Former The Bill scriptwriter turned author, Paul Finch, tells us how his time working for the Manchester police force was the starting block for his passion of crime fiction writing. Read Paul’s second instalment into the killer reads diary…
There’s no question that my police service gave me an excellent grounding from which to write crime fiction. It’s not just about procedure, you see – it’s an innate understanding of the police officer’s role in society, and more importantly, the role the police may play in his or her life.
Being a cop is not like any other work. You can’t just put it away at the end of your shift. By its very nature, the job can alienate you from everyone you know. It can depress you, frighten you, outrage you. But by the same token it can empower you, and be massively rewarding. Above all though, it’s a weird occupation – where the complexity of experience can truly be stranger than fiction. And this air of the unreal is something I feel honour-bound to try and bring to my crime-writing, particularly in my forthcoming trilogy of cop thrillers from Avon Books.
But where does having actually been a cop leave you as a crime writer?