Crime writer and former paralegal Jane Hobden talks me through her work and how it’s evolved into her latest novel, Guilty.
Tell me about your books. What drew you towards writing psychological thrillers?
I have always loved thrillers whether it be crime, suspense or psychological. Basically, I write something that I would love to read. I like to be kept guessing until the end or have something that I didn’t expect happen.
What is your background and how did you get in to writing?
My background is in criminal law where I worked as a paralegal. I really enjoyed that job – every day brought something new. I have spent a lot of time in Courts and Prisons preparing a persons’ case for trial including meeting a wide range of clientele who, in most cases would be absolutely terrified of the process and the fear of facing a prison sentence. I find that it brings both the best and the worst out in people.
I first started writing in 2011 at a time when I was in a job that I didn’t particularly like. I found that it helped with my work stress levels having something to focus on. My first book The Hartford Inheritance I self-published in 2014. Since then, I’ve changed jobs and as with most people, life has been too fast paced to be able to concentrate on writing anything new save for a dystopian future YA book that my kids could read. Then Covid-19 happened and we had no option but to slow it all down. That’s when I started writing again – this time a crime thriller.
Please tell me about your books. What sets them apart from other similar novels?
Guilty strays far from the traditional one-dimensional thriller. I want the reader to not know who is guilty until the very end. I’ve tried to show the assault from different viewpoints, allowing the reader to sympathise with each emotion that the characters feel. I want the reader to consider if they would behave in the same way.
Tell me about the books you write. Where do you find your inspiration?
I’ve always had a ‘healthy’ imagination shall we say. I love crime dramas. As my husband would say, unless there’s a dead body in a tent, Jane wouldn’t turn the TV on for it. I love the thrill of it. I like to write something that’s dark and thought provoking. I don’t think I’d be able to write in any other genre.
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?
I’m definitely reaching for the stars here but I’ve got to say J K Rowling. What she created in Harry Potter is nothing short of a phenomenon. A book loved by children and adults alike. The detail involved. So much thought goes into every single one of her characters and every storyline leads in a different direction. She’s definitely my idol.
Do you have any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?
I’ve already started my next novel, which has the working title Beneath Ground. Another psychological thriller but this time I’m dealing with Stockholm Syndrome.
Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to coming up?
One of the books I recently read was a book by a debut author called Abigail Dean. The book is called Girl A, I’m sure most people have heard of it by now. It is absolutely amazing. I loved it from cover to cover and read it in days. I’m very much looking forward to her new book, which is due for release in the summer I believe.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thank you, Hannah, for reading and reviewing Guilty. It really means a lot for someone of your calibre to get involved.
Massive thanks to Jane for answering my questions: I’m very excited to review Guilty in the coming weeks.