Sunday 25 March 2018

#Blog Tour - Dark Waters - Mary-Jane Riley

Welcome to the last stop on the blog tour for Dark Waters by Mary-Jane Riley.

There’s one problem with being a book blogger – there’s never enough time to read all the books you want to read which is why I’m going to be telling you about the book and chatting with Mary-Jane, the lovely lady behind the words, rather than sharing a review with you.

If you haven’t been following the tour I’d highly recommend that you check out the other stops to find out more about this fabulous sounding book. 

While we’re on the subject of the book let me tell you more about it.

DARK WATERS is the third crime thriller in the series featuring journalist Alex Devlin. It begins with a macabre discovery on board a pleasure cruiser on the beautiful Norfolk Broads – the decomposing bodies of two elderly men. It appears the dead men did not know each other and police suspect an internet suicide pact. 

Alex’s search for the truth reveals a darker story. She finds a connection between the two men and possible links to other unexplained deaths. 

As she investigates further, the stakes rise and her own family becomes embroiled in the mystery. Her inquiries lead her to the University of Cambridge. Could the roots of the puzzle lie there with a tragedy that unfolded amongst a group of carefree students many years before? 

Long-buried secrets come to the surface and Alex’s life and the lives of her family are on the line. As the past and the present collide, Alex questions everything she thinks she knows about those she loves.

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Photo courtesy of Mary-Jane Riley

Mary-Jane wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Mary-Jane has three grown-up children and lives in Suffolk with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
When my first book THE BAD THINGS was bought by Harper Collins, I was all set to use my initials and maiden name - I used my maiden name for work and using initials seemed to be ‘the thing’ at the time. However, I had to abandon that idea when my editor told me that that an MJ Cullen was on Amazon writing Werewolf and shapeshifter fiction. We thought it best not to get muddled up with that. So, after a chat with my agent, we went with my full, married name. And I am so glad I did, as my (grown-up) children said they were very proud of me and wanted people to know it was their mum who was the writer. However, if I wrote in a different genre, I would consider using a pseudonym, though I wouldn’t keep it quiet - after all, everyone knew Ruth Rendell was Barbara Vine, but readers knew they would get a different sort of book, and it didn’t do her any harm.

Do you often hear from your readers and what do they say?
I do hear from readers, which is one of the very best things about being a writer - that a reader has taken the time and trouble to get in touch and tell you how much they enjoyed the book. I often get readers from East Anglia - where I live and where all three of my books are set - telling me they love reading about places they know. A lovely thing that has happened since I was published is that people I went to school and university with, and who I haven’t spoken to for many years have got in touch to say they have read my books. Also, my former colleagues at the BBC (whose names I have shamelessly stolen for many of the characters) have been amongst the most supportive bunch of friends a writer could have.

Whats your favourite motivational phrase?
I have two, which are related - firstly, ‘Get it writ, don’t get it right’ and ‘You can fix a bad page, you can’t fix a blank page.’ 

What advice would you give your younger self?
Go for it, believe in yourself and don’t worry about what anybody thinks about you, because when you’re older you don’t want to have any regrets.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing etc come from?
Do you know, I don’t know! I can’t remember a time when I haven’t loved books and storytelling. I remember my father reading to me when I was ill in bed with measles. My parents buying me the full set of Enid Blyton’s The Twins at St Clare’s when I was in hospital having my tonsils out. I remember Little Aunty Alice (as opposed to Great Aunty Alice) lending me her Hammond Innes/Alistair McClean and Agatha Christie books, and I remember going to the library in Lymm, Cheshire and devouring the books there.

What do you think is more important: characters or plot?
That can be a difficult one for a crime/thriller author where plot is so important, even so, I think everything stems from character. You get your character right, then you know how they are going to react in certain situations and your plot comes from there. 

Describe yourself in five words.
‘A good fun old gal’ - courtesy of my husband and to be read with a Norfolk accent.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Zombies. Love ‘em. Films. Books. Anything. Though I wouldn’t like to meet one.

 You don’t fancy a night out with this lot then Mary-Jane? They look friendly enough!😂 😱

Dark Waters is available as an eBook now (paperback at the end of May) and you can find out more about more about Mary-Jane and her books by using the links below:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having me... not sure that lot look very inviting!