Interview with mystery novelist Helen J. Christmas

I’m
wrapping up the week with mystery novelist Helen J. Christmas. We’re chatting
about the third book in her Same Face Different Place series, Pleasures. It is a romantic suspense,
YA, British Noir.
Welcome,
Helen. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I
am an English author living on the south coast with my husband, Peter where
share our lovely 17th Century thatched cottage with a black and white collie
dog and a large, fluffy white cat.
I
have been writing on and off for most of my life. My current romantic suspense
series was inspired when I was walking our dog along the beach, daydreaming
about my life, when a series of characters and stories started to materialize
inside my head. I was born in 1964 and remember the eras of the 70s and 80s – I
thought ‘how great it would be to write an epic story that took the reader on a
journey through the decades of Britain!’
It
was in 2011 when my series ‘Same Face Different Place’ was born. It starts in
1972 where two young characters are drawn into a political conspiracy to murder
a British politician and they end up on the run. This debut novel (Beginnings)
is enriched with my own memories of the fashion, culture and music. Book 2
(Visions) kicks off 12 years later and travels through the 1980s. Last year I
completed the 3rd book of my series, (Pleasures) where the story speeds towards
the 90s. It is part suspense thriller, part YA, since it includes the lives and
times of the next generation of characters.
Please tell
us about your current release.
Pleasures is a gripping suspense thriller where the main
character of the series, Eleanor, finally starts to unravel clues of a mystery
that began in the 70s. She confides in her son, who at the age of 14 is
becoming more curious but at the same time, she lives in fear of her most
dangerous enemy, Perry. The book is a race between Eleanor finding the evidence
she needs and Perry’s attempts to destroy what she knows at any cost. The
youngsters too get involved in this passionate story, set around the early 90s
club and rave culture.
What
inspired you to write this book?
I
remember the club scene of the 90s when the media was filled with news of a
designer drug called ‘ecstasy’ and its link to illegal raves – it has been the
subject of many good crime thriller of the era – I enjoyed researching it.
Excerpt
from Pleasures:
Margaret was still running –
her staggering steps pulling her deeper and deeper into the heart of the
forest, away from the boots thundering after her. She was sobbing in terror,
glancing back at the stage where the light had been gradually fading dimmer.
One minute they
had all been dancing. It was so beautiful; those magical seconds when she had
snatched William’s eye. It had been like a dream, a transitory flicker of time
where he had materialised like an angel. The joining of hands, the pulse of
brilliant music where all she could see was flashing lights. Everything glowed,
the entire forest effervescent with movement and with the lingering effects of
the ecstasy, she had felt sublimely happy.
Then came the
screams coiling up from the crowd. Margaret thought she was hallucinating;
staring in disbelief at the demonic, hooded figures with their black masks.
They rose out of no-where like evil spirits about to destroy their enchanted
forest…
What
exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently writing the fourth and final book of
the series Retribution.
When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
When
I was six years old! I had a drawing book in which I scribbled out a fairy tale
in pencil, complete with pictures – in fact I’ve still got it.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
Hah
hah, I wish! Writing full time would be a dream but alas no… I have two jobs:
1) I am a web designer – my husband and I run a small business from home and we
have a portfolio of customers to look after. 2) I have a part time job in a
supermarket (3 days a week) as an online shopper. It involves a 5:00 in the
morning start – but I finish at 9am so have the rest of the day ahead of me. On
those days I get a couple of hours writing done in the afternoon and on every
other day, I make time early in the morning.
What would
you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My
dog always comes and sits in the office with me when I write. He is my muse and
it’s not the same if he’s not present.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
Other
than writing I enjoy the research. I connect with people I possibly never
would; such as a retired army officer and a neurological research doctor (for
the next book). I like to travel to the locations of my books too – especially
London. For example, I took an exciting ride on the London underground to
research a chase scene in one of my books.
I’ll finish by saying, I feel gifted to be a writer
and enjoy inspiring others to follow their dreams.
Links:
3 books on Amazon belonging to ‘Same Face Different Place’ series which is also available as a Boxed SetBeginningsVisions, and Pleasures.

Thank you
for being here today, Helen!

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