For those of you who Like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, it will come as no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Mel Comley (M.A.Comley) and her amazing Justice series. So you can imagine the squeals of delight when this lovely lady agreed to an interview for my blog. I am, in fact, a huge fan of all of Mel’s books, but secretly wish I was Lorne Warner (nee Simpkins). I can’t contain my excitement any more…so without further ado, I would like to give Mel a big welcome to CrimeBookJunkie!
CBJ: Can you share a little about yourself and your background?
Well, I turned fifty this year, so I guess middle-age has now firmly set in. I’ve been around, as they say. My CV is full of different jobs, in the past I’ve been anything from a barmaid to a successful store manager working for a famous food store retailer. I suppose I would describe myself as very determined. I love to set targets for myself and feel very proud when I achieve those goals. I’m also one of life’s givers, I prefer to give far more than receive. My greatest passion in life is to try and make the world a better place to live in and rid the world of all forms of animal abuse.
CBJ: When did you embark on your writing journey?
In 2003, after renovating our first house in Normandy, France, I enrolled in a creative writing course with the intention of writing romances. Not sure what happened along the way.
CBJ: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Reading and gardening. At the moment we have a garden which is an acre and a quarter, it’s hard to keep on top of when you write full-time, and work over 100 hours a week. Once we get back to the UK I’m hoping to buy a house with a smaller garden so I can just potter around in it, like other middle-aged people do.
CBJ: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Lorne Simpkins?
How similar we are! She’s a kick-ass kind of girl. Something I’ve always aspired to be.
CBJ: What advice would you give aspiring writers/authors?
Go for it! But make sure you have the funds behind you to get your work edited properly before unleashing it to the world.
CBJ: What drew you to crime thrillers vs another style of writing?
I read my first James Patterson book after I completed my writing course and then penned my first chapter of a thriller. Well, the adrenaline rush I received from writing that first page just blew me away. I quickly switched from writing romances and haven’t really looked back since.
CBJ: Do you do any research for your books and if so, what does this entail?
Of course, every writer should research any topics they choose to write about. The readers will soon trip you up if you don’t research your subjects thoroughly.
CBJ: Would you ever consider collaborating with another author? If yes, who? Why?
Well, it’s funny you should ask that. For the past four years NY Times bestselling author Linda S Prather (love her work, if you haven’t read any of her books yet, then you’ve seriously missed out,) and I have been discussing a collaboration project but we’ve both been so busy it’s never really come to fruition. It will happen one day though. However, what is in the pipeline in the foreseeable future is me writing with a new author, Tara Lyons. She showed me a copy of the first draft of her debut novel and I have to say I was blown away by her talent. We met up recently when I was in the UK on a house-hunting trip and have been discussing a joint project we intend to publish together over the next two years. Umm… this is when I’ve promised myself some well-earned time off, I hasten to add.
CBJ: Do you work to a particular outline/structure/plot or do you prefer to just see where your ideas/the story takes you?
I used to be a fly by the pants kind of writer but now I plan everything out in detail, that’s the key to becoming a successful writer I believe, just ask JP. 😉
CBJ: Being an Indie writer can be a struggle at times, I can imagine. How do you get your name out there to promote your work?
I’m lucky, I have five years behind me now, and in that time I’ve acquired a wonderful fan base. I love interacting with them daily on the social networking sites. I’d be lost without them now, writing can be such a solitary career.
CBJ: You have a wide variety of books available, various series and stand-alones. How can readers discover more about you and your books?
I don’t believe in exclusivity, so my books are available on all sites. Here are the links:
CBJ: When choosing a book to read what draws you in?
If the first page doesn’t grab me then I’m afraid the author has lost me.
CBJ: What book are you reading right now?
I’m enjoying Tara Lyon’s first book In The Shadows at the moment, great read.
CBJ: You use a lot of your reader’s names as characters in your books. (Self Plug: I am in Rough Justice by the way~ A pole dancer…check it out LOL). Is this for any particular reason or does a name just grab you?
I do. This is my way of giving back for the wonderful support my fans give me. It’s been an incredible journey which could never have been obtained without my fans assistance.
CBJ: What do you think makes your books stand out from others? (and trust me…they do stand out!!)
Gosh…I genuinely have no idea. I write books that I love to read myself. The book needs to grab the reader and drag them along for the ride.
CBJ: What question do you wish that someone would ask you about your books, but nobody has? ~ And then answer it!
When is Lorne and the Justice series going to be made into either a TV series or a film? I don’t have a clue, just slap a contract in front of me and I’ll sign it straight away, then put my feet up and retire.
CBJ: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Determined, reliable, and unselfish.
CBJ: And finally, what can we expect from MA Comley in the near future?
If you’d asked me that a month ago my response would have been LESS. However, life has a habit of turning plans upside down at a moment’s notice. Now I’m very excited about the new series I’ll be writing with Tara. Plus I’ll squeeze in a few more Justice and DI Sally Parker thrillers along the way no doubt. Watch this space.
Thank you so much Mel for answering my questions and I am dead excited about the new project with Tara Lyons!! Looks like I will have a new author to stalk…errrrm I mean, be a fan of …of course!!
Check out all of Mel’s books here: M.A. Comley Amazon
You will not be disappointed!!