I’m joined this week by Wendy Dranfield who writes for Ruby Fiction. I asked Wendy some questions …
- I understand that your new book, Where the Snow Bleeds, is a sequel to your debut novel for Ruby Fiction, Who Cares if They Die, will we see any of the same characters?
Yes, book 2 is the second in my crime series, which follows Dean Matheson on his quest to become a homicide detective. In Who Cares If They Die, Dean is a police officer in small-town New Hampshire and we meet him during a major crisis in his life. Along the way he rescues Rocky, a lovable rottweiler and abused dog of a deceased drug-addict. He and Rocky become a duo to be reckoned with!
We follow their partnership further in the new sequel Where the Snow Bleeds which takes them to an isolated ski town – Lone Creek – in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Two teenage girls, who were working at a struggling ski lodge, have gone missing and Dean’s been asked to help find out what happened to them, but he’s not prepared for what he finds. As well as the characters from book 1 we meet some great new characters, both good and bad.
2. How important are locations to your novels?
Extremely important. Maple Valley is the fictional town where Dean’s journey begins and it’s set in New Hampshire which is notorious for its harsh winters. When I started writing book 2, I had Dean move to a hot climate – Nevada – but about 40k words into the book I realised it wasn’t working and the reason was the temperature of Nevada! For some reason, hot and sunny didn’t fit with the mood of my story, so I changed it to the desolate, isolated fictional town of Lone Creek, Colorado. I re-wrote the first 40k words and the story just took off. The weather plays a big part of the story in Where the Snow Bleeds, so I had to reference snow in the title!
3. If you had to give advice to a new writer trying to get published what would it be?
Write a lot and submit a lot. Getting published isn’t just about writing something worth reading, it’s about submitting stories widely to increase your chances of being picked up by someone who enjoys your work. I was offered two publishing contracts for Who Cares if They Die, by the first two publishers I sent it to, which isn’t really typical of my previous experience of querying with short stories! I had a feeling as I was writing it that it would be published. I think it’s because I enjoyed writing it so much, and I love the characters. It genuinely is something that I would love to read, so it’s not forced at all, or written for a particular market.
If you’re just starting out why not try submitting short stories to contests first? It’s a real confidence boost when you get shortlisted or win. I’ve had several stories published in various anthologies and websites, but many more were rejected! Don’t take the rejection process personally as it’s part of the job! There’s not one writer out there who hasn’t been rejected at least once in their careers.
- Where is your favourite place to write and why?
I need a desk to write at usually. I have two desks at home – one in our office (a spare bedroom) and one looking out into the garden. That one can be a little distracting because of all the wildlife that walks/flies through the garden, which the cats and I get very excited about! If I need to concentrate or meet a deadline, I’ll write in the office. I’ve recently treated myself to a height-adjustable desk and it’s really helping me to avoid back-problems. Wherever I write, the cats will join me (usually to demand dinner) and they keep me warm in the winter.
- If you had to cast the book for a film, who would play the lead roles?
The characters in my head don’t look like any famous actors, but I’ve had readers suggest who would be good to play Dean Matheson in a movie. He has thick black hair and blue eyes and is 36 in Where the Snow Bleeds. Suggestions from readers include: Henry Cavill, Kit Harrington, Chris Pine… I like the idea of Henry Cavill but he’s a little too clean-cut for Dean, who’s more rugged. Someone also suggested Matt Bomer but I’d never heard of him and had to Google him.
I would agree and say he is the closest – looks wise – to how I picture Dean. For the female lead of Who Cares If They Die (Beth Smith), she’s British so Kate Winslet would be great. As for who could play Rocky… Well, any rottweiler who still has his tail, is a little overweight and has a liking for pancakes!
6. Where do you think your next book will take you and will you have to do any unusual research?
I’ve already written book 3 in the series, which continues Dean’s journey. I ended that book on a shocking cliff-hanger, so I’m really excited to start writing book 4 so I can see what happens next! I also have ideas brewing for a new psychological thriller series. I’m making notes every time something pops into my head. As for research, when you’re a crime writer everything you Google has the possibility to incriminate you should the police ever come knocking! I know way more about crime scenes and how to murder people than I want to…
(Wendy 😱 Thank you for answering my questions. Mx)
About Where the Snow Bleeds
“You want to know what I’ve learnt after living in Lone Creek all my life? I know the snow bleeds here …”
Former police officer Dean Matheson has been playing it safe since the case that cost him almost everything. But working as a PI doesn’t quite cut it, that is until a British woman walks into his office with a job that Dean can’t resist.
The woman’s daughter, Hannah Walker, and her friend Jodie have gone missing whilst working at a ski resort in Colorado. It’s clear there’s something sinister about the girls’ disappearance, but then why are the local police department being so unhelpful?
So begins Dean’s journey to Lone Creek on the trail of the missing girls – and he’ll soon find out that in Lone Creek, everyone has something to hide …
To buy the book use the following links
and for Wendy‘s first book with Ruby Fiction
About the Author -Wendy Dranfield
Wendy is a former Coroner’s Assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband.
Who Cares If They Die and Where the Snow Bleeds are the first two books in the Dean Matheson series, with more on the way. As well as her crime thriller series, Wendy has written a YA crime novel – The Girl Who Died – and she has several short stories published in UK and US anthologies. She has also been shortlisted and longlisted for various competitions, including the Mslexia Novel Competition.
For behind the scenes gossip and updates on Wendy‘s books (or photos of her cats), follow her on social media!
YouTube: Wendy Dranfield Author
Lovely to have you on my blog, Wendy Mx.
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