Today I am delighted to welcome Helen Phifer to take part in my Q&A Interview has part of The Lost Children blog tour. Not only that but you can check out my 5 star review at the bottom…so keep reading folks.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’m a 46 year old mum to five now grown up children, nanna to four gorgeous grandchildren, I work full time and I write every spare minute that I have. I’ve been married for twenty six years and I love reading and writing.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I think since I’ve been a kid, I always used to make these little picture books. I thought about it a lot in my twenties, but had five young children. When I got to my thirties I had a little more time so I spent it writing my debut novel. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing so I just sort of did what I thought was right, this is where being a voracious reader really paid off. I think I instinctively knew where to stop and start chapters and how to hook the readers.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
My first series, the Annie Graham books combine my love of crime, thriller and scary stories. The Lost Children which is book one in my brand new series is about Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin. It’s a very dark, crime novel set amongst the back drop of a abandoned mental asylum. I always write the books that I’d pick up in a book shop or buy from Amazon. I like to think they would appeal to the readers of Stephen King, MJ Aldridge, Luca Veste and Angela Marsons.
What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I get the idea for my novel and I generally always start with the ending. I like to have a clear picture of what the climax will be and then I work from that. I like to take a few days to plot my novel, making lots of notes and doing some research. My first book took eight years to write from start to being published. The Lost Children which is my eighth book took around six to eight weeks for the first draft. The hard work begins with the editing and I’m so thankful I have the amazing editor Keshini Naidoo to whip my first drafts into shape.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
I try to make them completely fictional, there have been the odd few who have been based on people that I know. When my first novel came out my friends and colleagues spent ages trying to guess who each character was and I had to tell them I’d already written this book before I’d even met most of them.
Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
I’ve had a few ghostly encounters which I’ve used in my Annie series. I also work for the police so although I haven’t used any actual real life incidents, I do get a lot of inspiration for characters and situations from my job.
What research do you do?
Generally lots of internet research, I’m quite lucky that I have friends and colleagues who are police officers, sergeants, inspectors, csi’s, paramedics, funeral directors to name a few that I can ask any questions to. For one book I got to speak to the head of communications at the criminal justice review board which was very interesting.
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Stephen King, he’s my all time writing hero.
What’s your favorite book?
It, by Stephen King
What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate, not sure if that counts.
What’s your favorite film?
What’s your favorite song?
Ooh I don’t know if I have a favourite song because I have so many. On my playlist at the moment are George Michael, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Prince & Lady Gaga
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Instagram
The Lost Children by Helen Phifer
Lizzy pulled the covers over her head. Then she realised what was being dragged behind the person with the torch. She rammed her fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…
For decades, The Moore Asylum was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But ever since a scandal forced its closure, the abandoned building has cast an imposing shadow. Until now – when an elderly man is found dead, his body strapped to a gurney…
Detective Lucy Harwin, still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging wrongs.
What disturbing secrets lie within the asylum’s walls? Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children.
As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose?
This is the first book that I have read by Helen Phifer and certainly won’t be my last. Wow this lady knows how to write a spine chilling, creepy, gripping story that will make the hairs on your neck stand up on end. I freaking loved it.
The story starts off with one hell of a prologue set in 1975 where I knew I was going to love this story. The author certainly knows how to draw you in. Moving forward to the present day we meet Detective Lucy Harwin who is still reeling from a previous case that ended in the devastating murder of a mother and her child, she finds herself on the trail of a killer ruthlessly fixated on avenging wrongs. When an elderly man is found dead. We follow a story that alternates back decades about The Moore Asylum which was home to the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. Together with her partner Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy begins to unearth its terrible history, and the horrors endured by the vulnerable children. As the attacks escalate and a woman is murdered on her own doorstep, Lucy is forced into a terrifying game of cat and mouse with a twisted individual. But can Lucy stop a murderer with nothing left to lose?
OMG I am absolutely blown away this story is so well crafted you will not believe it until you read it. The author has woven one truly dark and twisted story. Where I found myself on the edge of my seat. I loved the alternating chapters each one left me wanting more. I couldn’t read this quick enough. And just when I thought I had worked out who the killer was the author throws in about twist!
I loved the relationship between Lucy and Mattie and can’t wait to get to know them more, they really work well has a team. This is a brilliant start to a new series. And I can’t wait to read the next book.
This is a must read which I highly recommend giving it 5 massive stars.
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