I was lucky enough to meet Faith Mortimer at an event organised through The Book Club on Facebook and have long wanted to feature her on Linda’s Book Bag so it gives me enormous pleasure to host an interview with Faith today.
Faith Mortimer is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire, UK and Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamt of writing novels which readers would love, and spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters.
Faith Mortimer is regularly in Amazon’s Top 100 paid lists and is best known for mystery, adventure, thriller and suspense as well as women’s fiction. You can find all Faith’s books on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
An Interview with Faith Mortimer
Hi Faith. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.
Firstly, before I answer your questions, may I just say how nice it is to be featured on your blog today? I am indeed honoured and appreciate it immensely. Thank you.
Crikey, thanks – not as honoured as I am to have you!
Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
I was born in Manchester, England. I had an exciting childhood spent on Royal Air Force camps around the Globe. I think this first kindled my lifelong enthusiasm for seeing new places and people. After returning home from school in Singapore, I attended Purbrook Grammar School in Hampshire and left full time education with a handful of ‘O’ levels but a wealth of interests.
I qualified as a Registered nurse before starting a family, and much later changed careers and ran a number of sport related holiday companies. Hence my passion for sailing and snow skiing. During this time, I became a qualified Yacht Master and when my husband took early retirement we upped sticks and set sail for foreign lands. I studied for a Science degree on board our sailing yacht and being fortunate enough to gain my degree I then felt confident to write my first full length novel, The Crossing (The Seeds of Time and Harvest).
There’s a strong sense of place in your writing. How do you achieve that and to what extent has your life in the Air Force in bases around the world influenced you as a writer?
You’re absolutely right, Linda. I do set high importance in the setting of my books as I believe it adds to the richness of a story. My childhood was spent dotted around the world in some exotic countries, including Malaya (as it was then), Singapore, Malta plus some UK camps. I firmly believe that living in foreign climes and meeting other races, broadens and kindles the mind of both writer and reader.
Your Diana Rivers novels feature some very harrowing topics that are highly relevant to today’s society. What draws you to such subjects?
I have a favourite yet cynical phrase, ‘The World’s a Sewer’, and I’m not talking about poop although that is a major problem in itself! No, every day we read and hear horror stories about rape, murder, drugs, human trafficking and the illegal sale of body parts. These problems are so vast that many countries are completely out of control socially. Although the subject matter is shocking and disheartening I believe we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions. By writing about these topics it is my small way of opening people’s eyes. Knowledge is power after all.
Family seems very important to you. How far does it impact on you as a writer as well as an ‘ordinary’ person?
The older I get, the more I realise how mortal we are. My family are supremely important and I endeavour to give them all the love and support I can. But I tend to get lost in my work, and sometimes have to be jolted out of my own world. But I do my best, and I’ve found that families are often great bearers of inspiration and anecdotes which often somehow find their way into my novels!
You haven’t always done things the easy way in life – studying science as a mature student when you intended to study English for example, so how far did this influence your creation of the Diana Rivers character?
I had to think about this. I’m often asked whether Diana Rivers’ character is mine and although we have similar ideas and habits we are not the same. She’s younger for one thing…but we do both like a challenge and this is probably where my determined nature comes in, as seen when I decided to read for a degree in my forties. When I’m passionate about something, I am also focused and single-minded on that subject. Diana just seemed to flow into someone similar but probably even more dogmatic!
If one of your novels became a film, who would you like to play Diana Rivers?
Now there’s a question! Diana is essentially English and as well as having a sense of humour, she has been brought up properly with good manners and strong ideals. She doesn’t suffer fools at all and often feels tempted to thump the bad guys. So, my actress would have to play a strong character role as Diana. I’d choose someone like Kate Winslet who enjoys ‘ballsy’ parts, or Emily Blount or even Helena Bonham-Carter. Diana is in her forties, so some of the younger actresses of today would be too immature – as yet.
As well as the Diana Rivers series, you write psychological thrillers under the Dark Minds banner. How do the two series differ from one another?
The Diana Rivers series always has the same main cast in each book as well as others who pop up from time to time throughout the series. The Dark Minds series always has a completely new set of characters for each novel. I tend to be a bit more graphic with the Dark Mind series and play heavily on the mind of the protagonist, hence the psychological effect.
When you write your Affair romances, how easy or difficult is it to move into a different genre from thrillers and crime and what writing processes do you have to do differently?
At first it is difficult to slip into this new genre and generally takes me a week or so to adjust. Once I’ve realised that I don’t have to kill off my main characters (lol) then I settle into my writing groove. I write at the same time and place, and use much the same writing processes, hopefully creating empathetic characters who readily engages with my readers. I tackle topics which occur in everyday life: death, illness, infidelity for example as well as good old fashioned love, babies and marriage.
If you had 15 words to persuade a reader that Faith Mortimer should be their next read, what would you say?
Thank you for looking me up – now – please try me for your next read!
You had a word left over so I think I’d rewrite your sentence to say ‘Thank you for looking Faith up. You definitely must try her for your next read!’
Faith, thank you so much for such interesting answers.