Hi Helen. Thank you so much for joining me and inviting Novel Kicks onto your blog tour. Can you tell me about your novel, I Spy With My Little Die and what inspired it?
I Spy With My Little Die is the sixth book in the A Right Royal Cozy Investigation series and in it, not only do we have a couple of juicy murders for my main characters to get to the bottom of, but this book will tie up all the loose ends surrounding Lady Beatrice’s husband’s death in a car accident fifteen years ago. So it’s a mystery within a mystery. I’ve always liked reading books where there’s a meaty subplot that runs throughout the series. In this book the main plot and the series subplot meet head on.
What’s your typical writing day like? Do you have any writing rituals and from idea to finished book, what’s your writing process like (planning, research etc) and how long does it typically take you?
I don’t have a ‘typical day’ as such, I’m not a big fan of routine, but I do have a ‘to-do’ list that I work my way through each day. That list might include doing some research, finishing the next chapter in the work-in-progress I’m currently working on, arranging book promotions, creating and reviewing my adverts, plotting my next murder (fictional, of course!), and doing interviews. You may be surprised to know that only about half of what I do is actually writing. Research and planning are vital to enable me to keep me on track and to help me avoid hitting a road block when I’m actually writing, so I spend a lot of my time outlining my plot, especially the murder, before I put pen to paper. It normally takes about a month to research, plan, and outline my book but that could be spread out over a couple of months or even longer.
I find it easier now that I’m on the sixth book in my series as I know and understand my characters so much better – they have their own voice. On the other hand, coming up with a murder method is getting more difficult – there are only so many ways you can kill someone!
Which songs would make up a playlist for your book?
I don’t play music when I’m writing – I prefer complete silence, but I think a compilation of 007 James Bond film themes would work well with this book…
Agatha Raisin, MC Beaton’s formidable sleuth, because I want to see if she’s as rude as she seems!
What’s your favourite word and why?
I use the word fabulous a lot in my life, but I’m careful not to overuse it in my books. To me it’s a word that I can’t say without feeling excited and happy.
In your opinion, what are the common mistakes aspiring authors make and do you have any other advice for new writers?
Comparing yourself to other authors – normally best-selling and/or famous ones. While it’s great to be inspired by others, we’re all on a different journey, and it can be dangerous to judge your progress by comparing it to others. My advise for new writers is write. That’s the most important thing. Write as much as you can and hone your writing skills. And if you want to make a career out of your writing, then write to market. Give your potential readers in your genre what they want and expect.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered since you’ve started writing?
How easily distracted I am, and that I’m a world-class procrasinator!
What are you currently working on?
I’m in the planning stages of my next book, Dying to Bake, which is due out in February next year. In it we return to Francis Court where the TV Show Bake Off Wars is being filmed. There will be a murder, of course, and Lady Beatrice, Daisy, Perry, Simon, and Fitzwilliam will have to get involved in finding the killer.
Which book have you read that you wish you could forget, just so you could discover it again?
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. I want to go through that journey of discovery time and time again.
Have an endless summer or winter?
Tea or coffee?
Movie or book?
Morning person or night owl?
I’m both, much to my husband’s disgust!
Paperback or eBook?
About Helen Golden –
Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.
I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.
It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes
About I Spy With My Little Die –
BREAKING NEWS Second Senior Police Officer Dies Within a Week
A senior officer from the Protection and Investigations (Royal) Services died unexpectedly yesterday. His death comes hot on the heels of Detective Inspector Ethan Preece (43) from City Police, who died of a suspected heart attack last week. Although he’s not yet been named, the dead officer was a greatly respected public figure, who had served in policing for over thirty years. A PaIRS spokesperson has confirmed that ‘neither men’s death is being treated as suspicious at this time’.
With the senior PaIRS officer dead, so is any hope of reopening the inquiry into Lady Beatrice’s husband’s accident fifteen years ago. Unless, of course, there is something that links the two men to the earl’s fatal car crash?
Can she and Fitzwilliam, along with their friends, work together to unravel the mystery and catch a killer before the truth is buried forever?
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.