As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author L. M. Jones shares the inspiration behind her new crime thriller book, North Run, and her creative writing process.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed L. M. Jones about her life and career, what inspired her to start writing, and the story of her new novel, North Run.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Who am I? That often depends on the day of the week. I’m always a mother – grandmother – wife in a long standing and happy marriage. Once a nurse working in mental health – now I’m a passionate writer with a love of fantasy, magic and crime. Born in South Wales, I reside in West Yorkshire where it rains just as frequently.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I must have been about ten. I can remember hiding under my bedcovers with a torch, reading and dreaming of the stories I would write.
When did you take a step to start writing?
The dream to write my own books has always been there but, in 2012 I took the leap and joined a Writers group in Doncaster and never looked back.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It felt like forever, in reality about two years before my first novel for older children A Fistful of Feathers was released.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
North Run is a world away from the six children’s novels I’ve written. The idea began to develop during the latter part of 2020 and was released in December 2022.
What made you want to write North Run?
I needed to challenge myself and, I’ve always been an avid reader of Crime fiction. The idea for the book came out of several chilling reports about child trafficking.
What were your biggest challenges with writing North Run?
How to write an enthralling, fictitious novel about such a gruesome subject without turning it into a blood bath or a sermon
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
I wanted the focus of the series to be about the crimes, the day to day battle with getting things done. Sarah Allerton is a senior detective working in what is still viewed as a male dominated profession. She’s resilient – hard when she needs to be and, freely admits that her strong, personal relationship with Freya her partner is what keeps her sane. Not unlike many of the women I’ve met over the years.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
Trying to stay clear of stereotypes was my first difficulty. Inspector Mike Lawson, Sarah’s adversary within the police station, was based on a particularly unpleasant man I worked with many years ago.
What is the inciting incident of North Run?
The disappearance of a fifteen-year-old Lee Wiggins from a children’s home kicks everything off.
What is the main conflict of North Run?
Did you plot North Run in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I did both – The main plot – the disappearance of Lee, I’d sketched out and knew how it would end. A couple of the secondary character roles grew as I wrote. – Detective Mike Lawson’s role for instance became far more intense than I’d originally planned.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did North Run need?
I work as an independent author and publisher, however, I always have a professional edit my work. Grammar is my Achilles heel so there is always a fair amount of editing.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Pick up a notebook or keyboard and write. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing, whether it’s a couple of paragraphs or a short story. Write for yourself and always try to read your work out loud. My husband frequently thinks I’m on the phone when in reality I’m reading back the last chapter I’d written.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
My protagonist, Sarah Allerton is about to be thrown into a succession of baffling crimes. Hacking on a grand scale – the murder of a colleague’s mother. Shattered Web leaps into action from the first page. – Sarah barely has time to breathe as the incidents mount up. Shattered Web is almost complete and should be out before Christmas 2023.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes, I am proud of the seven books I’ve published so far. Was it worth the sleepless nights, cramping fingers – the building anxiety while waiting for the editor to comment? Absolutely. Opening that first box with my latest book inside is one of the best feelings in the world.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
The Oozing Magic series – 7-10 years
The Fraser Chronicles 10 years +
North Run (L.M Jones)
Online Independent bookshop https://www.thebookdragon.co.uk/
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.