Q&A Interview with Valerie Keogh

I am delighted to welcome Valerie Dickenson to take part in my Q&A interview today. Valerie writes under the name Valerie Keogh and is author of A Garda West
Crime series and Hudson and Connolly series. Valerie would be happy forward a free Mobi of the first in either (or both) series to anyone would like to read them. Please get in touch with her, you will find contact links at the bottom.

Good morning welcome to Chelle’s Book Reviews.Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?

Hi, my name is Valerie, I write under the name Valerie Keogh – I’m a nurse and my character Nicola Connolly in the Hudson and Connolly series is a nurse – and a serial killer – so I thought a name change would be appropriate. As well as being an RGN, I have a BA in English and an MA in American Literature
I’m from Dublin but live in the UK about ten miles from Bath with my husband and two cats. I work in a local nursing home and when not working I’m writing.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I used to write when I was a child and tie the pages together to make a ‘book’. I’ve always wanted to write but kept putting it off – I suppose the dream became so important that the fear of failure increased. When I eventually decided, now or never, I didn’t look back and am now on my 9th novel.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write crime novel, mystery and suspense. They’re for everybody who like a good mystery but they seem to appeal to a female audience better.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I write everyday I’m not working. On a really good day I can write 3-4k but I average 2k. I write down my word count every day and it serves to keep me motivated. I started my current novel on the first of June and hope to have the first draft finished in two weeks. My last novel took nearly a year and the one before three months so it just varies.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
They’re just fictional, but I use characteristics and personality quirks of people I know or meet to colour them and to try to make them three-dimensional.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Yes, I’m sure most writers do. Or I might use the experience of a friend – but I make sure it’s not obvious.

What research do you do?
Sometimes a lot. I spent a lot of time researching the poison in Close Ranks, and quite a bit researching the best knife to use to kill someone and where I could buy it. The internet is great, of course, but I also am lucky enough to have a relative in the Gardai (the Irish police force) so I ask him questions. I’ve a friend who is a forensic scientist too so she gets emails quite often. I do try not get bogged down, I don’t think my readers want that much detailed information but I make sure that the information I do give is as accurate as I can make it.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I can’t imagine co-writing with anyone. For me, it’s such a personal experience that I couldn’t imagine sharing it. Plus, my writing schedule is quite erratic!

What’s your favorite book?
So many! So I’m going to cheat – Anything by John Connolly – I love his writing style. I love Stephen King’s The Stand, Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life, and the classic Jane Eyer.
I’m also very fond of old crime novels eg those of Ngaio Marsh and Georgette Heyer.

What’s your favorite food?
That’s easy – pizza!

What’s your favorite film?
Probably, The Mirror has Two Faces. I’ve seen it lots of times.

What’s your favorite song?
Purple Rain will always get me singing along. And, being sentimental, the old song Daisy Daisy. My mother used to sing it to me when I was a child.

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?

If anyone would like to email me on val.dickenson1@virginmedia.com I’ll happily forward a free Mobi of the first in either(or both)series.

Thank you so much for joining me today

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