This is where I share a smorgasbord of news, interviews and articles on everything to do with writing and crime fiction.

First, an interview with the academic and writer Elaine Aldred in which we discuss the writing process.

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Ace interviewer Elaine Aldred

Here the author and humorist Iain Pattison puts me through what he describes as a ‘mixed grilling’.

The piece originally appeared in Iain’s monthly newsletter. iain pattison


 Hi Maureen, what’s the quirkiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Filming a ghost in a reputedly haunted Lancaster bomber at RAF Cosford comes close. On reflection, it might have been exactly that: a reflection of the sound recordist’s head in the lens. I was covering the item for TV news at the time: facts spoil story – not.

What word or phrase do you overuse?

Darling . . . darling.

What’s the most surprising thing that anyone has ever said about your work?

Bridget Jones meets Cracker came as a shock. Total b*****ks. Love it though.

What first inspired you to write?

To write fiction- the opening sentence of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone. Thirteen words that convey volumes: Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.

Favourite treat?

A cheeky little Prosecco to wash down a chip butty on white bread and butter. I am one classy broad.

What time of day do you write?

Office hours – with authorised overtime when the deadline’s looming.

Twitter – brill or shrill?

Both so it has to be, brish?

Your guilty pleasure?

Watching Four in a Bed, back-to-back.

Writer’s block – real deal, or just an excuse to skive?

No such thing. I’m with Terry Pratchett who reckoned it was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. My mantra? JDI –  just do it.

Who’s your favourite author? Why?

What day is it? Seriously, my favourite changes like the wind. Having said that, I love reading Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne books. Mark has the enviable ability to change emotional gear in just a few sentences of lean pared-down prose. I also love his characters. And some of his dialogue makes me laugh out loud. Plus, he comes from Birmingham!

Worst meal you ever ate?

A dish I made at school. Soused herrings. Well, I say ‘ate’. The culinary delight didn’t get as far as my mouth. Even the cat did a runner.

Celebrity you most fancy?

Aiden Turner (with or without towel) has just taken over from Johnny Depp.

How do you cope with rejection?

Writers have to accept not everyone will love their work. I find a voodoo doll pinned to a dartboard softens the blow.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do they believe in you?

I refer you to my earlier answer, m’lud.

What makes you fume?

Everything that curbs freedom of speech. Too many people are scared to speak out nowadays, cowed by the thought of being ridiculed and excoriated by the thought police on social media and the like.

Iain co-launched the publishing company Creme de la Crime back in 2001. We’re pictured here at the launch party for my first novel. Happy? Moi? Ecstatic, more like.

iain p and me

Here’s a piece I wrote for ShotsMag about GRAVE AFFAIRS the book that brought  DS Bev Morriss back in from the cold after a four year break.

grave aff

This article tells how and why I came to write A QUESTION OF DESPAIR – the first in the Sarah Quinn series.

aqod cover

For a look at the part Birmingham plays in my novels, check my scene of crime interview with J. Sydney Jones:

brill bham skyline

And here’s a link to a piece that explains why my background in journalism plays such a large part in my work as a crime writer:

I’m in Crime Review’s Countdown hot seat here.  The website’s one of the best in the business at reviewing crime fiction – if you love reading it, do check out the site.


This link will take you to my blog where you can read more general items and the occasional short story.