I’m delighted to welcome to the blog, author Hemmie Martin. Hemmie writes crime, psychological thrillers and contemporary fiction.
You write novels in two different genres. Why is this, and is there one genre you prefer?
I started off writing contemporary fiction, ‘The Divine Pumpkin’, followed by a psychological thriller, ‘Attic of the Mind’. I realised that I enjoyed writing dark and tortured characters, and toyed with the idea of writing crime; even though in my early days of writing I said I would never write crime or a series.
I enjoy writing both genres as I feel it keeps my writing and mind fresh. Crime takes a lot of planning, what with the red herrings and false alibis, so it can be quite challenging at times. I like to take a break from that scene and explore the contemporary genre. Whichever genre I like, I enjoy weaving mental health into the story, and I adore writing an antagonist.
As to which genre I prefer writing – it really depends on the state of my mind. I may write another psychological thriller in the future. Who knows?
Mental health features in all of your novels so far. Is there a reason for this?
Mental health has always been an interest of mine since my days as a student nurse. My career has spanned working with people with learning disabilities with mental health issues, to working with young offenders as a forensic mental health nurse.
Mental health is a complex subject which is often misunderstood. I enjoy writing characters that suffer with mental illness, but also characters with a misconception of the subject, thus hopefully exposing more truth than fiction on the topic.
Your female protagonists tend to be strong women with flaws, which makes them easy to relate to. Do you have a plan in mind for where DI Eva Wednesday is heading?
When I wrote the first DI Wednesday, ‘In the Light of Madness’, I intended it to be a one-off novel, but when I’d finished writing it, I realised how much I enjoyed being in Wednesday’s company. I knew more about her background than I divulged in the novel, so I had plenty to write about in the next novel. I think characters with flaws are more believable, and more interesting to write. The fact that Eva has a family with complex issues means she is juggling a stressful job with the needs of her family, something many of us can relate to.
The protagonist in ‘Garlic & Gauloises’, Alice Calwin, finds herself without purpose after the death of her mother, whom she’d be caring for following a stroke. She attends a writers’ retreat in France and encounters a group of diverse people, including Theo Edwards, who has deceptive reasons for being there. Their encounter affects them both in very different ways.
What else do you enjoy doing, apart from writing?
I enjoy reading a variety of genre, but predominantly contemporary fiction and crime. I’ll read the opposite genre to what I’m writing, so nothing seeps from the novel into the one I’m writing. Another pastime is going to pubs with my husband, to listen to cover bands playing live rock music. The bands are amazingly talented, and it’s a truly wonderful way to pass an evening.
We also board Guide Dogs in training for three months at a time. We become very attached to the dogs, but we console ourselves with knowing that they move on to make a person with visual impairment lead a more independent and fulfilling life. We’ve been doing this for over four years.
Is there a specific order to reading your crime series?
Each novel is a complete story, with the crime solved, so they can be read in any order. However, if you want to follow Eva and Jacob’s background story, the order would be, ‘In the Light of Madness’, ‘Rightful Owner’, ‘Shadows in the Mind’, and ‘What Happens After’.
What are you currently writing?
I’m writing another contemporary novel and I’m starting to plot out another DI Eva Wednesday novel. But seeing as it takes me around a year to write a book, neither will be on the bookshelf anytime soon!
Thank you for interviewing me, Karen, I’ve enjoyed being in your company.
Hemmie’s blog and Amazon author page links are below. Her books can also be found in Waterstones book shops and on their website.
Hemmie began writing in 2008, and has since had seven novels published by Winter Goose Publishing. These include a crime series featuring DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox, a psychological thriller, and two contemporary women’s fiction novels. Hemmie writes full-time in a more peaceful house since both her daughters are now at university.