Saturday, 10 November 2012

Marcia Kim Turner, author of Misplaced Loyalty

Misplaced Loyalty is the debut novel from Marcia Kim Turner and is available for Kindle from Amazon:

Misplaced Loyalty by M K Turner
Misplaced Loyalty by Marcia Kim Turner

When it seems that all is lost, and you have no hope, Misplaced Loyalty can be fatal.

Detective Patsy Hodge leaves her old life behind, and transfers to Bristol and a new job with the CID. Wanting to make her mark as a female detective she attends a suspicious death with her new boss; straight talking, no nonsense Detective Inspector John Meredith. Within days the body count begins to rise, as victims old and new are discovered to have died in the same way. Some could say the victims were merely party to assisted suicide, others may call it euthanasia, and many believe that either way it shouldn’t be classed as a crime; but when it becomes evident that some of the victims were forced to accept a lethal injection, DI Meredith launches a major murder investigation which covers a period of over twenty years.

As more victims are discovered, and the investigation gathers pace, someone takes an unhealthy interest in Patsy. Their motive moves from irritating to sinister when her life is threatened. But just how serious is that threat? Despite being surrounded by police officers the case takes precedent, and Patsy even considers using the services of a private detective, who just happens to be friend and former boss of John Meredith. It’s far from clear if this development is connected to the case, Meredith, or perhaps both. With ill feeling developing within the team, the motives of colleagues working on the case are brought into question.

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Author Quiz interviews Marcia Kim Turner…

What are you working on now, what projects ideas do you have lined up next?
I am currently writing the second in the Meredith & Hodge series, Ill Conceived.  I am about half way through and enjoying working with the characters again.  When I finished Misplaced Loyalty I was overjoyed and have to confess that I did a little jig in front of the laptop, sad but true.  During the next week however I found was missing the characters having spent so much time with them.  I'm fine now.  I am also editing the first novel I ever completed which had a working title of 'chiclitwhodunitfarce' but when ready will be published as Murder & Moet.  As the working title suggests it is a light hearted murder mystery, and set in my favourite Cornish hotel although I have of course changed the name to avoid tarnishing their reputation.

When you first get the idea for a new story, do you find that the finished product tends to differ quite significantly from you original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact?
A little bit of both actually.  The beginning and the end are pretty much as I thought they would be, however the characters tend to take me on unplanned journeys as their story is told.  I think this is one of the things I most enjoy about writing.  The characters become so real in your mind that you have to change or drop something that you once thought would be key to the plot, as your character would never do or say that, or would respond in the opposite way that had been necessary for that plot to work.  When writing Misplaced Loyalty, despite being adamant at the outset that there would be no romantic interest, this proved impossible as Meredith is a serial womaniser and something had to happen.  Most of the readers I have spoken to about it totally agree, although one did say they would have liked the ‘will they won’t they’ element to have carried on into the sequel.

Would your book Misplaced Loyalty work best as a movie adaptation or a television series?
Definitely a television series, I don’t think you can beat good British police / detective television.  There are enough twists and turns in Misplaced Loyalty to make some great episode endings.  When writing it I purposely only partially described Meredith as he is one of those characters women love even when they don't want to, and most men begrudgingly admire.  Therefore I thought how he looked would be best left to the readers imagination.  To me he should certainly be played by the actor Philip Glenister.  He would be perfect, and he was Meredith in my mind before I finished chapter two.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with his work I highly recommend you check out his website, and once you have read Misplaced Loyalty I am sure you will agree.

Have you ever written a supporting character who took on a life of their own or turned out to be far more popular than expected and if so do you have plans to feature them as a lead character in a story of their own?
Not yet, however in Ill Conceived I introduced a character given to me by a friend (long story), and Louie Trump was supposed to have a cameo role, but I enjoyed his interaction with both the main characters and the story so much that he’s here to stay, and he will certainly have a more prominent role in the next Meredith & Hodge story.

If you could go back to the moment when you completed your first book and were at the stage where you were ready to release it to the world, is there anything you would do differently this time with regard to promotion?
Just about everything really.  I did hardly any prior or initial promotion for Misplaced Loyalty believing that I would play catch up, and you can of course, but it is a struggle because you want to get on with writing the next one.  I will plan the release & launch of all future books, and I just hope I can stick to that plan.  I just have to accept that promoting your current novel does get in the way of writing the next.  Whilst I do want as many people as possible to read my stories, I hate doing the wolf whistle and ‘hey look at me’ thing, but I now realise it’s a necessary evil and that you can’t have one without the other.

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Do you foresee more and more authors making a living from their writing?
I would like to think so, although I think it will still only be a minority that earn the big bucks.  I buy on average four books a month, and since becoming a kindle convert several years ago they are all for the best part eBooks.  Six of the last eight novels I have purchased were by indie authors.  The standard of writing varies of course, but you can forgive a few typos; indeed you may not even notice them, once you are immersed in the story.  There are more and more people waking up to the fact that there is little risk in purchasing an indie book.  They can read enough to make an informed decision before buying, and if they are still not sure they have the comfort of knowing that the purchase won’t break the bank, and they may have discovered their favourite book.

Do you have a favourite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
Two things spring to mind.  The first was reading a review that said a passage had made them laugh out loud.  I knew immediately which one as I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and as I love books that make me laugh out loud and or cry it was a fantastic compliment to receive.  The second was an email I received from a reader who was half way through and told me she was enjoying the book but had to write and tell me that she was really attracted to Meredith.  That was just a magical moment.  As I have mentioned there is little description of his appearance and with that reader in particular, and I hope many more, Meredith was the man I wanted him to be.

Can you remember the moment you logged into your author account and discovered you had made your first sale?
Absolutely, and the first review and the first email of course, they are very special moments indeed.  I also remember logging in one morning about a month in and discovering that I had sold three in India (how did that happen), the smile remained with me all day. 

Why would you recommend Misplaced Loyalty to other readers?
Misplaced Loyalty is a crime novel with believable characters some of whom you like when you know you really shouldn’t.  It has several story lines which give you a real feel for the characters personalities, and although it deals with a very emotive issue, as in the real world, life goes on.  You are able to laugh whilst still feeling concern, and shout either do it, or don’t do it, depending on your view point.  The plot moves along quite quickly so you are never waiting for something to happen, but not so fast as the detail and clues are missed.  I think my youngest reader (that I know of) was twenty one, and the oldest in his mid-sixties and both seemed to enjoy it as much as the other, and therefore it appeals to a wide age group.

What advice would you give to a new author who has just finished writing their first novel and is unsure as to what steps to take next?
Have a plan.  Read all the relevant blogs, there are also some good ‘do it yourself’ books for indie publishers, and work out how you are going to market your book.  Make a list and decide how much time you are going to commit each day/week to promoting it, and stick to the plan.  For me this is the most painful part of the process, I didn’t have a plan initially and I did keep putting things off so I could get back to writing.  It is time consuming and at times frustrating, but if your ultimate goal is to earn a living from it then it is part of job and can’t be avoided.

Who do you see as your target audience?
The obvious answer is anyone who enjoys reading crime and mystery novels.  But there is an element of romance, and despite the main storyline there are some laughs along the way.  Whilst there is a murderer to be brought to justice, the story is as much about the development of the characters, as the crime itself.  Therefore I believe anyone who enjoys watching a relationship develop, but also likes to be taunted by a story will enjoy this.

Marcia Kim Turner, author of Misplaced Loyalty.
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Thanks for your comments, Marcia, and good luck with your writing.

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Marcia is on facebook and twitter:
Facebook: M K Turner

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Misplaced Loyalty is available for Kindle from Amazon:

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