Today I’m absolutely delighted to bring you a Q&A the author of the fabulous new DI Lottie Parker series, Patricia Gibney
Hi Patricia, thank you for taking part in this Q&A! Firstly The Stolen Girls has recently been released and it’s already getting plenty of fantastic reviews, how does it feel to be a twice published author?
It’s an amazing feeling but also a little bit scary. When something you dreamed of for so long actually happens it takes a while to get used to it. I still can’t believe I have two books published and a third on the way! It is a lot of hard work but I love writing and now it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to know people are reading my books.
Your series is set in a small town in Ireland and focuses on crimes investigated by a team of detectives led by DI Lottie Parker. For me Lottie is a wonderful character and I really love the inclusion of her family within the stories, where did you get the idea for Lottie? Was she the first character you developed or did she come later?
Lottie was the very first character I put down on a page. I created her from somewhere in the depths of my imagination and she became like a real person to me. This sounds very clichéd but she kind of dictated what she wanted. I found the words flowed around her and I created a very desperate family for her to cope with. She is troubled and I think she erects a shield around herself to keep others out and at times that can be to the detriment of her family. I know she is not the best mom in the world but she really does try her best.
The Missing Ones, was your first novel in the series and was released back in March, it’s already received over 3,000 five star votes on Goodreads, and as I write this question it’s currently the number one crime thriller on Amazon and within the top 10 paid best sellers in the whole kindle store! That’s obviously incredible but what was your journey like moving from your first finished draft to having a published novel that the general public could get their hands on?
It was a very long journey. The first draft went through many edits over a number of years, on and off. A manuscript appraisal provided me with another series of edits. When I was fairly satisfied with it I sent it to a few Beta Readers and their reactions were positive. After a little more tweaking I sent the manuscript to Ger Nicol, Literary Agent. She loved it and I signed with her. I still didn’t believe it was any good. Did I say I have absolutely no self-belief? I still don’t.
At that time I started work on book two because I wanted to concentrate on something while waiting for rejections! Ger sent The Missing Ones to a number of publishers and Bookouture came back asking if I had a second book written. Yes! I was halfway through book two at that stage. So in July 2016, they signed me for four books. The Missing Ones was published on March 16th, 2017, The Stolen Girls on July 6th 2017 and The Lost Child will publish in October 2017.
Now we’re two books in, the characters have all become more established, as a reader I think we learnt a lot about Lottie in the first book, and that was built upon in The Stolen Girls. We also learn more about her colleague DS Boyd in book two. Now you’ve laid the groundworks of who the characters are what are you most looking forward as you move onto book three and beyond?
I have just completed the third book in the series. I find it fascinating to be able to develop characters over a series of books. There are many regulars and as time goes on I hope the reader will learn more about them, especially Lottie and some of the reasons why she is the way she is, besides what we already know. There’s her family and of course Boyd – a whole lot more to him that we haven’t heard about yet. Then we have Lynch and Kirby with their own problems and they may become more important in future books. However, I honestly don’t know which characters will dictate that I write about them, but it is a lot of fun writing about them.
On a slightly different note, now more than ever thanks to social media authors are able to have direct contact with the general public, how do you find that?
Social media is something I am trying to come to grips with. It is amazing to be able to converse with people I have never met. I get so many messages, through Facebook, from people all around the world, and that astounds me. Because my books are published digitally they are available worldwide and they reach a huge audience. Social media allows contact and it is brilliant for authors but the key is to find a balance between the time spent on it with the time spent writing and of course family life.
Finally – a sneaky question, any hints about what’s coming next for DI Parker and her team?
Oh, you will have to download the books to find out! Honestly, while I’m writing one book I have no clear idea what the next one will be about. But I keep notebooks with me always to jot down ideas and whichever idea keeps going around in my head the most will possibly be form the basis of a plot or subplot for the next book. I like writing multi-layered stories with sub plots to keep the reader guessing. But you can be sure future books will be dark and twisty and Lottie and Co will have their work cut out to make it out alive.
Once again I want to thank Patrica for taking the time to answer my questions and share some of her experiences. I’m especially looking forward to finding out more about Boyd!
The DI Lottie Parker series is published by Bookouture. The Missing Ones and The Stolen Girls are both available now – Patricia’s third book in the series The Lost Child is due for release on the 27th October and you can pre-order on Amazon today!