Catriona King was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland
She trained as a Doctor, moving to London
to live and work. She obtained her M.B.A. from Henley
in Oxfordshire , trained as a police Forensic Medical examiner and worked in central London
in General Practice, Community
Paediatrics and Health Management and strategy. She worked closely with the
Metropolitan Police on many occasions. In recent years, she has returned to
live in Belfast
She has written since childhood, fiction, fact and
‘A Limited Justice’ is her first novel. It follows Detective
Chief Inspector Marc Craig and his team, through the streets of Belfast
and Northern Ireland
, in the hunt for
the killer of three people.
‘The Grass Tattoo’ her second novel was released in December
2012. It follows lust, greed and foreign gang influences leading to murders in Belfast
The third D.C.I. Craig novel ‘The Visitor’ will be released
in March 2013 and a fourth novel is nearing completion.
What are you writing at the minute?
I've just finished editing the third book in the D.C.I.
Craig series called 'The Visitor' due out in March 2013. It's set in April 2013
and is about unusual murders set in the world of a fictional hospital in Northern Ireland
I've also completed the first draft of book four which is provisionally called
'The Waiting Room' set around the time of the June 2013 G8 summit being held in
Northern Ireland this year. We're hoping to release that in late May 2013. I've
also written a play which is being performed in Belfast
Can you give us an idea of your typical up-to-the-armpits-in-ideas-and-time
Well… if I'm lucky enough to have a full day free to write (I
have a real job as well) then I'll start at 8 or 9 am and write until the
natural light fades, somewhere between five pm in the Winter to seven pm in
spring/summer. But I can only do that for three days in a row then I have to
take a break for a couple of days or my head starts to hurt! :)
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work in the real world to pay the mortgage, and I run a
Belfast-based theatre company called The Studio which will be putting on two
plays at the MAC in Belfast
later this year. And I do all the normal things. Watch TV (crime or movies!
especially anything with Viggo Mortensen or Michael Fassbender in them. Or
directed by David Cronenberg. That being said a bit of Bruce Willis is fun too,
especially the Die Hard movies) and meet friends for coffee, chat. Generally I
just live life.
Any advice for a greenhorn trying to break into the genre
Yes, absolutely. Keep trying and don't be put off by
rejections. A rejection just means that particular person didn't click with
your book. Take on-board any advice they give you and take a long look at your
book, and if you believe in their advice then redraft. But don't lose the core
of your book or idea. Believe in yourself and trust the opinions of honest
people you respect and then keep writing. There is no substitute for being a
good writer except to write, practice, edit and redraft. It's hard work but
it's worth it.
Which writers have impressed you this year?
Hilary Mantel without a doubt and Alifa Rifaat.
What are you reading right now?
Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat. It's about the
life of a woman in Egypt
Excellent. And I would tell everyone to look at the Perceval Press
www.percevalpress.com for surprising and truly wonderful books. It's a U.S.
they ship everywhere. And support your local bookshops.
Plans for the future?
Perhaps write another play. And I'd love to script write,
for TV or film and I'm thinking of ideas for a screenplay right now.
With regards to your writing career to date, would you do
Mmm.... That's an interesting question. I had an agent for a
while and I do regret that, principally because it delayed everything and I
spent ages just waiting for them to submit to people that they thought I should
submit to. I left them and then weeks later read an article about a Belfast
Author Rose McClelland who was with Crooked Cat Publishing, a new publisher
setting up in Edinburgh
So I submitted directly to them and we clicked immediately. They are brilliant
and very supportive.
Do you fancy sharing your worst writing experience?
The agent, who shall remain nameless. I think also that
publishing can be a very cliquey business and established publishers sometimes
won't take a risk on first time authors or less well known writers. They are
also often to take risks and just go for what they know sells, which will
change in any given year e.g. the vogues for vampires, reality show based
books, celebrity biogs. That's why Perceval Press is such an awesome
organisation. They stretch people to open their eyes and look at things
differently. And genre bookshops like
'No Alibis' in Belfast
which focuses on Crime and American studies are well worth a visit.
Anything you want to say that I haven’t asked you about?
Just to say that I've deliberately set my detective series
in post -troubles 2012 Belfast
and onwards. I think people are tired hearing/reading about the Troubles (or
maybe I am). The hero has no political or religious bias at all, and he's
half-Italian to represent the other communities living in Northern Ireland
I wanted the books to belong to everyone and perhaps to do something positive
to cross the divide (even if they are murder mysteries!) and I also wanted to
showcase the beauty and good things like restaurants and countryside of Northern Ireland
, as Morse does with Oxford
and Rebus does with Edinburgh
. Perhaps people will get to know Northern Ireland
through the books and pay it a visit.
Thanks for interviewing me.
Thank you, Catriona King!