I’m thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett. Scared to Death is published today 6th December 2016 by Saxon and is available in paperback here.
To celebrate today’s publication, Rachel has kindly provided a guest post all about setting for her new Detective Kay Hunter series.
Scared to Death
A serial killer murdering for kicks.
A detective seeking revenge.
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
A Guest Post by Rachel Amphlett
I’ve always been a traveller at heart, and especially now that I currently live in Brisbane, Australia and am the proud owner of two passports, one Australian and the other EU.
Until recently, I’ve had to do a lot of the research for my writing via the internet. The sheer danger associated with some of the locations in my espionage novels has meant that I couldn’t travel to those places, even if I wanted to!
So when the nugget of an idea for a new character first popped into my head earlier this year, I was actually quite excited that I’d be able to base the series around my old stomping ground of Maidstone in Kent.
I lived on the outskirts of Maidstone between 2002 and 2005 before emigrating, and because we have family and friends in the area, it’s meant I’ve been able to return there every couple of years. Some things have changed, of course – the centre has been redeveloped in the intervening years, and I discovered a whole new dual carriageway that I really don’t recall being there in 2005 (!), but for the most part, familiar surroundings have made writing in a new sub genre a little easier.
What has changed for me since moving away is that I now view Maidstone through different eyes – that of a tourist. I have to admit, I took for granted how close we were to the countryside when living in Weavering – we used to walk our old dog, Odo, across the railway line and over a field into Bearsted, returning home via a pub (hey, it’s traditional English dog walking thing to do – don’t judge me!).
I used to work in the town during that time, and would sometimes have to walk to work along the A20 – the same route that one of my victims takes on her way home – trust me, I know what it’s like walking along there at night when it’s raining and cars are splashing through puddles – I’ve been soaked through plenty of times!
When I was writing Scared to Death, I was therefore able to use a mixture of my own memories, a recent trip back, and Google Earth to create the world within which my characters live and work. I tried to keep the locations as close as possible to real life, but there are a few exceptions to that rule – I think that’s okay in fiction.
For now, the Kay Hunter series will stay in the Maidstone area, although of course I’ll be including a bit of artistic licence around that – but rest assured, there are plenty of locations I’ve got lined up that will keep Kay and the team very busy for the foreseeable future, and it gives me a great excuse when I’m next back in the area to walk around and seek out new areas for story ideas!
About Rachel Amphlett
Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.
She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.
An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.
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