Crime Fiction author Simon Maltman gives me a fascinating overview of his work and what first attracted him to the darker side of writing. I even grilled him on why he makes book trailers (you all know what I think of them)!
Tell me about how you came to define your writing style. What drew you towards crime fiction and mystery writing?
I really never thought of writing anything else, because that’s what I really enjoy myself. It felt natural for me to try and write in that area. Crime writing gives you something dramatic to hang whatever else you want to write about on to.
What is your background and how did you get in to writing professionally?
The majority of my writing in the past was mostly song writing. I started doing short stories about five years ago and then moved onto novels and novellas. I was a social care manager and am doing the writing on the side at the moment, while being a stay at home dad.
Why did you create a book trailer for your novella Bongo Fury? Do you believe that this medium is still relevant?
I try and do one for most of my books. I think that some potential readers might try you out if they get something they like from the trailer. It also means that I can combine my hobbies, with recording music for it.
How do you change your writing style when writing short stories? Do you find the reduced word limit freeing or inhibiting?
I haven’t written many short stories since writing novels and novellas. I used to find starting writing the longer form pieces as intimidating. I’d probably now find it hard to keep things minimal!
Where do you find your inspiration? Are there any particular places or incidents you draw on when you find yourself with writer’s block?
It’s really anything and anywhere that can bring you something. I like occasionally snatching something good in overhearing a conversation and then writing it down, knowing that I’ll use it later. One other thing that I repeatedly find inspiration in is both the beauty and history of Northern Ireland.
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?
Wow- that’s a tough one! It’d probably have to be Raymond Chandler. That’s because I think he was the greatest crime writer, specifically because he had such an incredibly sharp and witty turn of phrase.
Do you have any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?
I’m pleased because I have two sequels coming out soon. My novella, Bongo Fury 2 is out this week and my publisher is editing the follow up to my first novel at the moment. While that’s going on, I’m currently working on a stand-alone novel.
Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to coming up?
I kind of missed Jo Nesbo when he first came out and I’m working through a lot of his stuff now and it’s just brilliant. I also really enjoyed Stuart Neville’s last book, written as ‘Haylen Beck.’ It’s a thoroughly entertaining thriller.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Just thanks very much for having me! All the best.
Thanks Simon, it’s been great. Find out more about Simon’s work HERE.