I’m delighted to welcome my good friend, Wendy H Jones, to the site to talk about her successful debut novel Killer’s Countdown.
JULIET: Wendy it’s great to have you here. What’s your reaction to the phenomenal reception that Killer’s Countdown has received?
To be honest I’m stunned, and excited and every other positive emotion in the dictionary. As you know Juliet, it is always a worrying time when you send your book out there into the wilderness. As an author I am glad people are enjoying the book and it brings them pleasure. I’m glad they like DI Shona McKenzie as well.
JULIET: For those people who have not yet read Killer’s Countdown please can you give us a brief outline of what the book is about?
DI Shona McKenzie is on her first big case since joining Tayside Police. There have been a number of murders of, predominantly, young women. The book is unusual in that it shows the story from both the Police and the Killer’s viewpoint.
JULIET: Is your MC DI Shona McKenzie based on anyone you know personally or is she simply your idea of what a female police detective should be?
She’s completely out of my head. This just goes to prove I have a very strange mind. Shona is sharp, grumpy, cynical, funny and loveable. I am sure that means she is an amalgam of many people I have met over the years.
JULIET: What do you most like and dislike about DI McKenzie? What do you see as her main strengths and weaknesses?
I like her sense of humour. I don’t really dislike anything about her. She is sharp but, at the same time fair. her main strength is her doggedness and her persistence. Her main weakness is that she doesn’t know the local area well enoug as yet.
JULIET: Your novel is set in Scotland where police procedures and the law are very different from that in England & Wales. Have any readers encountered any problems coming to grips with this?
WENDY: No one has said it’s a problem. As Shona is new to Dundee and Scottish Law I have brought this into the story to add explanations where possible. Readers in the USA have said love the Scottish aspect of the story.
JULIET: Do you read other genres of fiction or do you read mainly crime?
I read widely amongst genres although crime is my go to. I will read anything except Sci-fi and I’m not a great lover of Fantasy either.
JULIET: This may be a tough one, but which crime novel do you wish you had written and why?
I have read so many crime novels that I can’t choose just one. Every time I read a new one I think it is good and learn something from it.
JULIET: If DI Shona could invite any five famous people (fictional, living or dead) to share a carry out who do you think she’d choose and why? (Not including other characters in Killer’s Countdown) For those of you who are unaware a carry out is the Scots name for a takeaway.
Agatha Christie - How did she think up the plots for her books
Sherlock Holmes - To discuss all things crime
Robert Falcon Scott - (Scott of the Antarctic) His ship RRS Discovery was built in Dundee and is now on display in the City. She would like to hear about his adventures.
Jean Thomson - The first policewoman in Dundee in 1918. She would love to know what it was like for her at that time
Josh Groban - a contemporary singer; he would be able to provide the entertainment for the night
JULIET: What, for you, are the best and worst aspects of self promotion?
I don’t really consider anything I do to be self promotion. I am in inordinately social person so basically share my adventures of writing, publishing and seeing my book out there. I love meeting people at the events I have done and answering their questions. I don’t actually think there is a worst part as I don’t on the whole promote but just have fun.
JULIET: When will the next DI Shona book be out?
The next one in the series, Killer’s Craft will be out in July
JULIET: Where can readers get a personally signed paperback copy of Killer’s Countdown?
They can get it from my website at the following link
JULIET: Please could you share a brief excerpt of Killer’s Countdown with us?
As I stared down the barrel of that gun I had a feeling, deep inside, that this would not end well. How did I find myself here, deep in the bowels of a frozen Scottish wood, eye to eye with the business end of a Browning Pistol? As I stood, motionless, adrenalin heightened my senses. The rough bark of the tree was cold against my skin as sweat froze on my neck. Acid bile rose in my throat, burning, threatening to erupt. I swallowed against this lava flow of vomit. I could see the gunman’s face with startling clarity, lit by the cool winter sun. Blue eyes. Devoid of any emotion. This was a killer’s mask. The hand, holding the gun, was unwavering. This was a hand that was strong, with only one purpose in mind. The chase ended here. Before the day was out, one of the two participants in this chilling game of cat and mouse would be dead. Of this I was certain.