A question of ghosts (and other things)

BooksI’ve recently answered some questions for The Omnivore (you can read the answers here) and that, along with the current book I’m reading (The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard) had me thinking about the questions readers like answered by authors. I’m a bit of a Robert Goddard fan and have read all of his books, and what I particularly like about them is the way he combines history with a puzzle, a bit of a mystery. And keeps readers guessing. I try to do that in my own work.

So here are a few of my answers to questions.

Is the novel you’re writing at the moment also set in the past?

Ship of Haunts was set in three time periods, 1912, 2012 and 1940s Australia. I’m fascinated by the past and always have been, and when I visit places with history, I enjoy tapping into that and learning about how life was then.

My present novel, like Ship of Haunts, is also set in the past and the present. That’s all I can say, at the moment…

Why do you write about ghosts so much?

Ghosts, like the past, have a sense of mystery for me, that idea of the unexplained, the unknown. History can never be known or fully understood, most history is subjective, and filtered through someone else’s eyes. Ghosts, whether they’re real or imaginary are a reflection of people’s perceptions (either our own or the ghost’s!).

Are there any murders in your forthcoming novel?


Would you ever consider writing a series, or more than one book about certain characters?

For writers, I think a series is a wonderful idea as it gives a chance to explore themes already developed, and build on them or take them down routes you didn’t have time for first time round. I personally doubt I’d ever write a series, but I do like the idea of using individual characters or places in new (book) settings. It lends a continuity to the work of the writer.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Urge to Kill (psychological thriller by JJ Franklin)I’ve already had a number of other careers, my main challenge is that there are so many things I’d like to do and not enough time to do all of them. For example, learn French, play the piano.

If I had my life again I’d like to be a pianist or a painter (I can’t draw for toffee).

In this life I’d run a bookshop – it’s one of the few (viable) career avenues I haven’t explored.

So, back to books… as well as historical fiction, I also enjoy crime writing.

And if you’re looking for a page-turning psychological thriller, Urge to Kill by JJ Franklin (also available in paperback) is on special offer for just £0.99 (kindle edition) for the next few days. Try it out!