Welcome to another Friday Reads blog. My featured book today is Death In The Sunshine by bestselling crime author Steph Broadribb. Let’s take a look at the cover and find out a bit more about the book before we talk to Steph.
After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise. When she discovers the body of a young woman floating in one of the pools, surrounded by thousands of dollar bills, her crime fighting instinct kicks back in and she joins up with fellow ex-cops – and new neighbours – Philip, Lizzie and Rick to investigate the murder. With the case officers dropping ball after ball, Moira and the gang take matters into their own hands, turning into undercover homicide investigators. But the killer is desperate to destroy all the evidence and Moira, Philip, Lizzie and Rick soon find themselves getting in the way – of the murderer and the police. Just when they think they can finally relax, they discover that someone has infiltrated their ‘safe’ community. Can they hunt down the murderer and get back to retiring in peace? And after all the excitement, will they want to?
Welcome, Steph. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved books but I didn’t think I could be a writer. I’m dyslexic so spelling has always been a challenge and my handwriting was always very difficult to read when I was younger. But with computers and spellchecker things became easier, and it wasn’t until I was in my 30s and had developed a lot of strategies for handling some of the challenges from my dyslexia in the workplace, that I started writing. Once I started I totally loved it and moved from writing short stories to novels quite quickly. I got a Diploma in English and Creative Writing with the Open University and then an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University. My debut novel was the book I wrote for the MA.
What do you like writing most?
I love writing crime and thrillers. I’ve always read predominantly in these genres, so they feel like a natural fit. I’m happiest when I’m writing a first draft.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I can pretty much write anywhere but out of preference I write at my desk in the spare room with my dog snoring happily on the floor beside me.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I started out as a pantster, but over time I’ve become a plotter. I now spend a couple of weeks writing a one page synopsis, a more detailed synopsis of around 3-4 pages, and then a chapter-by-chapter outline. Once I’ve made sure there aren’t any plot holes and that things hang together okay, that’s when I start writing. It usually takes me between 8-10 weeks to write a first draft these days, but it used to be at least double that when I was a pantster.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
My latest book – Death in the Sunshine – was! I had the idea for it when I was visiting luxury 55+ resort communities in Florida with my step mom. My dad had recently died and she was thinking about moving to a retirement community. Those places are amazing – like Disneyland for adults with swimming pools, tennis and racketball courts, golf courses, club houses, libraries, dance studios and more! I thought what a great location one would make for a crime novel.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m writing (well, editing) the second book in the Retired Detectives Club series – Death at Paradise Palms. It’s a lot of fun to be back with the retired detective gang on their new case.
What time of the day do you write best?
I prefer to write in the morning and edit in the afternoon, and if I’m writing a first draft I have to write everyday.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Keep going! I wrote several “practice” novels before I wrote the book that became my debut novel. Rejections are par for the course when you’re a writer but keep writing and keep sending stuff out and it will happen!
Dedication and perseverance is definitely something all writers need. Thanks for talking to us today, Steph. I see your book is currently in the top 50 of the whole Kindle store. That’s amazing! I hope it continues to soar.
Bestselling crime writer Steph Broadribb has an MA in Creative Writing and trained as a Bounty Hunter in California. Her latest novel, Death in the Sunshine, is the first book in her new Retired Detectives Club series set in a luxury Florida retirement resort and the second book in the series Death at Paradise Palms will be out in November 2022. Her thriller series featuring single mom bounty hunter Lori Anderson has been shortlisted for the eDunnit eBook of the year award, the ITW Best First Novel, and the Dead Good Reader Awards for Fearless Female Character and Most Exceptional Debut. She also writes psychological police procedurals under the pen name Stephanie Marland. Steph is a writing coach at www.crimefictioncoach.com
Find out more at www.stephbroadribb.com or follow her on Twitter (@CrimeThrillGirl) or Facebook (@CrimeThrillerGirl).
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-King/e/B0034P6W7I