison: I like Detective Sergeant Andrew Redfern but we don’t meet him until the second half of the first book. I think my least favourite police character is Assistant Chief Constable John Henderson because I believe he punishes Lyle unfairly.
Who are your favourite and least favourite civilian characters?
Juliet B Madison: My favourites are Frank’s son, James, and Fiona Harper, the best friend of the two girls who get murdered. My least favourite is Suzanne Wilson, the stepmother of Fiona’s friend, Becky, as she is totally self absorbed to the point of failing to provide any form of emotional support to her stepdaughter whose best friend has just been murdered.
Finally, who would be your ideal casting couch choice for the role of DI Frank Lyle?
Juliet B Madison: My ideal choice would be British actor Robert Bathurst, star of Cold Feet, Downton Abbey and comedy series Joking Apart. I especially loved his portrayal of British Vet Ed lynch in series 7 of Wild at Heart.
Second Chances is also available on Lulu.
Juliet may be contacted on Twitter: @JulietBMadison
You can find out more from her website: http://julietmadisoncrimeauthor.wordpress.com/second-chances/
And request an Authorgraph here: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/JulietBMadison
Fascinating interview, Jane and Juliet. I’m looking forward to Heir to Misfortune!