Saturday, 22 April 2017

Back Catalogue Books - Q&A with Cheryl Rees-Price

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it!

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for inviting me to take part in you Back Catalogue Books feature.
My name is Cheryl Rees-Price and I am the author of the DI Winter Meadows series published by Accent Press. I live in a small village in South Wales with my husband and three cats. I work as a finance director, which can be very boring, so in my spare time I plot murders, fictional of course!

1) Please tell me about your first book, and what started you writing in the first place

My first book is Echoes published in June 2014 by Keith Publications.  Echoes is a paranormal mystery set in modern day America and 1940’s Wales. The story follows Alice who is troubled by terrifying nightmares of a young soldier. As Alice’s life spirals out of control her connection to the soldier grows stronger and she experiences visions of him in her waking hours. Alice’s only hope of retaining her sanity is to find the identity of the soldier; her search takes her to a sleepy village in Wales where she meets an old man who holds the key to the mystery.

I didn’t start writing until I was in my thirties. My two girls were still young and I worked part time as a book keeper. I loved making up stories for the girls, writing poetry, and plays. The idea for Echoes came from a nightmare; it is the same one I used in the opening scene of the book. Once I start writing the story I could stop and ended up with a 130k novel.

2) How many books have you written and what are they?

To date I have written five books. Three published, one due out late spring, and the other awaiting a decision from the publisher. Echoes was my debut novel which is a standalone story. My second book, The Silent Quarry is the first in the DI Winter Meadows crime series. Frozen Minds my latest book is the second in the series.

3) Which book are you most proud of writing?

I’m most proud of The Silent Quarry. It was my first attempt at a crime novel, and creating a cast that would endure a series. I wanted to create a detective that was a little different as well as a protagonist that the reader could sympathise with.  After taking so long (years) to find a publisher for Echoes I was thrilled that The Silent Quarry was accepted on my first submission by Accent Press 

4) Which book was your favourite to write?

The book I enjoyed writing the most was Frozen Minds. I already had the main characters in place and this was an opportunity to build on their personalities and life challenges. The book centres on a home for adults with learning difficulties, so the additional characters were complex. The research gave me the opportunity to meet with some amazing young adults with Autism and Asperger’s and their dedicated carers. 

5) Who are your favourite characters from your books and why?

One of my favourite characters is DI Winter Meadows. He is not your typical detective, raised on a commune with hippy parents he is laid back, charismatic, and always tries to see the best in people. My second favourite would have to be DS Blackwell. He is a strong contrast to Meadows. Passed over for promotion he is grumpy, rude and talks in barks and snarls. If I’m having a bad day I get to pour all my angst into Blackwell. He should be a dislikeable character but I’ve quickly grown to be very fond of him.

6) If you could go back and change anything from any of your books, what would it be, and why?

Like most writers I’m over critical of my work and find it difficult to let go of the final draft. I tend not to read my books when they are published for fear that I would see something I didn’t like. If I could go back and change a book it would probably be Echoes. I would like to write it with the experience I have gained through writing, the editing process, and talking with other writers. Many scenes in the book were cut with 30k words deleted. It was very time consuming!

7) Which of your covers if your favourite and why?

My favourite cover is Frozen Minds. I love the blue and grey shades, they set the tone of the book. The house looks ominous against a stormy sky and the birds add to the dark atmosphere. 

8) Have you ever thought about changing genres, if so what else would you like to write?

I’m happy for the moment writing crime although I would like to move towards psychological thrillers.

9) Looking forward can you let us know what you are working on next?

I’m editing book 3 in the DI Meadows series and have started research for a standalone thriller.

10) I dare not ask for a favourite author, but is there any author’s back catalogue you admire and why?

I admire a great many authors so it can be difficult to choose one. Sharon Bolton is among my favourites and has an impressive back catalogue. The Awakening particularly stands out for me, it had me hooked from the start and kept me riveted till the end. You know when you pick up one of her books you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you so much for agreeing to take part Cheryl. I've loved hearing all about your DI Meadows series.

Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a Young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and three cats.  After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters. 

Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services. 

In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the confidence to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking, and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters. 

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