The Writing Life of: Valerie Keogh
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Valerie Keogh. Valerie will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her book ‘Exit Five From Charing Cross‘, which was released on 6th December 2014 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
I was an avid reader from a young age and when I wasn’t reading, I was making up stories in my head. My mother had all the Agatha Christie novels when I was old enough, these are what I read, so not surprising, it was crime novels I wanted to write.
I qualified as a nurse in 1980 and in 2000 went to university as a mature student and obtained a BA in English followed by an MA in American Literature.
I have self-published nine novels followed by two psychological thrillers published with Bookouture and I’ve recently signed a contract to write three more with Bloodhound Books.
I now write full-time.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
I wanted to be a journalist but I wasn’t brave enough and ended up becoming a nurse.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Louisa May Alcott, absolutely loved Little Women, Jo’s Boys etc; Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew Mysteries and Enid Blyton’s St Clare’s and Malory Towers.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
No, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I saw 50 beckoning over the horizon that I thought I’d better get at it – and I haven’t stopped since.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
Because I now work full time, I try and treat it as a business so tend to write from ten until about six. I write down my daily word count and try to get around 4k written on a good day. I do spend some time – probably too much – keeping up with Facebook and Twitter.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
I’ve written 11, plus I have one waiting to be published (out in Feb 2020), one under consideration with another publisher and one that I have yet to find a home for.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
100% Pantser, rarely know where the story is going when I start. I did try plotting but it just doesn’t work for me.
Concerning your latest book:
Pages – 434
Release Date – 6th December 2014
Format – ebook
A life built on a lie.
Rich investment banker, Jake, has everything he’s ever dreamed about. Money, a beautiful wife, two children.
But nothing in Jake’s world is as it seems. He dislikes his wife, never sees his children and is in so much debt there doesn’t appear to be a way out…unless….?
Faced with the only decision that seems to make sense, he makes a choice that will change all their lives forever.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
I used the internet mostly – Google maps is brilliant for seeing street views. A couple of questions I asked friends who live in London as the story is based there.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
This was an odd book as I came up with the ending first and worked backwards! Four months after I started I self-published it.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
This one was easy – the idea came to me as I was sitting outside Charing Cross station waiting for my husband, a man walked past and I started to wonder where he was going etc.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
Jake, the main character in this, always wants something more and doesn’t realise what he has is precious. He’s blinded by consumerism and the constant need to chase that unattainable dream.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I’d already self-published several novels by the time I wrote this one. I did send it out to a few publishers but finally decided to self-publish.
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
I’ve just signed a contract with Bloodhound Books to write 3 psychological thrillers, the first is written and comes out in Feb 2020. They were also keen to take on one of my self-published series so my Irish crime series will be coming out under their banner starting in December. I saw the new cover for the first book yesterday and it’s really good.
I have another psychological thriller under consideration with a different publisher too.
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
Invisibility – I would love this! Imagine all the things you could find out!
2) Do you have any pets?
One big fat black cat called Fatty Arbuckle, who I think must be related to a Koala Bear as he sleeps most of the time.
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
‘Why can’t you be sensible?’ Something my mother was always saying to me when I was younger!! I never listened, I just was more careful in the things she found out.
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
The part of Joyce, the ‘other woman’ or is she – you’ll have to read it to decide!!
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
India. It’s an incredible place, we spent a three-week holiday there a couple of years ago and I’ve wanted to return ever since. We go to Italy frequently, especially Venice. And we love Lynmouth for walking.
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
When are you going to write a book with a duck as the main character?
I would like to say a big thank you to Valerie Keogh for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.