This week we chat to Rick Lee, author of crime thriller Daughter of the Rose. Rick has been writing for most of his life- and already having published other works including a volume of poetry as well as short stories- he talks about the inspiration behind this storyline…
Sum up your book in a few sentences-What is it about?
On one level it’s a conventional crime thriller – a cantankerous detective causing trouble, rubbing people up the wrong way – except the main difference is that he’s not on his own patch – he’s a Londoner who’s been ‘sent up north’. Secondly it concerns a female serial killer who’s driven to kill because of things that happened in the past – and that’s where it becomes tangled in a very old fable.
Who are the intended audience?
People who like crime thrillers with a bit of a twist, a complicated plot, sex and violence, a supernatural climax and some unresolved issues – which imply there’s more to follow . .
Sounds exciting! What inspired you to start in the first place?
I’ve been inventing stories all my life – mainly as a drama teacher with other people – but now I have the time to write at length on my own. I’ve always been fascinated by what goes on in people’s heads – especially people who do terrible things or have to face up to such things.
What inspired the story for ‘Daughter of the Rose’?
The underlying story is an ancient tale – but I like exploring how the past affects the present and it concerns me that too many people are unaware of this. My stories are character driven – I find myself often playing catch-up – trying to write fast enough to keep up with them as they drive forward from one event to another. I’m also fascinated by the way separate lives and stories can collide or interweave themselves with each other – often running alongside but unaware of how close the connections might be and how they can come together in unexpected ways.
What is your preferred style of writing?
It comes out short and staccato – lots of minimal dialogue – characters who communicate by looks and glances rather than long speeches. Editorial advice has led me to include longer sentences, to vary the pace, but my instinct would be to use this for descriptive passages because I do like the rhythm of elegiac writing about places and atmosphere. My first published works were poems.
What made you look to 2QT publishing?
I’d been on a few publishing courses to suss out the business. Some of the advice was very useful – but I prefer to work with people who are positive, constructive and supportive – 2QT provides this approach.
Any advice for anyone contemplating writing/publishing a book?
If you’re only contemplating you’re not ready – start writing! Once you can’t stop writing the need to get published will take over – you’ll find a way.
What are you planning on/hoping to do next?
Well – ‘Daughter of the Rose’ is actually the third Mick Fletcher book I’ve completed. I write very fast – there are five in total so far – with another two whirling round in my head – all in the last two years. So the plan is to publish the sequel – ‘A Frost of Cares’ set in Barrow and the Furness area – in the autumn . . . and then the others. I have lots of ideas for other things – historical/political thrillers – but they’re all likely to involve complicated plots, characters with problems and dangers to face.
To purchase ‘Daughter of the Rose’ click here
Following this interview, Rick had a fantastic book launch in Ulverston, and successfully sold out of his first print run!
Interview by 2QT’s Kate Cousins