In May 2016, Orenda Books had a roadshow at Waterstones Piccadilly for some of their authors, including a new debut writer – Steph Broadribb. She gave a short reading of her upcoming book – Deep Down Dead. Even back then, you could tell that there was something special about this novel.
Fast forward to January 2017 and a packed room, again at Waterstones Piccadilly, for the launch of Deep Down Dead. Author Martyn Waites asked Steph lots of questions about her book, her blogger alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl and how far she was prepared to go in her research for her debut novel.
First couple of questions from Martyn – how did you start writing and where did Lori (female lead character from Deep Down Dead) come from?
Despite being dyslexic, Steph loved to read and made up stories as a child, including some tales about a dragon called Percy. When she was 8 she ‘borrowed’ a copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles. It scared her but she loved it. Later she read Michael Crichton and fell in love with action thrillers.
Lori Anderson appeared as a voice in Steph’s head during a road trip in the US. Steph was driving from West Virginia to Florida and she had a tail light out. In the States this is a big deal and Steph was warned that she could be pulled over by a State Trooper. She wondered what would happen if she was stopped and what she would say. And then she started to think, ‘What if there was knocking from the trunk because someone had been shut in there?’ And Lori was created.
Martyn pointed out that he first got to know Steph as Crime Thriller Girl when she started blogging reviews. Was blogging a stop on the way to writing?
In a way, yes. Steph had signed up to do the MA in Crime and Thriller Writing at City University and part of the preparation was a massive reading list. She thought the best way to get through it was to blog her thoughts on the books and it continued on from there. Blogging has also allowed her to read widely within the genre, not just action thrillers. It was also a good way to talk to authors and get to know them.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Deep Down Dead, I know that Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter and there is huge attention to detail about the job and what it involves. Martyn asked Steph how she researched for the book.
Steph went out to California to train to be a bounty hunter and trained with a guy called Rex. She learnt how to plan, track a fugitive and be safety conscious. The latter was the most important as she heard about a couple of bounty hunters who had been shot in the head and killed. At this point, Martyn then mentioned that Lori is an ex-stripper… No, was Steph’s answer, she’s not an ex-stripper but she has trained as a pole dancer! #tastethetaser is a trend you may have seen on Twitter, started by Steph’s friend, Alex Caan. As yet, Steph hasn’t actually trained to use a taser but is planning on going back to visit Rex in California to do so. Rod Reynolds had better watch out!
To cap off the evening, there was some traditional American food and drink including corn bread, Hershey’s Kisses, chocolate cookies with Reese’s peanut butter chips and shots of Jack Daniels. And, as ever, the most wondrous cake made by Karen Sullivan, complete with edible handcuffs!
If you haven’t read Deep Down Dead yet then you can read my review here. With front cover quotes from Ian Rankin, Lee Childs and Mark Billingham and movie interest, this is not a book to be missed!
Lori Anderson is as tough as they come. A Florida bounty hunter, and mother to a sick nine-year-old. When the medical bills rack up, she has no choice but to take on a job that will make a fast buck. And that’s when things go wrong…
You can buy Deep Down Dead here.
Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her
working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Deep Down Dead is her debut novel. Watch out for Deep Blue Trouble in 2018!