TELLING A TALE
I think it's really important to describe the settings in the stories I write. I like to paint a word picture so the reader can fully imagine the location where the action is taking place. In Blood on the Tide, a WWII bomb is retrieved from the mud at Compass Point (Rye Harbour). I tried hard to describe the concern of the soldiers as they sweated to get it out, while watching the tide gradually roll in.
In Blood on the Shrine, DI Sonny Russell is sent to a Buddhist retreat, almost as a joke by superintendent Vic Stout. But Russell is much more spiritual than his boss realises and delights in being there. I drew on my own, not insignificant experiences, of Buddhism to describe the peace and serenity encountered at a retreat.
The story in Blood on the Strand revolves around gold and silver valuables that were stolen towards the end of WWII. The net shops in Hastings play a large part in the story. I wanted to recreated the sight and smells of these iconic buildings and the surrounding fishermen's beach.
In the fourth DI Sonny Russell mystery the occult and fortune tellers come to the fore. During my research I was delighted to discover that the occultist Aleister Crowley, once named 'the wickedest man in the world', ended his days in a nursing home in Hastings. I described a visit made made by Septimus Pike, a sinister antique dealer, to the infamous character and the sad situation he finished up in.
My current work in progress, book five in the series, begins with an investigation into the disappearance of two characters. Quite a lot of the action takes place at a grand manor house, named Sowsden Manor in my story. But, it's actually based on a place I know well - but I'm not telling!