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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Author Interview with Mari Hannah

Settled Blood by Mari Hannah 

I met Mari Hannah on a cool, pre-Winter day in a cosy pub in the Tyne Valley to hear about her new book. Over a bowl of steaming soup and crunchy bread, she told me all about the inspiration that led her to write this, the second novel in the series featuring DCI Kate Daniels.

The locations for the new novel - which of course is what drives us here at TripFiction - are County Durham (Land of the Prince Bishops), the Northern Pennines and Hadrian's Wall. It was the remoteness of these locations that she was looking to use as a backdrop for the novel.

A lot of her work has psychological insight. As a former Probation Officer she had a great deal of training in law, sociology and psychology. Many of the police procedures she describes seemingly have a great deal of authenticity about them and she relies very much on her partner, a retired detective, who proofreads and offers a reality check.

Although she has always written poetry for friends, Mari came to professional writing in a roundabout way; an injury at work ended her career and she began writing as a form of physical therapy from a complicated wrist injury. It was then she realised she had a gift, that perhaps a career in writing might not be so difficult to achieve. 

Initially she trained in writing screenplays with the support of Northern Film and Media - and her first success was a romantic comedy, a far cry from what she is doing now! Then she wrote a poilot TV episode for the BBC as  part of a drama development scheme, based on the characters in the was to become her debut novel, The Murder Wall.

With the help of New Writing North she found her wonderful agent, Oli Munson, who has seen and supported her through the highs and lows of publishing. Books 3 and 4 are ready to go and the 5th one is currently a work in progress.

A while ago, local journalist, David Whetstone, commented that he liked the fact she was not afraid to use real place names. He said, 'You can follow the route taken by her heroine, DCI Kate Daniels, as she drives around Tyneside and the Tyne Valley. The pizzeria at the end of my street even gets a mention, as does the deli not far away.' Elizabeth Ashworth - herself an author of historical fiction - summed it up perfectly: "It's the little thrill of familiarity".

And it is great to be able to visualise the author's characters in known locations, whether it is the streets of Jesmond, Housesteads or Café 21 on Newcastle's Quayside!

Settled Blood by Mari Hannah

For more information on the book, and to purchase, just click on the cover, and available in bookshops now. 

'When a young girl is found dead at the base of Hadrian’s Wall, it’s not long before Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels realises her death was no ordinary homicide. She was thrown from a great height and was probably alive before she hit the ground. Then a local businessmen reports his daughter missing, has Daniels found the identity of her victim, or is a killer playing a sickening game? As the murder investigation team delve deeper into the case, half truths are told, secrets exposed, and while Daniels makes her way through a mountain of obstacles time is running out for one terrified girl'

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