Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I feel very lucky to be sharing with you my interview with Janice Hallett, author of the best selling crime fiction novel The Appeal, and of the upcoming release The Twyford Code.
Hi Janice! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today about your bestseller, The Appeal, and your upcoming release, The Twyford Code. How does it feel seeing your name on a shelf, especially on that new beautiful Christmas edition of The Appeal?
I’d always imagined my name on a spine, somewhere between John Grisham and Patricia Highsmith, so it’s a lifetime’s dream come true. My first thought is always how many Ls and Ts there seem to be in Hallett. It’s a very tall name, unlike me. The special Waterstones edition is a feast for the eyes, I can’t stop staring at it.
What is your approach to writing? Do you tend to write in long sprints or loads of tiny bursts?
I spend a very intense three to four hours every morning on my current work-in-progress. Anything else I work on during the day will never be as focused, inventive or creative as that, so I strike while the iron’s hot! Afternoons are for catching up on correspondence and checking over what I worked on in the morning. I can ramp it up and write intensively at other times if I have to – to meet a deadline – but it’s not my preferred way of working.
When did you first fall in love with writing?
The moment I learned to put words together on the page at the age of about six. Everything fell in to place. I knew it would be my main interface with the world, even though the word ‘interface’ wasn’t in common usage in 1975.
When you’re not writing, what do you do with your free time?
Swimming, walking, watching TV and (pre-covid) going to the theatre. My main passion though, is travel. I love arriving in a place that’s totally different – like a new world ready to be discovered.
You write wonderful mysteries, but what do you generally spend your time reading?
True crime. I find it the best research and inspiration for fictional crime writing. I also love true crime documentaries, especially those that get under the skin of a criminal or murderer.
Without any spoilers for those who haven’t read them, both The Appeal and The Twyford Code are told in non-traditional manners. Where did your inspiration for this come from?
When I switched from script-writing to novels, I felt as if I needed a reason for these words to be gathered together in a book. So, in all of my novels (so far!) there’s a meta reason for the reader to be there… we are reading along with a fictional character or characters.
Are you working on anything (top secret or not!) at the moment?
I am. But it’s top secret! Well, it’s my third novel.
Finally, how would you describe The Appeal and / or The Twyford Code in three words?
Here’s something different!
A big thank you to Janice for her time and her thoughtful answers. You can find The Appeal just about everywhere right now (and rightly so!), and The Twyford Code is due out in early January. You can find my reviews of both books up at the top of the page, and I highly recommend them.
Thanks for stopping by today!