Silent Night was published in January this year. It is a story of greed and you are taken on a roller coaster ride of duplicity, murder, drugs and treachery that spans England and America. The story starts with Christopher tied up and waiting for his captors to come back and kill him. How did this handsome, rich, well connected man who seemed to have it all get into this position? The nail biting end will leave you scared and breathless.
Tell us something about yourself.
I live in London, England and I have written for the past 15 years. I am involved in criminality in my day job and my voluntary work and have had the opportunity of seeing people at the very best and their very worst. I say I have met the awesomely heroic to the sad, mad and seriously bad. All my characters are flawed in some way and the villains are particularly psychopathic.
What inspired you to write this book?
A chance conversation with a man who was seemingly well to do, handsome, well connected and had a fabulous job. He was not satisfied with his life and wanted more. He implied he would do anything if he could get more money to fund an excessive lifestyle. He is the character of Christopher in my latest book. He has a middle class wife in England, a mistress in London and a loving partner in Atlanta, Georgia.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
I self published with a prestigious publishing House Troubador Publishing in England. I researched publishers and wanted someone to take my book if it was good enough for the reading market. Troubador does not take on any book, they read it and then pronounce whether it is good enough for publishing or not. I was coming up to 60 years old and wanted to make it a momentous year so I published my book.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I have always enjoyed writing as a child. I used to make up stories for my childrens playgroup and then went on to write short stories. I didn’t know if I was capable of writing a novel. One day at work when we were very slack I started my first novel. I didn’t know where it would take me but once started it felt like I was reading a book and couldn’t wait to write more to see where it was going.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
The first sentence. Once that has happened it is a joyous rollercoaster ride to the end.
How do you do research for your books?
I research through the Internet. I use my extensive library of books that give me historical facts. I also use what I have learned through my experiences. Having been a Samaritan, a mentor for a young person, on a Referral Panel and working in criminality I have many instances to call on.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
I learned how to turn my book on its head to shock my readers. I learned that a vicious psychopath can make an exciting book into a nailbiting book. I certainly learned that not everything you see is real or true.
What are you reading now?
I am reading an old Clive Cussler book Inca Gold. I love his books.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I love Clive Cussler because he is thrilling. I love Agatha Christie. Everything she has done is wonderful and her characters are brilliant. I love Robert Grave who wrote I claudius, and Claudius the God. Wonderful story full of historical facts.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
My next book is called “The Singhing Detective”. It is about a Sikh detective Jaswinder Singh known to his friends and enemies as The Jazz Singher. A dedicated officer but flawed. He has many demons to cope with. An innocent little old lady is murdered and she is the catalyst for the start of the gang wars and murders that rock London. Is Jazz a saviour or a serpent? Time will tell as the story unfolds.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Do it! So many people say they would like to write but… Or they write a chapter and then stop. This is your opportunity, unless you give it a go you will never know what you are capable of. Everyone has lived a life in a different way to anyone else. What you do and your experiences could make for a wonderful novel.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I have Dan Smith Publicity helping me publicise my latest book. They have been absolutely great and so far I have had 2 radio interviews, an article I have written has been put in the San Fransisco Sentinal. Its the best decision I have made to ask Dan Smith Publicity for their expertise. In England I have recorded my short stories for Felixstowe Radio and they allowed me to advertise my latest book on air.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I have a website www.mcdutton-writings.co.uk. On it I have a bit of each of my books together with the third unpublished as yet book. Amazon sells my two published books “The Devil’s Tears” and “Silent Night”. Amazon kindly allow readers to look at the first chapter of each book which will give you an idea. I also have a facebook page called Maureenaries.