The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast Podcast Artwork Image
The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast
Episode #13 – Theresa Talbot, Author of Keep Her Silent
January 07, 2019 Paul Stretton-Stephens

In this episode Paul chats with Theresa Talbot about her latest thriller, Keep her Silent. It’s the second book in the Oonagh O’Neil series, which is again set in Glasgow and it’s based on the contaminated blood scandal – one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the NHS, the UK National Health Service  

Theresa is also known as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter, and best known as the voice of Traffic & Travel as well as the presenter of The Beechgrove Potting Shed. 

Theresa is also happy to offer some sound advice to new authors.

In this episode Paul chats with Theresa Talbot about her latest thriller, Keep her Silent. It’s the second book in the Oonagh O’Neil series, which is again set in Glasgow and it’s based on the contaminated blood scandal – one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the NHS, the UK National Health Service  

Theresa is also known as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter, and best known as the voice of Traffic & Travel as well as the presenter of The Beechgrove Potting Shed. 

Theresa is also happy to offer some sound advice to new authors.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:01Hello and welcome to the crime fiction lounge. You're listening to the first episode of Twenty 19, so happy new year to you. In this episode, episode 13, we'll be talking to Teresa Tolbert about her book. Keep her silent.

Speaker 2:0:18Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the crime fiction lounge, the place for crime fiction lovers. Sit back, relax and unwind. You listened to some of your favorite crime fiction thriller authors, and here's your host, Paul Stretton Stevens.

Speaker 1:0:44In this episode, I'll be chatting with Theresa Tolbert about her latest thriller. Keep her silent. Keep us all in just a second book in the Oona O'neil series, which again this I think Glasgow and it's based on the contaminated blood scandal of years gone by one of the biggest strategies in the history of the NHS and for those not in the UK, the UK National Health Service. Theresa is also known as a BBC Radio Scotland presenter. I'm best known as the voice of traffic and travel as well as the presenter of the Beech Grove potting shed. The rest of studied economic history at Glasgow University went after graduating and tried numerous careers including library assistant and Pepsi Challenge. Gill, before we need to drop the conversation on the 66 bus, led her into a career in radio. I invite you to relax and listen to this intriguing podcast episode. Enjoy. Hi Teresa. Welcome to the crime fiction lounge. How are you today?

Speaker 3:1:39Oh, Hello Paul. I'm fine. Sanchez. Thank you so much for them. Vacant me alone. No, you're welcome. It's good to have you here. Thank you.

Speaker 1:1:49Can you tell our listeners a little bit about your background, who you are?

Speaker 3:1:55Well, I'm extremely later and I do have a day job because I think most racers do have the job. So I'm a broadcast journalist and I worked for BBC Radio Scotland and I've been doing that for about 15 years I think was the BBC, but my first love is crying, so I'm a claim later and my boots are mainly based in Glasgow, Glasgow.

Speaker 1:2:21And that's why you always eat glasgow?

Speaker 3:2:24Yeah, I'm based. I'm based in Glasgow. So, um, I just seemed not shuttled to say it, the books in Glasgow because I loved the city so much and it's just funny enough, I was talking to you, I was being interviewed by a journalist last night and she was asking about the same thing of novels. Do they almost become characters in themselves and I think that's, that's true, you know, the city of Glasgow almost is as much a character as the characters in the books you can use is Aden, but uh, for, for, for rebus and, and I, I think Vebas could be saved anybody else other than aiden, but unlike my books, my main characters, a, a female journalist called Uno and Neil and I don't think it could be anywhere other than Glasgow. It's just such a particular. It, it, it's, um, it just seems so particular to, to the books.

Speaker 1:3:20What do you do in your spare time?

Speaker 3:3:23Oh crikey. What I like to travel, if I can, I'm having to read that in a bit. Just know because I have some deadlines to meet, um, love to garden a out in the garden. Um, Yoga, now I'm pitching myself to shame. No, because I'm naming all the things I love to do and I haven't had a chance to do them for a while. I don't do yoga as much a love hill walking. So really being fed. I love making soups, soups, my thing. I made loads of soup and I used to keep chicken. They used to keep hands, um, battery rescue hands. But at the moment I live in a hand free henfrey hosts don't have any, hence this. No. So basically keeping fit, listening to music and of course reading readings by my big thing.

Speaker 1:4:18When did you start writing them? Why?

Speaker 3:4:22That's a difficult one because I, because of the job I do, I'm a broadcast journalist so I'm either read the news or I read traffic report. So I the news, um, so I'd been writing every day of my professional life for 25 years and I think a lot of journalists then the google into claim racing. But I remember years ago as a child, I didn't write a lot as a child, but I love telling stories. And for me, I can't remember when I stopped telling the stories and started rating them down, it just seemed to be just naturally marriage into each other. So I've been in, I've been writing as long as I can remember and didn't really know what I wanted to write. I would write little vignettes, little snippets of stories. Never really, I can't even call it a short story because I, I absolutely admire people who write short stories. I find them the hardest things to do. And being a journalist and looking at so much true crime and real life stories coming through court reporting and seeing some of the things that happened in real life rating just seem to be the natural progression. So as I say, I write a lot anyway, are they every day of my professional life. And then I had written um, gardening articles for gardening magazines. So I'm writing fiction just seem to be the next stage. So I can't actually remember.

Speaker 1:5:59Okay. And which writers particularly inspire you?

Speaker 3:6:05The main one that inspired me to be a claim later was another glass will claim razor called Denise and Denise. I made her first boot, Garnet hill and that was set in Glasgow. That was the first time I came, that really spoke to me and I could relate to the places I knew the street she was talking about. I could identify with the characters they were, you know, working class Glaswegian characters. And I thought, crikey, she's talking about people I know she's writing about events I can relate to. Um, I mean some of them are done. Me, him. No, I couldn't relate to it, but I could, I could visualize it and I, I could visualize the sae thing and I thought, wow, this is, this is something I'd like to do. So, so from that point of view, denise really inspired me. And then when I met denise, she was so, so encouraging to other crime writers. Uh, I love Doug with scales and he's another Scottish claim later. He's a, he, he has glaswegian but he's moved to the dark side of ear. Sure knows. So he's such a though. Um, but also, um, John Fowles 10 and women locked out book. And I love the Migas. I lost the Brontes a dickens, you know, really. It's such an eclectic taste when it comes to writing. I be doing the other point. I absolutely lost them.

Speaker 1:7:33It was a podcast. It's interesting where you've chosen Glasgow. Glasgow is the setting of people can relate to that. That's quite powerful. Whereas other writers decided to have a fictitious town or a fictitious city based on something

Speaker 3:7:53that's such an interesting question and I admire writers that can do that, but there's such a rich seam of real tones, places, cities, villages. I always think why would you make something up? But I do admire the fact that they can make it up because it seems like a lot of hard work to make up a fictitious tone when there is such a rich seem to choose from and to me, I think even the ones that do have fictitious places that they're based on real real places. Though. When I read the Migos for John Fall, I'm going to get this wrong. I think it's it in Spitz's, which is a Greek island, and he calls it pack source or it really packs or something. He calls it space as, I can't remember it, it's based, um, he's used a fictitious name, but it was inspired by time as an English teacher over on the Greek island and I didn't know this at the time I've ever had with John Souls reading the Migas was my first 40 into and his works and this is years and years ago and I was going on a holiday to Greece at the time and we went across over a few islands and just random, it wasn't planned.

Speaker 3:9:17We didn't know which I was going to go to. And I was reading a section of the Migas members reading a chapter and it would say on this, I'm on a boys' school and this little island, I'm sitting on the beach. The beach was deserted. It was a tiny, wee island with hardly anything on it. And I looked at that building over there is almost identical to what I'm reading, the description of the boys school. And it was a government building or a council building or something. And um, it turned out it was the same place, the exact same place and nothing had changed. He, you know, 15 years previous and I've walked down the road, it described the bakery was still there, the bakery been there for 100 years and it will be courageous and brave and I thought, oh my goodness, for other chances of me being on that island, reading that exact chapter, and it was just a book that my friend had given me the night before.

Speaker 3:10:15I left to go on holidays this year. You might like this and say it in Greece, Greece. I thought, wow, you know, Paul, that has resonated. It's always been one of my favorite books and I don't know whether it's because of the story or because it resonated so much with me, but the megas has just always struck a cord with me. And so yeah, he did use a fictitious place. It was very much based on, on real life. I do admire writers. Go to all the trouble of making stuff up in coffee. What's in your house?

Speaker 1:10:48Three, isn't it?

Speaker 3:10:52Yeah, I mean, the, the, the books that I'm eating, I my main character, she works at a radio and television station. No, it's not the BBC, but I've made it in the west end of Glasgow so I can have a bit of poetic license, bit of dramatic license, but I'm a chap I know messaged me and said, um, there's no, uh, no, no, I don't actually know this chapter reader. And he emailed me and said, you do know that there's no production office at the end of byers road where you described your, your main protagonists going and I'm thinking meet up the boot. So Glasgow's I've, I've put in fictitious, you know, a production studio and maybe a fictitious offers so you can, you know, tweak it slightly. But I think he was hearing so strongly to it that he was quite cross that I didn't want to use office existing a radio station and said, oh my goodness me you're writing about.

Speaker 3:11:59So I thought it was okay to invade the radio station teaching biaxial and all that. There's no such radio station and they system bikes and. Yeah. And I used a bit of dramatic license, but everything else is in your books. Well, the, the first one, it was almost by accident rather than design and the lost children is based on the Magdalene institutions. For anyone that doesn't know about the micro and institutions, it's easy to find out you can google them and that there's just a wealth of information on the Internet and it's basically was the homes were so called fallen. Women are unmarried, mothers are incarcerated and it was but all different, all different reasons and they're mainly associated with Ireland denying even though there had been one in Glasgow and it closed down in 1958 and I thought, oh that's interesting. So I started looking into the history of it because I'm born and bred in Glasgow.

Speaker 3:13:04I've never heard of this before. And my parents were still alive at the time and I'd ask them and then my parents were from Ireland, but they've lived in Glasgow for years and my mother said, Oh yeah, yeah, I remember there was a matter of an institution here was just the oddest things that yeah, it was before my time, but it was, it was still fairly recent history in 1958. And asking friends and you know, various, you know, colleagues, very, very few people had known about it and it turns out that it closed in 1950 after the ghetto staged a riot for, it's more like a coat. And I thought, okay, he bought what caused them to do that, that, that institution had been standing there in one form or another had existed for over 100 years. What happened that night? They just said enough is enough.

Speaker 3:13:57So I started eating a bit of a narrative that own that I'm intending initially intending for it to be maybe I really do short radial eight. I'm a five minute piece. And um, thankfully for tutors, for me, the, it wasn't accepted as the production team that I handed it to several the nor there's no appetite for this though. So I turned it into a book and then the more I looked into it, the more, the bigger the issue grew in the mortar looked into it and thought, do you know something? This is a crime. What happened to these women are criminal, criminal, and it's deplorable that within our lifetime people were being treated like this and it's not. Someone had asked me if it was a feminist issue and I said no, certainly not because this was during a time where, you know, men could be chemically castrated for being gay and it was just a different time, but I couldn't write about all the ills of the world.

Speaker 3:14:53This was just the one that I think I'm really interested in claims that are committed by society where, um, the establishment is, you know, kind of collude, um, because it was kind of an. All these women were treated with any child. Nothing that hadn't done anything wrong, we just didn't fit in. So that's, that's the, the, the lost children grew and then keep her silent, Eh, is the fall of one book and that's based on the team. Did blood scandal and again, the team blog to the contaminated blood you listen to as you can. You can google a contaminated blood scandal in the UK and same boat. So much more than I could carry. You just know the Beasley's haemophiliacs and others needing blood transfusion or blood products were infected by contaminated blood and at the time in the seventies and eighties, it was just thought it was a bit of a void you.

Speaker 3:15:55It was just a bad sore for days because the health checks were at the scene. We didn't know to heat treat blood products and blah, blah blah. But as it's transpired, the pharmaceutical companies news that the blood was contaminated and again, no one's ever. There's never been any criminal convictions. That to me, again, that's a claim and Robert Robert Winston described it as one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the nhs and I thought, we know you've got someone as as respected as sort of Robert Winston seeing this and yet still it's not a crime. It's not. There'll be new criminal activity that people have died. Life had been ruined and the people in fact in fact have hep c or HIV and these were people whose kids were thrown out of school because of this fear and social stigma who lost her job to run a of the villages who.

Speaker 3:16:54Some. I've spoken to people who ended up homeless, destitute thinking, Crikey, this is, this is deplorable, and yet nothing's really ever been done about it. So to me that's, I'm not saying it's a worse crime than someone being murdered or forever, but you know, with a typical claim as a martyr, it's investigated by the police and hopefully someone's caught and brought to justice. But these kinds of social claims, no one will ever be brought to justice for this. No one will ever be jailed in this country for the contaminated blood. Um, scandal. And I don't know, I just, I think you haven't given the setting of a rain boot, if maybe not a typical train it's and, but that to me was, you know, it was important to get these issues out there.

Speaker 1:17:51Yeah, yeah. I mean the big issues. So what kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching?

Speaker 3:17:59A lot longer than it took me to try and get the scape set. Oh goodness. Well, Magdalen institutions that I'd written that, but quite a long time ago then just buried it and brought it out and we edited it because I didn't know what to do with it when I first wrote it about 15 years ago. Um, and I found myself getting really, really ramped up. Mainly the research I did. I had, I've spent, spent half my life for the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, which is one of the biggest reference libraries in Europe. So we're so lucky to have that on our doorstep. And they've got something called the Glasgow rooms so they have so much, so much archive and you information going back years. And I also looked into because I didn't, I wanted to tweak it slightly because the Glasgow Magdalen strangely enough when I found out it actually wasn't ordered by the Catholic Church and it wasn't run by nuns and a few on the mainland where that that was mean.

Speaker 3:19:06They're niteesh anomaly that it was run by nuns and run by the Catholic Church. So it was quite surprised if I ended. It was. But there was still a lot of church involvement, whether it be Presbyterian Church of Scotland or wherever. Um, so I did a lot of research as well into the way women are treated by the mental health industry. Isn't that I don't work profession. Um, so I looked at a lot of interviews with people who have been incarcerated for fairly minor, generally exterior things. It just wouldn't be the, with not be deemed mental health issues. No, certainly not enough to look someone up without limit of time. The team did like the contaminated blood for research for keep her silent. I got friendly with a chap who'd been infected. He was infected when he was seven. He only ssts and I spent a lot of time with him. He gave him a lot of his information and told me if we to find the information as well because what I did want to be a weird as I'm not rating the. I'm not making a documentary. I'm not paying the actual book. I'm waiting and as a piece of fiction. So I had to make sure that I knew what research not to use as well. And it's tasting just to try and rate your training, click every single

Speaker 1:20:31piece of research for you.

Speaker 3:20:36The water was too much and, and really I could have written like five books on each, but I have to be a read as well that my obligation as a waiter is to tell a story and it's a piece of fiction and yeah, there's a huge responsibility to get the banks right, of course, but it's not an se and it's not a lecture and it's not to tell the reader what's right or wrong. It's too as a story and let the reader decide for themselves what they think. But what I do sign this was huge issues like this, tying it in with fiction, it's powerful. I mean, we can all read denied. I write the news, I read, been used. Um, we can all listen to news bulletins, we can all read news stories and, and it almost gets it, you know, even the most horrific horror stories in the news.

Speaker 3:21:34The next week they'll be something to start without. The grandmother had a fixed story. Um, but with a piece of fiction, I'm a reader is investing in a character and that are attaching to character and they will come away with a huge amount of sympathy and a huge amount of empathy for that character and the situation and I think in some ways picture and can hit home more than a factual news item. No, you haven't left the cinema was thinking, wow. And it can be an issue that you hadn't really been not aware of before. Right. While that's really hit home. So hopefully I'm, no, I'm not. No, I'm not in the, the, the, the, the business to blow beat low readers and say, right, this is a terrible issue. You must be attention. But within the story line of Econ, have empathy for that character and I think this visual, this should not have happened then, you know, that's a bit. Yeah, you're right. There's so much information I couldn't possibly use. Can possibly use it all.

Speaker 1:22:40Your main character. Oona O'neil,

Speaker 3:22:44yeah.

Speaker 1:22:45Yeah. Could you tell our listeners who have yet to discover your writing? Can you describe the main protagonists?

Speaker 3:22:52Well, physically, I'm strangely enough. I disliked her physically in the very first book and I know wish I hadn't, but it was what I was feeling. Youtube eating and that description, never chemo and I wish. No, the book was being edited mode. I would leak the, the physical description of Luna. It's just that she has dark brown here, that blue eyes and she's fairly small, ish, quite Irish looking. Um, and I wish now I hadn't, I wish I'd allowed the Vjo to decide for themselves what in a loop like, but characterize, um, she is a television journalist though. She started off as a bit of a media darling. She was, she's quite a popular TV journalists, but for popularity is waning and she's getting a slightly older and she's been a bit more maverick and she's not touring the lane. So, um, it doesn't. The media is a very, very cynical world and rather than kind of keep it up there in the limelight, I'm giving that a lot of challenges where she's realizing that he received a job for life.

Speaker 3:24:00There's no younger people coming in much, much cheaper. And that's the way it isn't the media. Um, characterize, she has loads of flaws and that was very important to me. I didn't want to lay a superwoman. I didn't want to buy someone who can jump into a helicopter and put the bottle to rates. I wanted a flesh and blood character. She doesn't have a lot of money. What is, um, she's fairly well. So that was something as well. I thought, you know, something, I've wanted to give it a fairly decent life. I wanted her challenges to be something else. I didn't want to be worrying about money and I wanted her challenges to, to, to Bosch slightly deeper within. So she's got a, she's got a decent job, but the more we uncover, but nobody likes it, doesn't really have a lot of view friends.

Speaker 3:24:51She's getting gestational life and she's looking back and thinking she doesn't have as many friends as she should have at this age if she had me, but like a more normal job. And overall she on the surface, she looks quite nice and sweet. She has a flaws, but she's really got razor sharp tongue, but she always sticks up for the underdog always. And that gets into a lot of trouble. She can, I try to keep on the side of the, he doesn't do anything deliberately illegal, but she maybe been through slightly and hurt her saving grace as she always sticks up for the underdog. But she drinks too much pole. She drank, she drank too much and that gets us into trouble as well. So, um, yeah, she, she, I like to think that she has a bit of inflation broadcasts, anecdote with floors. Um, because I feel it.

Speaker 3:25:47I feel as though it was a female candidate. I don't know if people are as forgiving, um, with the flaws, you know, we can have a, there's a lot of male protagonists and all the, it can be really, you know, it can be drunk, they can be knocking the furniture over there can be a bit aggressive and he's a, you know, a, it's like and female characters. If the have a bit of chaos going on in their lives, people that are. But even the readers can sometimes be a bit taken aback by that. But so far I've had a lot of positive response and that's, that, that's been good. And I think it is because she's quite natural and she makes mistakes, but she knows her mistakes and she does try to, she more, she'll, she'll, she'll pick faith rather than someone under there. So I think that's the saving grace, not we'll get a lot of scrapes.

Speaker 1:26:45What about the other production? Alec Davis? What, what was he like?

Speaker 3:26:50Oh, well I've never displayed him physically and I'm glad I haven't. No, because I late when we just contact me and if there's anyone listening that has contact me and let me know what they think about is, I think I'd say it, that you had, you know, a blue Anadarko and one day. So that's fine. I can see what his jacket looks like, but I don't know what he looks like. And he started off, he was quite grumpy and um, I'd only actually intended them to be in the initial couple of chapters and it grew on me. I now wish I hadn't made him and he's a bit grumpy and he, he's um, he's straight down the line. There's no, there's no messing with him. And again, you don't see on, it doesn't be anyone up or will it just really came to them. I'm in the middle of book three and he's really came to know Paul and I don't know if I can stalk them because he's quite angry about something. You don't see them kind of wading in and fighting and it kind of sticks to the, the latest of the law. And um, and he's, he's, he's just an ordinary course and he's just going about his business. Those new, you know, there's no mad helicopter cheeses as nomads, a car chases. It can upload so long, but it gets the job done. I think he's got a refund for Una. I definitely think it's a soft spot for her.

Speaker 3:28:21She may have left it too late. Paul's, um, so, and, and he's just, he's a, he's a nice character and I go back a long time ago and their friends know and it kind of lets us have little bits of information, but that doesn't happen with the police and journalist. Police in journals worked together a lot, lot more than the public would believe they do the ones that they trust and the ones they know that they can trust the information to put out there and sensible way. So yeah. So Alex Davis, as I say, is a bit grumpy, um, but he's sort of a bit tired, tired of life, but not always something that will make them laugh, but it's quite a straight guy.

Speaker 1:29:14Good villain can be hard to write. But in your case you've got like society, you've got an organization. How did you find that?

Speaker 3:29:23Hi, see, the thing was with me and my writing and this made me quite and still doesn't make me quite insecure and anxious that talking to other most other races will find insecurities and angst about some things. I think all key company, and I do have any Glasgow Hartman, I don't really have a villain. Well, there was a bit of a villain in the first one, but um, took care of him. Um, but I don't have the Glasgow Hartman, I don't have the gangsters, I don't have the bodies with the black hat coming in and, you know, knocking the police the boat and so as you see it, society and it really is society they have to look at and think why are you allowing this to happen? But it's not, you know, and it's, it's easy to look at a villain and thing, right. He's the body.

Speaker 3:30:15But when it's society and it says overall colluding and I am a journalist and with the contaminated blood scandal, live dates, stories about the contaminated blood scandal. I've never written them up certainly with them and they've maybe been forced down in a news bulletin. And um, yeah, it's just in another story. And I'm not ashamed to say that I, I, I'm, I'm, I'm ashamed. I didn't know more about it, but I'm, I'm going to be quite open about saying it and it was only when I started looking into it and I'm thinking, why am I not allowed to happen? But I have to be, I have to hold myself responsible as well. Why did, why did we all those things to happen? And there's terrible things, you know, our route that should never have been allowed to happen, but who's responsible and when you have to Republican quietly because there's not one person to blame and that you can't see, you're the one at fault.

Speaker 3:31:14And if we do something about you, we can stop this happening again with the housing of public inquiry. That will cost five times as much as it would have to put, you know, a decent cladding on a building that wouldn't have resulted in 72 people dying. You think, wow, why are we allowing this to happen all the time? And so, and it's. So that's why society is. Um, I think on the whole people are very, very good. I think there are more good people than bad people. But I think we're, so our bottles is so big that we find it hard to stop bad things happening on a social level because when the world was a little village winner, evolved was a village. We could. People were held accountable, but no, we don't know who's responsible. It could be big business, it could be corporate.

Speaker 3:32:10Even. I worked for one freelance work for the BBC. We're not a huge corporation. I mean look at Jimmy Sappho, you know, I'm not certain. It's not that I'm in a cottage industry and I'm thinking I'm okay and you know, one part of we're all part of something and it's really, really difficult. And you find, oh, that company may have been responsible for that terrible tragedy. Oh, but they're not politician is actually, his wife owns part of that company and there's this huge spiders web and it's all. We can see a clear picture of who's responsible anymore. So we have this collective responsibility that it's like, well that's terrible, but what can we do about it? And the truth is, that sounds really defeatist, but I don't know. I don't know what we can do about it and I, I,

Speaker 3:33:01oh, and even at that, I'm sure you know, next year there'll be another, maybe not greenfield, but something similar. There'll be another, um, contaminated blood, maybe not. That will be some other medical negligence of huge proportions. The Magdalene institution that may not happen again with women. Is it happening with refugees and children? I have no idea. You know, so in 50 years time we'll be looking back and writing fiction and own this thinking. Wow. How recent. Lot to happen. So yeah, the, the, the rating the villain as a society, as being the villain. It's, I'm, I'm, I'm careful as well. Not to try and make it a black and white thing, a gideon body because, you know, it's, it's, it's too easy. The entity or big business, blah, blah blah. Or the church aren't they bad because they do so much good. And with the pharmaceutical industry, you know, it's, there are so many great breakthroughs and Madison and you don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but certainly it would do, is all good just to sit up and be aware of what can happen

Speaker 1:34:17section as well, like you said earlier, it comes out in a slightly different way and it becomes more acceptable, palatable for people to sort of tackle the issue that they wouldn't have wrestled with probably before.

Speaker 3:34:30Well thanks for seeing that lovely messages after, especially after keep silent chemo back in August. And I've had so many lovely for just some people who could affect the contaminated blood scandal. And I made sure the, I've dedicated the book to this. He was the, the chat to helped me with it. Um, and I let him read it before I gave it to my editor, which is really unusual. I never ever let anyone reads things is that I hand it to the editor and he gave it the key and I genuinely mean I would have pulled it, had he not given it the old kid. I was very aware that for me it's a profession. I'm a writer. I also have a responsibility, but I want to put things down that people can read the old soul. It's a piece of entertainment as well and it's a piece of escape or, and it's crazy and it's fiction, but I wanted to make sure I had the responsibility to the people affected by.

Speaker 3:35:29It sounded lovely, lovely messages from people, campaigners for the contaminated blood groups. But I've also had on m reviews on Amazon and saying I knew nothing about this thought it was complete section until I googled it because again, I want us to watch the news. I don't read news in the way that we used to. News is presented and we gather news from so many different sources now that it's easy to miss stories. So I got a huge, um, people, pleasure is pleasure the right word. When people contact me and say, I knew nothing about this and I've just started looking more into it and I'm horrified and you know, then they're lending their support to, to the campaign announced that that's good. So if that heightened awareness, then yeah, that's all for the good.

Speaker 1:36:24Without giving away any spoilers here. Which scene did you most enjoy writing?

Speaker 3:36:29Oh, um, for the, the keeper. Silent on it. I think the last one, the last one was the, I need this. I'm kind of stuttering. I'm trying to think back how it, how I did this with keep silent. It's based on the contaminated blood scandal, but there's no, there's no happy ending to that. The people that were affected by an infected, um, years ago in the pupil who were infected by it continued to be affected by it. Um, and you know, there's, I know there's a public inquiry and the window happy ending, you know, it's that, that I wanted a resolution. I needed to give the readers something and I needed to give myself something. I really struggled and that was a good guy. Absolutely. Tearing my heart out and tearing my hair out as well. Thinking how can I ever a solution. It's not like a crane, but no one can be jailed for this because it's real life.

Speaker 3:37:33No one can be jailed. So I finished the book anyway and I went to, as I say, he said you've made a good job of it and I felt really humbled by that, let the editor read it and that was fine, but it, nor do we aren't mean. I certainly, I need something more. So I said, what can we, can we just need to add something? So I created a final scene that, um, for me gave me a resolution and bruce hadn't made the final theme and when he read it, when he read the complete boot, when, when it had been edited and it was finally published and he got from even while he said that's just what it needed. So that, that was my favorite scene to, right. Because for me it gave a bit of a solution and it gave a bit of a punch in the ear to those, the campaigners. And so I just definitely something.

Speaker 3:38:31Well, I think once I started it, I tore through it, but it was the most challenging scene as in it only came to me once I handed the book. And once I entered the Google for I thought, right, so I had to tweak a few other rebates because a bit was all finished and edited and I've thought this needs something. So I think it was because I had to make it realistic. I had to make it quite, I wanted it to really pack a punch, but he couldn't believe it. She was, you know, it couldn't be something that there was no superheroes, nothing was going to knew. No one was going to come in. There's nobody been, you know, no knight in shining armor coming in, the white horse saving the day. But it had to be something that the packed a punch and that was thought to me was the most.

Speaker 3:39:21I find that really challenging. There was another, there was another scene in the book and I deliberately kind of kept that to them that really I struggled with and it was quite ahead of fixing and I toyed with not fitting it in. And that to me was the last thing. And that one other scene in the book and it's a woman's domain four institution and that there was nothing very graphic in it, but the leaders in new though, what happens to her and um, I toyed this, not doing that, but it's, that again is based on something that actually happened and I thought, no, I'm putting this in. So that was quite a challenge as well. I don't have an appetite for view Gore. I, I, I can read it and I can watch it, but when I'm racing it, I do. My books aren't actually glory. There's no a lot of blood and guts and things, you know, there's no holistic came that you're, you know, you're not kind of curling your toes. Um, it's, it's in a different way. So I don't really write writing anything that's overly graphic.

Speaker 1:40:34You mentioned this, you can't put down, it still was heart wrenching chapters that will evoke what you've just been saying, doesn't it?

Speaker 3:40:45Oh, that philosophy. I like that. So that's nice. And I'm not sure if that would maybe have that and to draw honest maybe with a different publisher. This wouldn't be acclaimed book, it would be the trains have been committed, but that our, that our claims, I've deliberately kind of paper that was certainly claims. Um, but yeah, that's, that's, that, that, that, that sort of side. I would like you please

Speaker 1:41:21just reviews when I do a podcast obviously because I'd like to get a feel of what the readers think about the books as well. That's not an uncommon comment from, from the reviewers, which I think is really quite heart warming for you and complimentary. Um, and just sort of sums up what you've been saying.

Speaker 3:41:41Oh, thank you. And that are scenes that I cry when I'm racing it. I don't know, but I, I know myself what I'm trying to get across and when I'm saying sometimes I get eggs and an actual library or sometimes my local lives and think my laptop, I'm going to start getting a bit tearful a lot. He didn't one time, mom and she patted me on the shoulder and she said, are you okay? And I realized that to Steven during, my goodness, I've been public because I'm trying to get inside the character so much and I'm thinking, oh goodness, this is, you know, in, in the last children, this isn't good navy lanes away, but you know, uh, uh, someone that has a baby and she only lives for a few hours and she's so heartbroken because I'm waiting, I'm trying to. And I'm thinking, oh goodness, pull yourself together.

Speaker 3:42:33Um, so I, you know, what I do, what I do want it to be talking to the heartstrings for the sake of it. I don't want to be just two men know that will tweak that emotion. And I wanted to, I wanted to drive the narrative. I wanted to be completely integral to be deployed. I wanted to be. Look, the reason that, the reason this woman has behaved in this way is because that happens to your 20 years ago, you know, that he's in, this guy's doing what you're doing is because, you know, two hours ago someone said that to him once. It's everything that happens. I wanted to drive the narrative. Yeah. I don't want it to be, you know, and the way that some people will fake scene in food go sexualized violence to make it slightly via to stick. I don't want to do that with heartbreak either. I want to make sure wherever for, and it's, it's striving artist of and it's not to Kinda took the heartstrings and if it does talk the hardest things we want to emphasize with these characters. We wanting to understand what's really happening to them. You know, it's, it's, it's very easy to use and to forget about hopefully and a booth. We do attach yourself to these characters more.

Speaker 1:43:50Yeah. We invest in middle.

Speaker 3:43:53Yeah, I think we do and it, I just read a eleanor oliphant is completely fine. And the, I don't know if you've read that to yourself. Well, to, to um, advertise someone else's Duke. I knew the book was coming to an end because obviously, you know, I was getting to the last final piece. I didn't want it to end and it's, it's really a slice of life had troubled woman, but she had such an unusual book. And again, it's, it was one of those things that really evoked so many emotions and I looked up different reviews for it and people were seeing that as well, but it was so many emotions in the bad things that had happened to Evan and Olson as a child and as a young woman she uses them, is such a matter of fact. She says it in a matter of fact, we but the region, it's not the ear to be salacious. It's there to drive the narrative and then you think, ah, that's why she's a bit older. That's why she's doing things that isn't the social norm. So I think if you're putting in anything that's heartbreaking or unusual or do it in a way that, that drives analysis of, you know, don't, don't use the reader's emotions, give them, give them about payback for it if possible.

Speaker 3:45:21Crime novel. Can you tell us about the model in the middle? Uh, I was chatting to another, right? So, um, uh, my friend Doug with skills in who I'd mentioned at the beginning of this, this interview, he's a very good writer. And I said, Douglas, I'm stuck. I like the middle, I'm at the 40,000 words I, I'm, I have to give up. And he said, no, he said you the exact same with the last one. And he said yes, as was I, as was everyone. And we do real phone each other and say we're stuck. And. But when you're in the eye of the storm, you can't remember this happening before. So this one, again, it's a part of the new trilogy or series of it started off as a trilogy, but it may turn into a longer cds and it again, it's going back over cold case. Something happened a long time ago and it opens with the days of a very prominent businessman, a very, very popular philanthropic Pearson who is loved by many people. And it's quite shocking martyr and it's not particularly high, but it's shocking because who would kill this lovely, you know, middle aged slash elderly man. And as you know, Luke's father into the database and the, the, the, you know, who could have killed him emerges maybe he wasn't quite as lovely as you would have latest to belief. Oh, I see.

Speaker 3:47:17On April the first, if I can get it finished, which I'm saving myself the deadline that the publisher said, if I can get it into your early December and April complication,

Speaker 1:47:30you'll have to let us know.

Speaker 3:47:33Oh yes. And creaky. I'm just, I'm at that stage. No, I'm thinking like that is it. Can I be late? Late my last one. I'm thinking like this is more a social thing that there's so many things going on with it, but it's, I'm not seeing. It's based on any real person. I'm sure that not enough people out there that we could attach this on to, you know, the really nice face in public. But even though all we seem

Speaker 1:48:02well, if you have those around.

Speaker 3:48:05Yep, absolutely. I'll certainly let you know. Paul, of course,

Speaker 1:48:10were the points of the interview now where I asked a rapid fire questions and answers.

Speaker 3:48:14Oh, goody, goody. I love these kids.

Speaker 1:48:17Well the will not, there's no right or wrong to these. It's just so the audience get to know you a little bit better. So if you could chat with any crime fiction author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Speaker 3:48:30Oh, according to Hoyle, I'll tell you, author Conan doyle because his Charlotte called and they may seem a bit old fashioned, a bit old hat. No, but he just slipped way I think for modern fiction and he was so clever and he just, he just got it right on. I and I would just, I'd love to pick his brain and I like to find out, you know, I'd love to ask them as well. And the fact we have Dni, we have CCTV, we have so many ways of catching criminals. What his take would be on modern racing.

Speaker 1:49:09Yeah, that would be interesting, wouldn't it? Mm. Mm. Okay. So that's every chapter. Okay, next question. Can you name a tool or product you can't live without and why?

Speaker 3:49:23Um, my kettle, that's because if I didn't have endless cups of tea, I wouldn't be able to write. I'm probably one of the few ready to that. Can't stand coffee, but I just write using a work document and a simple, a simple word document, laptop on a word document. But I heard rumor that for Christmas I'm engaging a Samsung notebook. Uh, I thought they were too small, too late on another chap at work, uh, the in the office and the BBC office and he had one and I have a little short or that little girl I'm in Glasgow don't know that's what you see. Don't say it's a little short or something. A little short with the little notebook and it's only about the size of an ipad smashing. So it means I can take my tape, my notebook on the goal because there are logged a lot for me, but it's a 17 inch slump top because I also do so day two thing and I have to lug this thing it owns and it's. Oh, fakey, um, it's too heavy. It so well I couldn't live without is my care to and my Microsoft word document.

Speaker 4:50:28Okay. What number would you give for a new author?

Speaker 3:50:34Right. Just write, keep writing. And don't stop racing. I was seeing for years I wanted to be a writer and I then realized I wasn't actually writing anything. Um, I thought, oh, I mean, apart from, you know, writing everyday in work and I'm thinking, oh, I should have to write and that sounds daft, but people have a notion that they want to be a writer, but they don't actually sit down and physically vape during the tutorial by what other people see about your rights. And that's not to say don't take advice, do seek advice. But if people will say, oh, there's no market for that, or you know, a little bit negative, or they'll tell you, oh, there's no money in writing. Or do you realize the difficulty is to make a living as a right to it? Of course it's difficult. It's almost impossible.

Speaker 3:51:23Um, but write, just keep writing, decides what's best for you, the. But you may want to go to Rachel's workshops. You may want to go to creative writing classes you meet. That means that's fine. Mixed with other racers. Use your local library. Grew two reading groups. Read as much as possible. Just read, keep reading and don't be afraid to, to um, to a copy ideas, but don't be afraid to be influenced by other writers. But I, I just see reads, keep racing on Dubuffet to say your workout, but also I go to or used to go to, um, I, I know delivered writer's workshops, but I remember going security course and people were writing the tables so you know, I sent an article out to such and such publication and I, that was about a year and a half ago and I haven't heard back and no, I do understand that, you know, as a nude I eat.

Speaker 3:52:25So you don't want to be pushy. You don't want to be bolshy about volume, volume, what your half. And if someone uses your product, ask them to pay for it. No, that's, yeah, you do have to write from nothing to start with some notes. You know, not everyone sailor, but if people are, are asking you to do things at fort exposure, do not to at the time that they value what you do. Don't make sure you value. And if other people don't, you people will spend fee credit, a cup of coffee, but don't, wouldn't spend 19 pain a, the downloads. So volume your, your work involve other raters works.

Speaker 3:53:07I definitely, you know, if you're offered a website that has free downloads, if it's legal and not fight, Yay. But if you're, if you're stealing work from a to go to your library, libraries will have to pay. You can get, not everyone can afford books, um, but value you want the valued other racers. And don't be snobby about your writing and don't let other people be snobby about your vaping. If you have a romance or claim or whatever, you know, and you know, people say, but what you know, that doesn't mean to see that you have to go to the moon to a soda but an astronaut. But if you know to get a gardner and you just say it, right? I'm going to write a book about going to the moon. You really need to know about rocket science. So that's late lines of unit rocket scientists need to say today of what I about a dark note.

Speaker 3:54:01You need to know your need to know your subject matter. I think just know your subject matter as much as possible and even if you're, you're, you're stuck. I'm seeing this more for my sales today else folks, if you're stuck just right because you can't edit a blank page, right, and then you can eat it and even if it's a bit stream of consciousness, that's fine. Just write on, I'm still be an adult. Let other people steal your dream and then start and again when you started, when you start putting your work as well, you're pitching it to agents or other publishers or wherever know your market know. Don't just do it. Use a scatter gun approach. Don't seem to every single agent in every single publication or every single publisher to ovulate to someone that only does math textbooks. You don't say it to target your who you're saying they get to be weighty of someone that offers you a publishing deal.

Speaker 3:55:02Enough for money upfront. Just don't go near them name and shame them on social media, but also be wary if someone comes along and offers. It's an independent publisher offered to publish your book, so any thing they didn't much editing. I mean it took me 15 years to get a publishing deal on. My Dad was in the published by a new publisher and it was 237 agents in that book that got passed a major initial agent, so eight, eight, so almost like people think that a god given, right no to a publishing deal and there's a lot of unscrupulous publishers that will exploit that, so I'm not saying that the UN that are small independent publishers who are fantastic and the titling the publishing world on its head and it's brilliant, but on the back of that as a few unscrupulous or piggybacking, make sure you can I do your homework and don't be afraid to ask what that editing was. The editing process like and they'd be prepared to even. Unless you are with the big. Even if y'all were the big voice, unless you're the top said you have to do your marketing yourself, but the most important thing is right. Enjoy what you're eating and read. Read as large as possible and support each other. Support other writers. Good advice.

Speaker 1:56:24Really good advice. A couple more questions. What's your favorite book and why?

Speaker 3:56:32Oh, okay. It depends what mood I'm in. It should either be the megas for the reasons I told you before because I read that I was reading that actual chapter on the island it, so they make us by John Fowles, but the boot getting over that 600 pages, it's not one that I was betty betty twice, both times. I'm really exhausted. Me. Um, I think Jeannie or has to be my favorite book I've made several times and I get something out of each or a baker I love for Bec. Oh goodness. It's going to depend what route, what do you think with Janie or just know because of the time it was just in. And I think you did such a tremendous job and when you think the way it was physically written that would be written in longhand with a quill and ink and you know, when you sink, that was available to write.

Speaker 3:57:26Sustained, but also quite dangerous subject matter. You know, we had the child who was neglected, she was shunned by her family, she was putting care, so it's so much, you know, that was a big thing, a lot of social responsibility that we saw the way that kids and kids were treated and know the way that they were, you fear in a really holistic way. And then when she met Mr Rochester and she's still in love and realized that the, you know, he does it to the mad waste in the attic and oh, there was so much, there was so much going on in that book. So I, I just, I loved it because of the time that it was written and also she certainly wasn't afraid to tackle really quite dangerous topics for the time because I know that's what the madwoman in the attic and it wasn't level for years was Mr Rochester even adult copilot, what's not to, like I said, I think I'm rebecca by a doctor. Did madea would come really hot on the heels of that.

Speaker 1:58:33Okay. Okay. He asked me next week it will be changed. What's your favorite movie at the moment and why?

Speaker 3:58:41Um, am I allowed to see Rebecca and Janie? I'm, you know, I'm not very good with the, the, the genie or my favorite is the Austin whales one and Rebecca with a lawrence, Olivia and Olivia de Havilland is Olivia de Havilland sister who I can't remember her name. Um, and I loved those films. Modern Day films, a fairly interchangeable. I don't. One of the last film I saw the movies was there, see billboards. I'm not according brothers one and it's transmit damage and it was really, really hard hitting. That was really a difficult one to watch. But for favorite films, um, I, I can't think of any more than films. So I would go back to the old, advertise to the old classics and I'd probably say, Oh, Rebecca in New Zealand, if I can't get, I can't get, I can't get, I can't get genie it and I'll get back in there.

Speaker 1:59:46Okay, well we'll let you do that then. What's your favorite piece of music or song?

Speaker 3:59:54Oh, um, I love a lovely and rose by Edith Piaf and I got married recently and we walked. I walked down the aisle to that and I think the lyrics, I love Edith Piaf and I think the lyrics are so beautiful. Um, they're, they're just gives your heart and soul to me and life will always be. And when you speak Angel Sing from above, everyday words seem to turn into a lot of songs. I mean, you just don't get lyrics like that. Certainly no rappers and the legs. And I, I love, I just love that song. But I was horrified assignment. My husband, he doesn't really like Edith Piaf. He thinks that she's a sheep. Someone's just jammed tail in the door and he doesn't like it at all. But you loved the song. And the, um, we had a compromise for the waiting. I chose the Louis Armstrong version because the trumpet solo is fantastic. Absolutely brilliant. So I think today I think that song is loving on roads because it just means so much. But again, oh crikey, it was songs I love so many songs to just evoked so many emotions. I love music. I think you are or I think either peer is definitely. I love the outdoors.

Speaker 1:61:24It can be different depending on the day, depending on the mood.

Speaker 3:61:28Yeah, it really can be because it's um, you're right and it depends what mood you're in and because yeah, the waiting was fairly recently. I'm thinking day. That's definitely, that's still the one that I'm still so close to my heart but next week it, a couple of months time. It may be something else. Franklin stevie wonder and have created. So I could, I could be, I could be here all the playlist for magic and never let your finish the interview.

Speaker 1:62:02Well, talking about that as it comes to the end now, how can our listeners get in touch with you and your books?

Speaker 3:62:08Well, the can get me via my website which is to read the towel, but Dr. Com and that's two. It was an age or the can find my books on Amazon and they can email me theresa with an h at today's a Dotcom and they can find me on facebook. I was still linked to, hard to see on air, but hopefully you'll be able to put the facebook link and I've got a.

Speaker 1:62:39Did he

Speaker 3:62:42on twitter? Yeah, well on my, on my website under them on twitter and facebook,

Speaker 1:62:49well for most of the books currently available in

Speaker 3:62:54um, the are currently available digitally to becoming an audio very short treat. Node. Leaders can access a p bag. I wouldn't recommend that. Just either need to come and bake paper bags and you can buy paper bags on Amazon, but they do have print on demand on. Maybe you shouldn't say this. I think that a bit too expensive. Just know the print on demand on his own, but they can be downloaded and it will be an audio very shortly.

Speaker 1:63:22Most of the rest that I need to call us the time here in the crime fiction lounge. And I want to thank you for a fascinating chat. Thank you for being here with us.

Speaker 3:63:30Oh, thank you for inviting me, Paul. If this absolutely wonderful. I've loved being in the section lines. Just lost.

Speaker 1:63:35Oh, you're welcome to have to come back again when you new books out.

Speaker 3:63:38Oh yes, please. If I'm invited, I'll video. Thank you so much. Okay.

Speaker 1:63:42Thank you very much. Now

Speaker 3:63:44to enjoy the sauna and enjoy the rest of your day.

Speaker 1:63:47Yeah, and you to listen for all our listeners out there to resist details and the details of her books on our I want to thank you for listening and let you know that our next guest will be author Alison Belsham and we'll talking about her latest book, the tattoo thief. I'll see you then. Bye for now.

Speaker 2:64:14You've enjoyed this episode. Why not subscribe? Leave a review and share with your friends, and don't forget to tune in for the next thrilling episode. Until then, stay safe.

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