Blood Type: every fortnight top thriller & crime authors spill their guts about writing to Barbara Copperthwaite

“You have to sit at your desk and write. Even on days when you don’t feel like it!”

CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every fortnight topnotch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

This week: S.D.SYKES, author of historical crime hits Plague Land and The Butcher BirdSD Sykes B&W head and shoulders copy

Tell us about yourself.

Like most authors I suspect, I’ve been writing stories since I could write. But it’s a precarious career – so, in order to pay my bills and put food on the table, I’ve had many other jobs over the years – from running my own business through to walking dogs. My second passion, after writing, is medieval history, and I was inspired to write historical crime fiction after attending the novel writing course at literary agents Curtis Brown. My first novel Plague Land was published in Sept 2014, and my second novel The Butcher Bird was published in Oct 2015 (paperback in April ’16). I’m now working on my third novel in the Somershill series. I live in rural Kent with my husband.

How do you pick character names? Do any of them special meaning for you?

I’ve never been asked this before, so thank you Barbara! I use both historical research and general observation to name my characters. But it’s a tricky process. The name has to suit the character perfectly, and I have to be able to imagine the character with this name, or the whole construct can fail. I’m always on the look out for unusual names to use in my books. For example, in Plague Land, I have a family called the ‘Starvecrows.’ It’s a wonderful name, taken from a ‘Starvecrow farm’ that I used to walk past with my dogs. In my third book, I have a character called… TO READ INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

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