Very excited to welcome Lynne Milford to my blog. Lynne’s debut novel has just been published and I asked her to tell me a little bit about her writing and her background.
Write what you know
This is the first piece of advice given to writers who are starting out. There are several schools of thought on whether this is the way to go – it might restrict what people think they can write about when most things can be learned through research.
For me, setting out to write what I know was a bit of a no brainer because the idea that presented itself involved a lot of what I already knew.
As a local news reporter, I’ve had a lot of good experiences, whether that’s patrolling the streets with the police, attending court cases or being called out at 7am on a Sunday morning by the fire brigade to the scene of a house destroyed by a gas explosion. That one was a great story. The householder was rescued from the ruins by three of his neighbours who ran in to the house to get him out. The man recovered but I couldn’t say the same thing for his house, which had to be demolished.
Some of the jobs I’ve been on you wouldn’t believe – for example, like the time I dressed as a beekeeper for a story, and I’m going to gloss over that one. County shows and ballet competitions I could have quite happily left behind, but then, you can’t pick and choose as a lowly reporter.
From these experiences, I decided that my target would be the planning committee. I’d sat through enough meetings to know that by-and-large they’re deadly dull, but they can also be very emotive when people don’t get what they want. People didn’t want their neighbours to build an extension that would block the light from their garden. Whole housing estates could be refused or delayed due to a certain type of protected newt being found living on the site. In the case of a housing estate, there’s a lot of money at stake. What would happen if a developer was keen to get their application passed, at any cost? What would they do if someone stood in their way?
I hasten to add that although I used my experiences, the story itself is completely made up and I never saw the scenario of this book played out in any council meeting I ever went to. However, I was lucky to have the experiences that would give me that kind of idea.
And no, Dan isn’t based on me, despite what you might think. I have written about fuchsia shows and nursery school sponsored walks, but I never had his ambition to join the national newspapers. I’ll leave him to that ambition and see how he gets on.
Thank you for telling us about how your job inspired your book, A Deadly Rejection. Here’s the blurb to tells us more.
How far would you go to get what you want?
Beneath the bustling, respectable exterior of the Kent town of Allensbury lies a world of corruption and greed.
When local news reporter Dan Sullivan scents a story in the local council, he begins to ask questions. But when his source dies in mysterious circumstances, Dan is implicated. He is quickly drawn into a world of lies, ambition and avarice as he fights to clear his name.
The more he digs, the more someone tries to stop the story from ever seeing the light of day.
Dan must decide what’s more important to him…the story, or his life.
If that’s intrigued you then you can buy the book here.
By day, I work in PR and communications; by night (and at weekends) I write crime fiction (as well as baking pies and chocolate brownies).
In a previous life I worked as a local newspaper reporter. This gave me the inspiration for the story that has become my first novel, A Deadly Rejection.
I live in Kent and spend far too much time on trains commuting into London for work, which does however give me time to work on plotting and writing my books.
You can keep tabs on what I’m up to by following me on Twitter @LMMilford or by checking out my blog lmmilford.wordpress.com I write about what I’m working on, advice on what I’ve learned through my work and how to move forward with writing.