Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Getting To Know...Tara Lyons

Today I am really happy to bring you Tara Lyons on Getting To Know... author of In The Shadows and co-author of The Caller.

Your solo debut novel, In The Shadows, is a crime novel; have you always wanted to write crime fiction?What draws you to it?

I've always wanted to write, that's for sure, but I didn't know it was going to be crime fiction. The story of In The Shadows was brewing in my mind for some time and it just developed that way. Although it's not that surprising really because I love to read crime/thriller fiction and watch a multitude of crime TV programmes. 

Is there a lot of research that goes into the police procedure side of your writing? If there is, do you enjoy it?

Not so much for In The Shadows because it's more of a crime/thriller novel than police procedural, but yes I did have to research things and check some facts. The Caller is very police procedural and needed quite a bit of research - but I love that side of things. I've always had a passion for learning, understanding new things and talking to experts in their fields. I find it fascinating. 

You've just co-authored The Caller with M.A. Comley, which is the first in a new crime series. What is it like working with another author? How do you make your writing styles and ideas fit together?

I've loved working with Mel (M.A. Comley) because she is such an inspirational indie author. While our ideas and tastes are similar, we did find some differences in our styles. Communication is the key, and that worked well for Mel and I - we were honest and constructive while working on The Caller. We also devoted a lot of time to editing the book so it felt like a seamless read. 

Both In The Shadows and your new crime series have strong detective characters. Do you have a favourite detective from film/tv/books or history?

I'm a huge fan of DI Jack Frost (A Touch of Frost) and Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) - I think I have my Grandad to thank for that as we used to watch them religiously when I was younger - but they've always stuck in my head as brilliant characters. If I come across a re-run on TV now I have to watch them. In terms of books - I'm a huge fan of DI Lorne Simpkins in M.A. Comley's Justice series, DI Kim Stone by Angela Marsons and DI Damen Brook by Steven Dunne. 

If The Organised Crime Team Series became a TV show, who would you like to see playing DI Angie North?

Ooh, good question... I love people to make their own mind up about how they visualise a character... but, since watching Line of Duty, I think I would love to see Angie played by someone like Vicky McClure, feisty but fair - we'd just have to dye her hair!

When you're writing do you have a favourite place to sit or a certain routine that you follow?

I only have one option really, and that's the little office I've made myself in my bedroom. As much as I'd love to, I'm not someone who can pitch up in a coffee shop and type away thousands of words. I'd get distracted people watching and drinking tea. So, I need a quiet area (as quiet as possible with a toddler in the house) at my desk and away I go...

What is your favourite part of being an author?

When a reader gets in touch with me to say they enjoyed my book... it really doesn't get better than that. I completely understand you can't please everyone and that you are going to have people read your book and not connect with it - or sadly, completely hate it. But to then read a review or have an email/tweet/Facebook message from someone to say they really understood the character or loved where the story took them... well, that's what makes me want to sit at my computer for hours at a time. 

When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?

Looking after my three year-old son - so probably in the park, the local swimming pool or cinema or even stuck in the ball pit at a wacky warehouse. I'm in awe of the amount of energy he has and wish I could keep up!

Do you have a favourite author?

In the short, no. I read so many different genres and in the past year alone had read so many new authors, I couldn't possibly choose... 😊

What can we look forward to from you next?

I have notes galore and so many projects I've started that all seem to the simmering and vying for my attention. Some reviews have suggested they'd like to see DI Denis Hamilton return so at the moment I think I want to continue down that route. However, as I just said I read a lot of genres, so understand that readers want different things from books at different stages in their lives... so there could be more from me in terms of that, watch this space.

Thank you so much to Tara for joining me and answering my questions! I'll certainly be looking forward to any new works in the future!

For places to find out more about Tara and her books you can check out

Tara's author Facebook Page
Tara's blog
Sign up to Tara's newsletter

To pick up a copy of In The Shadows click here
To pick up a copy of The Caller click here