Kicking off this week with a few questions for crime writer Val Penny, before we get to that here is what book two in the series is about…
Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged.
DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.
Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense?
Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer.
When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case.
Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.
Hunter’s Revenge is the second in Val Penny’s gripping crime series featuring DI Hunter Wilson.
So, who are you and what have you written?
I am an American author living in SW Scotland where I live with my Scottish husband and two cats. I have a Law degree from Edinburgh University and an MSc from Napier University. Throughout my life to date, I have had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However I have not yet achieved either of my childhood dreams: being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, I have turned my hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. My crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’,’Hunter’s Revenge’and ‘Hunter’s Force’are set in Edinburgh, Scotland and published by Crooked Cat Books.
Why do you write crime fiction?
I enjoy reading crime novels! They are also amongst the most popular books purchased, so I have a large target audience!
I also find that through writing crime novels I find an emotional release in my craft. Crime novelists deal with the dark things that people usually push to the side of their minds in order to get on with everyday life: I find the attraction of writing can be important and cathartic.
It is often said that writers can be difficult people: gloomy, competitive and quarrelsome. However, for the most part, I have found crime writers to be an inclusive and convivial bunch. If you have a chance to go to a crime-writers’ convention, do take it: I’ll see you there! Crime writers conventions are exhausting, exhilarating and irresistible.
Lastly, I suppose, I write crime novels because I can create and then solve a puzzle for my readers. I can also confirm that a crime novel is an excellent place to park your rage! The prospect of giving vent to righteous anger in a safe form can be a particularly pleasing device. When characters require to act in a violent way or commit violence the reader is willing to witness this on the page but they would shy from it in real life. I can let rip on the page in a way they avoid doing in the real world.
What informs your crime writing?
For me, the sources for crime novels are many and varied. Ideas can spring from the news and current affairs articles; memories from the past and historical events or things that puzzle or fascinate me. I am never without a notebook. I never know when I will see or overhear something that I can subsequently use in a novel. Once I begin to exercise my creative muscles, I often find that they run into stories demanding to be told.
I can confirm that the research you do for crime novels and for academic purposes are equally satisfying. The research for a crime novel is also extremely diverse. It may involve visiting prisons, refuges, police stations or drug dens. Police are often very willing to be of assistance to crime writers, even if it is just to avoid being irritated when otherwise the writers would get police procedures wrong! When you are writing a novel, no information or experience is wasted!
What’s your usual writing routine?
It has taken me some years to develop a writing routine that works properly for me in real life. However, I now settled into a sensible working day. In the morning, I exchange contact with my readers through social media. This allows me to tell them what I am doing in my writing life and learn their views of my books. I also deal with any emails that have come in overnight and need attention. After lunch, I settle down to write for five hours and that leaves the evening free to relax with my family.
Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written and why?
The first adult crime novels I read, like many people I suspect, were those written by Agatha Christie. She is the mistress of plot construction and deflection. I would have been proud to write any of her novels, but I particularly like the setting of Death on the Nile. The way this story weaves around the different historical Egyptian sites and the clues and red herrings sweep through each different character in turn is delicious. It is a fine neat plot with a satisfying conclusion. No crime writer can hope to achieve more.
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book in the series, Hunter’s Force, follows shortly.