Tell me about your latest novel?
Itís called The House at Seaís End and itís the third in a series about Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist living in Norfolk. The great thing about having an archaeologist heroine is that your plots can range across the millennia! The first book, The Crossing Places, started with Iron Age remains, the second, The Janus Stone, focused on a Roman excavation. In The House at Seaís End Ruth finds six bodies on a beach, exposed by coastal erosion. The bodies turn out to be from the Second World War but someone is still alive who would kill to protect the secret of how they died. The fourth book, A Room Full of Bones, is out in January. This time itís about Aborigine skulls kept in a Norfolk museum... † How do your successive drafts change?
I always go too fast the first time so I need to go back to tell the reader things they need to know. Otherwise I change very little. I only have about an hour a day to write so, by the time I get to my computer, the words have gone round in my head hundreds of times. I started Paragraph Planet because my favourite writing stage is chiselling away to fit a word count? What is your favourite stage of the writing process?
Starting a new book, getting to know the characters again. I like the editing too (though I usually have to add words, not take them away). † How important do you think an online presence is to a writer?
† Itís getting more important and I really like it. Being on twitter etc means that you can communicate with the people who actually read and like your books, not just with faceless reviewers. Who are your favourite authors ?
My favourite author of all time is Wilkie Collins. Otherwise I like David Lodge, Alison Lurie, C J Sansom and Kate Atkinson. Any tips for budding writers?
Get an agent. I used to work in publishing and we only accepted manuscripts that came through agents. Everything else got sent straight back. Itís a shame because we probably missed lots of good books but thatís the way it is in most big companies. Click here for Elly's website.