The Writing Life of: Noelle Holten
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Noelle Holten. Noelle will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Dead Wrong‘, which will be released on 14th March 2020 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.
Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
I had two dreams jobs I was interested in – neurosurgeon (sadly my physics grades prevented that avenue) and lawyer … but once I found out I couldn’t just focus on criminal law immediately, I gave up on that dream.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Judy Blume, the Nancy Drew books (too many authors to name), C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Sue Townsend to name a few.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
I always had an interest in writing and took creative writing and English lit in high school. I used to write some depressing and quite morbid poetry in my teens and I even submitted a short story which a teacher wanted to submit to a magazine, but first she wanted to make sure I actually wrote it! ? Once she accused me of copying someone else’s work, I gave up writing until my mid 40’s – had that teacher encouraged me instead of questioning me…who knows what could have happened.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
I work FT so my writing happens in the evenings and weekends. I spend one hour a day, aiming for 1,000 words. I either write at my desk or on my couch – depending on my mood.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
I’ve written three so far (Dead Inside is currently out, Dead Wrong is out March 14th and I’m waiting for the pub date of the third. Title and cover to be revealed!) I’m currently working on the fourth book in the series.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d say a little of both – I mainly write whatever is in my head, but I have a notebook where I will jot down ideas, chapters or other points that I follow up on later.
Concerning your latest book:
Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book Two
Publisher – One More Chapter
Pages – 432
Release Date – 14th March 2020
ISBN 13 – 978-0008332266
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…
DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.
Three missing women running out of time…
They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.
The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…
But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.
Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.
Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
Having worked in the criminal justice system as a probation officer and in a police station, a lot of my book comes straight from what I know. I do read a lot of policies and practices online as well as chatting to ex colleagues, just to make sure I get things right, but I also use some poetic licence as it can be quite mundane work with targets that need to be met. No one wants to read about that!
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
I average about 12 weeks, unless things are happening in between. I always have the first and last chapter mapped out and then just have to fill in the middle!
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
I work with my publisher on the titles – So far, every title I have chosen has been used, but I do know that they have the end decision and one day it will be out of my hands!
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
I have a lot of characters because it it a multi agency setting but I can tell you how I see a few of them – whether readers see thing or not, is a different story!
DC Maggie Jamieson: stubborn, conflicted and intelligent
Dr Kate Moloney: clever, fiery and intense
Lucy Sherwood: a survivor, loyal and determined
PC soon to be DC Kat Everett: says it as she sees it, curious and fun
There are many more characters I could go on about, but these characters feature throughout the series more than others.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I spoke to other authors, I attended festivals to network and meet people, I researched a lot online, I pitched my book directly at festivals and events. You have to do a lot of work, don’t expect others to hand things to you on a plate – people are happy to help, but you need to find where your book fits and hope the publisher feels the same!
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
I’m currently writing the fourth book in my series and then I will be straight on to the fifth, in between edits and promoting the books already available. I don’t know what will happen after Book 5 – if I am offered another contract, it will be more DC Maggie Jamieson – if I’m not… I have an idea for a stand alone psychological thriller, so I might write that … or maybe just take a break and see what happens!
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
Oh, I’d love to read minds. My nosy nature would have a bit of fun with people and their thoughts…. mwah ha ha ha
2) Do you have any pets?
I did! A cat named Pebbles – Pebs for short but she died in 2015. I also had the BEST chocolate Labrador ever! Buster aka #thebear – he died in 2018. I dedicated Dead Inside to him for various reasons. He is still missed.
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
Why the f*ck did you do that?
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
A stroppy witness who throws the police off track. Just because…
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
I actually don’t take many holidays – crime festivals are my breaks! But I would love to go to a semi secluded island for a few weeks to explore, read and just relax.
Or a cabin on in the middle of nowhere, lots of snow, a roaring fire and just calmness all around … *sigh*
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
I have no idea – quack maybe? ???
I would like to say a big thank you to Noelle Holten for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.