“Talent is all very well but tenacity, self-belief, originality and the ability to get the words on the page are just as important.”
CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday top-notch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.
This week: FIONA CUMMINS
Tell us about yourself…
I’ve been a journalist all my working life, most notably at the Daily Mirror, where I spent 12 very happy years. My job as a showbusiness reporter meant I got to travel a lot and meet some of the most famous celebrities in the world, including Michael Jackson and George Clooney. But after having my second child, I was desperate to discover whether I had it in me to write a novel. After hearing about the Faber Academy’s Writing A Novel course (alumni include SJ Watson, Rachel Joyce and Renee Knight) on the radio, I applied for a place and RATTLE, my début crime thriller, was born. It’s due to be published by Pan Macmillan in February 2017 and I’m currently working on its sequel. It’s also been optioned for a TV series.
How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you?
I believe names are so important and I choose them very carefully. To me, names are much more than a handy label. Names can conjure up age, era, personality…I love memorable and distinctive names. Think Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling. Or Detective Inspector Rebus. Equally, a very ordinary name can be used to signal something interesting about character too. I’m always on the lookout for unusual names, and I squirrel them away in my notebook… TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, PLEASE CLICK HERE