Mary- Jane Riley, Crime Author
Mary-Jane has written four crime thrillers. She’s also an ex-BBC journalist and presenter.
Let’s Place Mary-Jane Under the Spotlight!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books, including the genre(s) you write in.
I’m an ex-BBC journalist and presenter and I have written four crime thrillers featuring a journalist (!).
My first book is called The Bad Things, my second, After She Fell. I followed those up with Dark Waters, and my most recent, Gone In The Night.
They’re all set in East Anglia where I live because I love the landscape that ranges from beaches to cliffs to saltmarsh to forest. And those big East Anglian skies.
What project are you working on now?
Something that’s out of my comfort zone!
Another series, hopefully, that I’m thoroughly enjoying writing… I don’t want to say too much in case it doesn’t work…
How do you choose the genre(s) you write in?
I wanted to write something I wanted to read, and as crime fiction is top of that list, that’s what I did.
Is there any particular author or book that’s influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
That’s so hard!
I think every book/author has influenced me hugely from Enid Blyton to Sebastian Faulks. But I have to say, in my BBC days I interviewed Ruth Rendel who I asked, very nervously, for writing advice. She told me to “just write”. So that’s what I try to do.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?
My experience as a journalist, and some of the crime stories I wrote for the BBC News website formed the basis of one or two of my books.
How do you come up with your titles?
My agent and I have a brainstorm and come up with a title, and then my editor changes it!
Do you have any hidden talents?
Many. All hidden.
You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)?
Ruth Rendell (though she was seriously scary), Patricia Highsmith, Jacqueline Susann and Aesop (his fables carried me through a rather lonely childhood as my brothers were older and away at school).
What words describe your writing process?
Procrastination. Thinking. Eureka! Burst-of-activity.
Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
No. Can’t do this one, too hard!
What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?
Putting a news headline on the BBC website which should have read “Essex Grandmother…” I missed out Es… The story got a lot of hits. My boss was not pleased.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
People I’ve worked with, surnames of authors of books in my room, even my Belkin wifi router came in useful for a character called Adrian Belkin.
Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?
My husband. Couldn’t do it without him. My children also.
What is your most favourite word and why?
Discombobulated …. It’s a glorious sound!
What is your least favourite word and why?
Rejection, because it hurts.
You can find Mary-Jane Riley in the following places:
Facebook: Mary-Jane Riley Facebook
Twitter: Mary-Jane Riley Twitter
Instagram: Mary-Jane Riley Instagram