Q&A with author Jane Casey @janecaseyauthor #killerfest15

Your name: Jane Casey

Tell us about yourself: I was born and brought up in Dublin, then read English at Oxford. I worked in publishing for nine years, specialising in children’s books. I’ve now written ten crime novels: seven for adults and three for teens. I live in London. I’m married to a criminal barrister so essentially we live off crime!

Tell us about your latest book: My most recent book is the fifth Maeve Kerrigan novel, The Kill. Maeve is a Metropolitan police detective constable, working on a murder investigation team that handles complex cases. The Kill is about a policeman who is murdered on his way home from work, in the passenger seat of his car, in a quiet bit of Richmond Park. It looks personal – but then more police officers die . . .

Jane’s new book – After the Fire – is published in June by Ebury Press

When did you start writing? I only started writing properly in 2007 – before then I’d done a few short stories but nothing major. I set myself the task of finishing a novel and that was my only goal. Then I thought I could use the finished book to get an agent, which I did – and that led to a two-book deal, for my first book, The Missing, and the first Maeve Kerrigan novel, The Burning. It was all very easy in one way, but also a huge amount of work and worry. There’s no easy route into publishing!

Where do you write? Wherever I can! I hide from my small children around the house, or work in the local library and in various coffee shops, airport lounges, trains, planes – you name it. I dream of getting my own writing shed. One day…

Which other authors do you admire? I read a lot of crime – I really enjoy Elizabeth Haynes, Erin Kelly, Colette MacBeth and I love Donna Tartt’s writing. I adore Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham too and I started off my life of crime by reading Agatha Christie – no one has ever really done plots better than her!

Book you wished you’d written? The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

Greatest fictional criminal: It has to be Francis Dolarhyde from Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon for sheer creepiness and evil. I’d pick Lecter if he’d only appeared in Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, but the continuation of his story didn’t work for me.

Greatest crime or criminal from the real world: The trouble with most criminals is that their crimes aren’t really ‘great’ – there’s very little glamour in real life crime! I am fascinated by Ted Bundy, though, in a kind of appalled way.

Greatest fictional detective: My all-time favourite is Lord Peter Wimsey even though he’s too perfect to be real! There’s a short story where he spots the baddy because he uses the wrong adjective to describe himself – in French. No one else notices although they, themselves, are French, and Wimsey is the quintessential Englishman. He’s very entertaining.

What scares you? Random disasters, chance encounters that end badly, freak accidents. I spend a lot of time trying to predict what will go wrong so I can avoid it, but life doesn’t really work that way.

Are you ever disturbed by your own imagination? All the time! I have a truly dark mind. I try to keep a lot of it to myself to avoid disturbing onlookers.

3 crime books you would recommend to EVERYONE

  • The Scold’s Bridle by Minette Walters
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham.

Do you listen to music when you write? Yes, I have a playlist for each book. It usually lasts between ninety minutes and two hours, so I write for that amount of time and then have a break. It really helps me to tune out the world and get into the right mood to write. I play it on shuffle so I don’t get distracted by thinking, ‘Ooh, this song means I’m nearly at the end…’

Are you on social media? All too often! I love Twitter, as most writers do. And I’m on Facebook too – I have an author page.

How can fans connect with you? The best way to talk to me is via Twitter – @janecaseyauthor – as you’re almost guaranteed a response! Or email me via Facebook.


Other Articles

Author Interview | Claire Kendal on I Spy

I Spy cleverly mixes elements of the psychological thriller with elements of the spy novel. What made you want to join those two genres together, and how difficult was it? The novel’s shout line is You don’t see me, but I see you. I think this really plays… Read More

Guest post by Stella Duffy, author of Money in the Morgue.

Stella Duffy on growing up in New Zealand, her feminist father, and why she’s pleased Money in the Morgue will be published on International Women’s Day…        Stella Duffy photographed by Gino Sprio   I grew up in Tokoroa, a small town in New Zealand. We moved… Read More

Rachel Sargeant on her gripping psychological thriller The Perfect Neighbours

Rising star Rachel Sargeant talks about her new novel, The Perfect Neighbours, a dark and twisty psychological thriller with an ending you won’t see coming… When Helen moves abroad with her loving husband Gary, she can’t wait to meet her fellow expat teachers from the local International School. But… Read More