About Caroline Mitchell:
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Five years ago Caroline and her family encountered real life paranormal activity in their home. Paranormal Intruder is her best selling true story.
Caroline’s new novel, Don’t Turn Around has recently been published by Bookouture in a three book deal as part of her DC Jennifer Knight series. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s experience in both the police and the paranormal. She is a serving police detective.
What inspires you to write?
I work as a full time police officer, and I enjoy bringing my readers into a busy police environment. I show them what it’s like to deal with suspects in custody, and the frustrations officers encounter when trying to put the pieces of the evidential puzzle together. I have also experienced real life paranormal activity in my home, and I wrote a book of my experiences called Paranormal Intruder. It made sense when I wrote my first novel that I would infuse my experiences in both the police and paranormal to create a chilling crime thriller. People have told me it’s a fast paced hide-under-the-duvet crime novel so I think it’s worked quite well.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a bit of both. I work full time in the police and have a large family to care for, so I don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to writing. Therefore, I believe outlining is very important as it stops me going off on a tangent. I have a chalk board painted on a wall in my writing room and do sketches and random character outlines there. I buy a lovely new notebook from my favourite shop, Paperchase and scribble down thoughts, most of which make little sense to anyone picking it up. Then I progress onto my Macbook to type it up. I use software called Scrivener, which provides an online corkboard. I write a few lines for each chapter until I get to know my characters better. When they start talking things can take a completely new direction. I like to include lots of twists and turns in my stories and it’s a lot of fun watching my characters develop.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have a brief love affair with all of my main characters when I first create them. 🙂
It’s like when you meet someone new, and they consume your thoughts from morning until night. I try to imagine how they would react in certain situations, their little foibles, what makes them tick. Sometimes if I get really stuck in a story I’ll get a pen and paper and pretend I’m interviewing them, asking them how they feel about the situation. Frank’s character in Don’t Turn Around came very easily to me. But in book two of the DC Knight series, Bert was very hidden. It took me a long time to draw out his character, and at times, I almost gave up. I’m so glad I persevered, because he was a fascinating subject when I got to know him.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep going. Don’t give up. If you’ve got what it takes then you will persevere. Making writing a habit that you carry out every day and develop those synapses in your brain. Give yourself a target of 500 words a day starting off, turn off the television and write. It doesn’t have to be good, because you’ll get better in time. Someone said to me recently that they wanted to be a writer but they weren’t writing as they were reading up about it first. I told them I wanted to be fit but I wasn’t exercising because I was reading about how to exercise. I think I got my point across!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self published my first book, Paranormal Intruder because I wanted full control of my story. I did have offers from publishing houses, but I felt uncomfortable about handing over the reins. I loved being able to choose the cover, title and content. I’m so glad I self published, I learnt a lot about the industry and made friends with a lot of great professionals.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
That’s a very good question but a difficult one. The publishing industry is in constant flux, and doesn’t look like it’s going to settle down any time soon. I signed with a digital book publisher called Bookouture and they have been massively successful, with two of their titles being in the UK Amazon top 20 this year. Most of my books are digital sales, although many people go on to buy the paperback if they enjoy the ebook. I’m always running competitions and giveaways on my site for signed copies and they prove very popular indeed. Audio books are in their infancy in the UK and I see demand growing in the future. That said, I don’t ever see physical books dying out. There’s nothing like that new book smell is there?
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Crime, thriller, supernatural crime, paranormal, mystery, psychological thrillers
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.