I started writing The Estate Series way back in the early 2000’s for two reasons.
First, I was employed as a housing officer by my local authority and, second was watching the first series of the British TV drama, Shameless.
Having been on 'the other side' to the housing tenants, I wanted to portray an estate with the kind of community feel I was used to working on.
Taunting the Dead was a personal challenge as I thought there was no way I could write a police procedural. It’s partly why I spend more time with the villains rather than the police – and some readers said I blended Martina Cole and Lynda La Plante’s writing styles.I’m not sure why my writing turned darker except that I like to explore dark subjects. And I love watching gritty TV dramas.
'The Estate Series, however, has an element of laugh a minute, cry a minute, crime a minute. I explore emotions and fear too.
I lovingly call it grit-lit because it’s gritty realism through the eyes of some really strong women characters.'
There are lots of victims that go unheard of, stories swept under the carpet, things hidden behind closed doors. I cover things that some people like to think don’t exist – or certainly not in their world.
It also amazes me how many times I see news clips of someone saying ‘you don’t expect this kind of thing to happen on your own doorstep.’ Why? We’re all humans, striving to get along but sometimes, something makes certain individuals flip.
I never set the estate in any particular place purposely. I wanted readers to think it could be just around the corner from where they live. There are good parts and bad parts in every city, I’m sure.
The one thing I'm always asked, despite the series being written so long ago, is when will there be another estate book. All I can say is maybe one day, possibly...