Today I’m super excited to have Val Penny as my guest. Her Edinburgh-based debut detective story comes out on 2nd February. Erin Kelly, author of one of my favourite books ever, The Poison Tree, as well as the Broadchurch series says it’s “A gripping debut novel about power, politics and the importance – and danger – of family ties. Hunter Wilson is a compelling new detective and Val Penny is an author to watch.” Endorsements don’t come much better than that!
The story: Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.
Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough.
Hunter’s perseverance and patience are out to the test time after time in the first novel in the Edinburgh Crime Mystery series
You can buy it here
Find out more at the online launch party on 2nd Feb here
Hello Val, what can I get you today?
I would like a nice slice of coffee and walnut cake, perhaps with a latte to wash it down. That would be lovely, thank you.
My favourite cake! What are you reading at the moment?
I have just finished reading Daisy in Chains a psychological thriller by Sharon Bolton. It was excellent and, although I read a lot of thrillers, the reveal was not obvious. I really enjoyed it.
Adding it to my TBR list. Who is your hero (real or fictional)?
My fictional hero is probably Lee Child’s character, Jack Reacher. He is a one-man vigilante who constantly strives to right wrongs. My real-life heroine is my mother. She served in the navy during the second world war and found herself bringing up my sister and me as a one parent family, long before that was fashionable. In both endeavours she did a very good job, though I say so myself! She is now 91 and crocheting furiously for her first great-grandchild. That generation was made of stern stuff!
If you could invite just two authors (alive or dead) to dinner who would they be?
I have no doubt which authors I would invite to dinner, one would be Winston Churchill. In between being a journalist and serving as a politician, including Prime Minister, he wrote 51 books – before there were computers. I want to know how he did that! I would also invite Mark Billingham. I really enjoy his Tom Thorne crime novels, but he is also a stand-up comedian and very easy to talk to. I think, if Churchill became overly pompous, Mark could lighten the mood
Sounds a great evening. And how would you describe your perfect day?
My perfect day would be spent by the sea, preferably walking the beach on the West Coast of California near Pebble Beach with my husband our daughters and their partners. I enjoy being close to the sea and family is very important to me. After a lovely walk, perhaps we could all stop by and have a delicious meal in a family Mexican restaurant. I am sure we would talk the night away.
Wonderful – I love the sea too. What superpower would you choose?
I would choose the super power of invisibility. That would allow me to investigate settings for my novels even more easily.
What is your favourite tipple?
I don’t drink alcohol very often, but when I do, I like an ice cold craft gin with Fever-Tree tonic and dressed with a wedge of fresh lime, rather than lemon.
If you could be a fictional detective who would you choose?
I think it would be hard to beat Agatha Christie’s Poirot. His powers of deduction and attention to detail are delightful. The same is true of Sherlock Holmes, but Arthur Conan Doyle’s books are much harder to get through.
When did you start writing and what got you started?
I have enjoyed telling stories since I was a little girl, but there was a specifiac trigger to my novel writing. I began writing my first novel when I was being treated for breast cancer. I had taken early retirement and was beginning to wonder how I had ever had time to work when I received the unwelcome diagnosis of breast cancer. As my treatment proceeded, I started to blog about my experience. My writing here still receives considerable attention: www.survivingbreastcancernow.com. I found my treatment very tiring and had little energy to do anything but read, so I started reviewing the books I read on http://www.bookreviewstoday.info.I have always enjoyed reading crime fiction and I began to think that, as I had the time, I would try my hand at writing a crime fiction novel. It was not an easy task, and it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but the result was Hunter’s Chase.
What’s the best piece of advice on writing you’ve been given?
Peter Robinson, who writes the DCI Alan Banks crime thriller series gave me the best advice very early on in my writing journey. He said there was no such thing as writer’s block. There are people who write and people who make excuses. His way of dealing with a reticence to write on a particular day is to work on something different for a while and then move back to your main project. He is right, it works.
And finally, what are you working on next?
Only last month, I heard from my publishers, Crooked Cat Books, that they have accepted the sequel to Hunter’s Chase: Hunter’s Revenge . I am working on that now with a view to getting the novel edited and subsequently published during August or September 2018.
Thanks so much for answering my questions Val and congratulations on the book – I’m really looking forward to the launch of Hunter’s Chase.
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Katy. I really enjoyed the visit.
About The Author
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.
Author contact details