It gives me great pleasure to be helping to celebrate the launch of Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. Little Girl Lost is the first in the Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series, published on 19th January by Bookouture, and is available for purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
To celebrate publication of Little Girl Lost Carol has kindly agreed to an interview on Linda’s Book Bag.
Little Girl Lost
A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told.
A teacher is found dead, close to the school where he works.
A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir.
For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the victims. Apart from one thing. The bodies both have the same grisly trophy beside them – a bloodstained toy rabbit.
As Robyn starts to delve into the lives of the two dead men, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number?
But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted.
Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …
Gripping, fast paced and nailbitingly tense, this serial killer thriller will chill you to the bone. Discover Carol Wyer’s new series – at a special launch price.
An Interview with Carol Wyer
Hi Carol. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing and your latest novel Little Girl Lost in particular. Firstly, please could you tell me a little about yourself?
I hate talking about myself but here goes: I became a full-time writer in 2010 when I turned my attention from writing children’s educational books as a hobby, to the adult market.
My first two novels Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, I’ve appeared on numerous BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television, and Sky television, discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Grumpy Old Menopause’. In 2015 I won the prestigious People’s Book Prize Award for Grumpy Old Menopause.
I’ve written articles for, and featured in, several national women’s magazines, including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Own who also wrote about my journey to becoming a best-selling author.
Having written ten humorous books –three non-fiction and seven fiction, I changed direction this year, and am writing a series of psychological thrillers, and published by Bookouture, featuring DI Robyn Carter. The first, Little Girl Lost released in January 2017, has had some rave reviews and shows I have found my true niche. (Pause for an evil laugh.)
(I’m finding that laugh slightly unnerving!)
And tell us a bit about Little Girl Lost (without any spoilers please!)
It’s a psychological thriller told from the points of view of three people: Robyn Carter, Abigail Thornton and a murderer. The opening is very gritty and made me wince writing it, but is essential to the plot which twists and turns. I’m going to use a recent review which describes it far better than I can, as I tend to give away too much. This is from Penny For My Thoughts Blog:
DI Robyn Carter is drawn into a search for a common denominator in a series of seemingly unrelated murders. Were the murders revenge for an act committed years ago and if so, who is the killer? When a husband goes missing and his wife discovers that he may not be the person she thought she married, she turns to a private detective rather than the police. Robyn returns to the police force after a leave of absence and discovers that her first assignment crosses paths with the missing husband and everyone involved has secrets and something to hide. Which secret leads to death and who has the most to lose if their true identity is discovered? Is someone setting up Abigail to be a victim or is she battling postnatal depression and seeing and hearing things that don’t exist?
(That sounds fantastic!)
When did you first realise you were going to be a writer?
Although I’d written educational books for children, I didn’t consider writing as a career until my son left home and I converted his bedroom to an office. That was in 2009.
If you hadn’t become an author, what would you have done instead as a creative outlet?
I’d have definitely been an actress or show presenter. I love the limelight!
How far do you think teaching English has impacted on you as a writer?
Teaching set texts to GCSE and A-Level students that required analysis certainly had an effect on my writing. I can’t put pen to paper without dissecting my plots and chapters and ensuring they do not fall short. This is particularly true of the series of thrillers. I am paranoid that I have made an error in my timeline, or introduced an inaccurate piece of information that someone will spot. I enjoy playing about with descriptive words or juxtaposing scenes to heighten suspense which is something I got from studying Literature and teaching it too. As for the grammar, well, I’d love to say being a teacher of English has ensured I make no errors but sadly, with failing eyesight, those pesky typos creep in.
(As an ex-English teacher myself, I know exactly what you mean.)
Little Girl Lost marks a departure from your other writing. How and why did you decide to try a different genre?
The real answer is lengthy but suffice to say, like many people who write humour or who do stand up, I have a dark side that first emerged when I wrote a series of short stories entitled Love Hurts. Some tales were amusing, all had a twist, and one was shocking. The reaction to that first story was surprising. People loved it and said I should write more ‘sinister stuff’. That gave me the confidence to explore that possibility. I wasn’t short of ideas. Thrillers have always been my go to choice of book to read. I have been playing about with surprises and twists in my novels for some time, along with darker moments that I sneak in, and Life Swap had the daddy of all twists. After I wrote that book, I decided I was ready to change direction and add as many twists and turns as possible into my books.
How do you go about researching detail and ensuring your books are realistic?
Months and months of research on the Internet and then, phoning people who are in the know to make sure facts are correct, or chatting to them on Facebook.
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
Thinking up the plot is the easiest part for me even though it takes months to get it right. Typing is the worst part. I can only type with two fingers, (I know…I know) and given I write out every book longhand first, it takes me forever to type it up.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
Once I start writing, I don’t stop. I suffer from insomnia, so I go and go and go until my batteries run out and I conk out for a short while, or until Mr Grumpy yells at me to stop.
You frequently refer to your husband as Mr Grumpy. How does he respond to that epithet?
He loves it. Ever since he discovered he has a fan club he has relished being Mr Grumpy and even produces videos on YouTube with me to do with travel. (The Grumpy Travel Show).
How did you create your new protagonist Robyn Carter?
I met the woman who inspired Robyn Carter while filming for a television show – Masterpiece with Alan Titchmarsh. We spent an entire day with fellow competitors in a stately home, and I found out a lot about this one in particular. She was such a strong character and looked astonishing. I discovered she was not only into fitness but had won many contests and modelled underwear even though she was my age. I got the idea then for Robyn’s attributes and some of her character, and began writing her backstory into a notebook, as I do with my main characters. Each one has a history and Robyn’s is a very interesting one. There are some clues in the first book, however her character will develop throughout the series. She may not have had much luck, yet she has backbone. She is also flawed, as she should be if she is to come across as human.
Once I began writing Little Girl Lost, I had yellow post-its all over my wall with essential details of the main characters. As for her name; it came to me one night, or I should say at three in the morning, as is so often the case when I am thinking up the plots. I have no idea why I chose it and to my knowledge, I have never met anyone called Robyn.
Little Girl Lost is the first in a new series and I know you’re already writing book three. How difficult has it been to retain ideas for future projects and not reveal everything in this first novel?
I haven’t had any problem with that as each synopsis is in front of me on my wall, when I write. I made sure they were all separate so that didn’t happen.
You’re not afraid to tackle issues like ageing in your writing. How important is it for writers to reflect the society in which they live do you think?
I have always believed that Literature reflects society’s thoughts, fears, and arguments, and as writer’s we need to keep abreast of those to retain integrity.
I know you’re keen for those of a certain age (like me) to age disgracefully – what plans do you have to do so?
I have been ageing disgracefully for the last decade: quad biking, flying helicopters, scuba diving wrecks, ziplining, and facing challenges like diving with sharks, and taking up stand up comedy. Unfortunately, I came a cropper last year and my spine which was in a bad way from my youth, gave up on me, so I am now limited to less wild antics. I haven’t had a chance to work out what I’ll get up to next, but it will involve some wacky project, that’s for sure.
You’ve recently created a Street Team. How important are bloggers to writers?
Totally essential! I would not have enjoyed any success had it not been for all the many bloggers and reviewers who have helped me since I began writing. I cannot stress how important they have been to me and how grateful I am.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
Thrillers and since I speed read, I’ll read several a week when I get the chance.
Do you have other interests that give you ideas for writing?
Travelling and people-watching always give me ideas for books. At the moment, given my penchant for murdering folk, it’s probably a good idea if I don’t carry out too much real research.
The cover of Little Girl Lost makes me think of Hansel And Gretal with the juxtaposition of innocence and evil. How did that image come about and what were you hoping to convey (without spoiling the plot please!)?
The lovely team at Bookouture produced the cover. It was designed by the same man who has worked on Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell’s covers. Peter Augustus has done an incredible job and captured the atmosphere perfectly. In my mind, the whole idea of being lost can apply to more than the child who is taken and when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean.
If you could choose to be a character from Little Girl Lost, who would you be and why?
I ought to say Robyn, but I when I was writing the book, I became obsessed with Alice. I don’t want to be her but I loved writing from her point of view. Maybe part of me is Alice!
If Little Girl Lost became a film, who would you like to play Robyn Carter?
Jennifer Leann Carpenter who played Debra Morgan in the Dexter series.
If you had 15 words to persuade a reader that Little Girl Lost should be their next read, what would you say?
A recent tweet summed it up perfectly: It’s dark and messes with your head, you can’t be sure who’s telling the truth and who’s lying. Oh bother, that’s eighteen words.
I’ll let you off! Thank you so much, Carol, for your time in answering my questions.
About Carol Wyer
Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping Little Girl Lost.
Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.
Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.
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