Valerie Keogh, Crime and Psychological Thrillers Author
Valerie is the author of the Dublin Murder Mystery Series and other stand-alone novels.
Let’s Place Valerie Under the Spotlight!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books, including the genre(s) you write in.
Hi, my name is Valerie Keogh, I write crime and psychological thrillers.
I was self-published before getting my first contract with Bookouture in 2018 and then a contract with Bloodhound Books in 2019.
I recently signed a further contract with Bloodhound Books for two more in the Dublin Murder Mystery Series and another psychological thriller.
I’m from Ireland but live in the UK with my husband and our owner, a big fat black cat called Fatty Arbuckle.
What project are you working on now?
I’ve just started book 5 in the Dublin Murder Mystery series and am also editing my second and third psychological thrillers for Bloodhound.
How do you choose the genre(s) you write in?
The first adult books I read were the Agatha Christie novels as my mother had all of them. I like the puzzle of crime novels and like to try to puzzle the reader with my psychological thrillers.
Is there any particular author or book that’s influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
I started reading when I was very young and devoured Enid Blyton’s books, they gave me my love for reading. But even before that my mother used to read to us, and my favourite was Lewis Carroll’s amazing Alice in Wonderland which I still love to this day.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?
I use things that happen to me or my friends to add colour and reality to my books – but none of the characters are wholly based on real people and none of the events that happened in my books have happened, as far as I’m aware, in real life.
How do you come up with your titles?
When I self-published this was always a difficult one. Sometimes it was easy – with Exit Five from Charing Cross a pivotal scene in the book takes place here and I thought it made a great title.
With my first publisher we weren’t given a choice and if we didn’t like the title, we had to get used to it.
Bloodhound are great in that they actively encourage authors to come up with titles and so far they’ve liked all the titles that I suggested.
For my next book, due out in June, I had come up with a title only to discover it had been used just a month before so I had to think of something else.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Nope – what you see is what you get!
You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)?
My friend, Jenny O’Brien, author of Silent Cry, we could have a giggle together while in awe of the other writers I’ve invited – Stephen King, Ian Rankin and EF Benson (author of the sublime Mapp and Lucia series).
What are five words that describe your writing process?
Disorganised, motivated, determined, persistent, and frenetic.
Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
A very, very hard choice but it would have to be – never read another book.
What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?
Something a lot of writers do – I decided to change a name when I’d finished the book by going in and using find/replace – I wanted to change the name Mark to Ian.
Sounds simple – but when I read through afterwards every time there was ‘mark’ it had turned to ‘ian’ – so where I’d had supermarket, I now had superianet, a marketing manager became an ianeting manager, someone making a mark, now made an ian etc – it took me ages to sort it out.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
I’m really bad for choosing the first name that springs into my head – then afterwards I realise I’ve already used the name elsewhere.
Sometimes I’ll do an internet search for names, and also for surnames.
I’ve used all my friends’ names at this stage too.
If the names are foreign, I will always use the internet to make sure I choose appropriately.
Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?
My eldest sister, Patricia, reads an early draft and is very good at giving honest feedback.
I also have two great writing friends, Jenny O’Brien and Leslie Bratspis who read and offer helpful suggestions and encouragement – these three people are worth their weight in gold.
What is your most favourite word and why?
My editor would say that my favourite words are nod, shake, just, face!
I like the words trickled and shimmied and I often have sunlight and rain doing both.
What is your least favourite word and why?
Oddly enough, it’s cupboard – it doesn’t come naturally to me to use it – in Ireland we use the word ‘press’ not cupboard.
Like many post-colonial countries, we have hung onto older versions of words – the word press is an old English word.
You can find Valerie in the following places:
Facebook: Valerie Keogh Facebook
Twitter: Valerie Keogh Twitter
Instagram: Valerie Keogh Instagram