1 As Frances you write crime and thrillers. Do you write in any other genre? If so, what and which do you prefer?
Under my real name, Lorraine Mace, I write children’s novels and my debut has been accepted for publication in the US. It will be out in April 2014.
As you know, I write crime as Frances di Plino. I don’t really have a preference. When in Frances mode, I love writing gory and disturbing material for adults. When in Lorraine mode, I write black humour for children, so I suppose there is a tiny bit of crossover in my two personas.
2 Why crime? What is it about this genre that makes you want to write it?
I love reading crime and, when I started writing fiction seriously, Bad Moon Rising was the first novel I attempted. It underwent several rewrites before it was good enough to be published, but fortunately, Crooked Cat Publishing saw the merit in it and helped me to raise it to the next level.
I like the idea of allowing the darker side of my personality free range to go wherever it pleases (and do whatever it pleases, too). It helps to keep me sane and my husband alive – a win, win situation.
3 Is there anything in your background that gives you an insight into the genre?
I was in a live-in relationship with a psychopath – fortunately, it was a long, long time ago – but that experience has never healed completely. On the plus side, it gave me tremendous insight into the way such a person’s mind works. He was always absolutely convinced he was right – no matter how others might view his actions. For my killer in Bad Moon Rising, drawing on those memories enabled me to craft a killer who showed no remorse because he felt none.
4 How long have you been writing?
Full time since 2002. For a few years before that I wrote short stories whenever an idea came to mind. I have had a fair amount of success in competitions and the magazine market, but my true love is novel writing.
5 Do you prefer writing series or stand-alone novels?
I prefer writing series. I like to see how the characters grow over a period of time. Both my crime and children’s novels are series, but I have one novel for adults that (if ever I finish it) will be a standalone.
6 How do you write? Plotter or pantser?
I fall midway between plotter and panster. I generally have a good idea of how to start and how to finish, but cannot plot the entire book until I’m about halfway through the first draft. At that point, when characters I’d never even thought of have arrived and found their place in the story, I sit down and plan chapter by chapter to the end of the book.
Organised or chaotic?
I would have to be honest and say chaotic, but my husband keeps me organised. So, again, I fall between the two.
Tidy or messy desk?
Messy desk. I try to be tidy, but I work on so many different projects during the course of a day that my desk usually looks as if a tornado has swept through the room.
7 What is your current WIP? Can you give us a taster?
My current WIP has a working title of Call it Pretending and it will be the third in the Detective Paolo Storey series, following on from Bad Moon Rising and Someday Never Comes (which is released by Crooked Cat Publishing on Friday 16th August).
It’s a story of murder (naturally) but this time the killer is murdering for revenge. Apart from slaying those he believes wronged him many years earlier, he also frames the man he perceives to be at the heart of what happened to him.
8 Any other info – here you can insert anything you’d like to say about your crime fiction or yourself (I’ll be asking more about you and your history later)
As I mentioned above, the second in the Detective Inspector Paolo Storey series, Someday Never Comes, is due for release. Here’s the blurb to whet the appetites of those who love crime:
Has Detective Inspector Paolo Storey come up against a criminal he cannot defeat? Paolo is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes. When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.
“dark and uncomfortably believable.” JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs Series
Frances di Plino, author of crime thrillers Bad Moon Rising and Someday Never Comes (Crooked Cat Publishing), is the pen name of Lorraine Mace, humour columnist for Writing Magazine and competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She is a tutor for the Writers Bureau, and author of the Writers Bureau course, Marketing Your Book. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam of The Writer’s ABC Checklist (Accent Press). Lorraine runs a private critique service for writers and is founder of the Flash 500 competitions for short fiction, humour verse and novel openings.
Frances di Plino
Crime/Thriller Review Site