Crime Writers in Residence – at home with Anne Coates
The CRA: Please tell us a little about yourself and the books you write.
My work as a journalist and editor working on magazines and national newspapers as well as abridging books for Reader’s Digest has provided plenty of inspiration for my crime fiction published by Urbane Publications. For most of my life, I have lived in London where my series takes place but the books are set in the mind-1990s. I am thrilled that so many of my local friends and neighbours have read – and enjoyed – my books and often discuss points when we see each other.
The CRA: Tell us about what you are doing during lockdown/while social distancing?
I’m currently working on the next Hannah Weybridge and I’ve also been working on a standalone psychological thriller. However I have found my concentration wanders. I also run a parenting website and that work continues. I have been subscribing to some online theatres, which has been a real boon. I live alone and don’t know how I’d manage without FaceTime – I’ve played board games with my daughter and her family, and we have synchronised meals and drinks. It’s been a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends as well. I’ve also continued guided reading with my granddaughter, Harriet, over FaceTime.
The CRA: How does the above differ from your usual routine?
In many ways not much has changed in my working life as I’ve worked at home for years. However, Harriet usually comes to have breakfast with me before school on four mornings and I take her to her to her swimming class, and violin lesson on two afternoons. Also many events I would have been attending have been cancelled as have social activities.
The CRA: Tell us about your most recent book.
Perdition’s Child finds Hannah Weybridge investigating what becomes a series of suspicious deaths – middle-aged Australian men who have come to the UK to try to trace their families. Added to this she is helping Lucy whose brother has also died mysteriously. Somehow these deaths are connected and as Hannah digs deeper she discovers terrible wrongs that have been perpetrated in the past which have repercussions in the present – to the extent that her own life is threatened.
The CRA: Why will it appeal to lovers of crime fiction?
In this book, the victims are all middle-aged men and one reader said that made a refreshing change not to have young female victims. The setting is 1994, which means the deduction doesn’t rely on the internet and mobile phones quite so much. And there’s absolutely no risk of corona virus! The action is fast-paced and there are enough surprises to keep the reader guessing.
The CRA: What CWA member writers are you reading during NCRM?
The CRA: What one thing are you planning to do once lockdown is over?
I’ll hug everyone I see! Difficult to plan anything as we don’t know when this will end but I have a bottle of champagne ready to open and will go for a curry at my favourite restaurant (if it survives) with as many friends as I can muster.
Join the CWA
Become part of a thriving community of successful crime writers with invaluable support, expertise and marketing opportunities for all our members.