I am delighted to welcome N.M.BROWN author of The Girl On The Bus to take part in my Q&A Interview on Blog Tour today.
A retired detective and a young woman are about to face their worst fears.
Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her former friend and room-mate, Laurie, for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up and seems to have vanished.
Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter. Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice.
The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods he and Vicki track the killers who are working across the dusty freeways of North America.
Soon Vicki and Leighton find themselves nervously waiting at a remote bus stop expecting the arrival of the bus.
Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie?
And can they both escape with their lives?
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I am an enthusiastic reader and author based in Scotland, where I lived with my wife, children and numerous cats. I still enjoy teaching High School English after 20 years and I also play the occasional gig as a drummer.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
Since getting hooked on fiction in my teens, I started writing almost immediately. However, I fell into the common trap of simply emulating which ever writer I was enjoying. So I really started by writing my own short stories, some of which evolved into longer texts. Eventually, after spending a snowy winter attending a fireside writer’s group, I found my own voice.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I like stories with a dark side to them, and this is reflected in my writing. My current novels, are in the crime fiction genre and will hopefully appeal to fans of the genre.
What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I genuinely write by plotting out the major events in the novel, like the major landmarks on a map. I then go back to the start to add in the detail and dialogue to move the character toward these main events. It feels a bit like hiking between mountains.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
The characters are mostly fictional. However, some of the situations and pieces of dialogue are taken from real conversations I have overheard.
Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
The Girl on the Bus has an element of personal experience – About twenty years ago, I took a bus from Stirling to Inverness in the Highlands – a journey of over three hours through the picturesque but isolated Cairngorms National Park. The trip was lovely and the scenery stunning. Stirling merged into Perth then Perth into Pitlochry. As I sank into my bus seat, complete with curtained window and complimentary cup holder, I lost myself in the pages of a cheap paperback book. Occasionally, I would drift off and wake with my face sliding on the cold glass of the window. But at some point, as the bus weaved its way through the rugged mountains, I realised that the dramatic landscape outside was quite devoid of civilisation. If anything happened to the coach party out there, no-one would ever know. Then, in the typically morbid spirit of any crime fiction fan, I considered how terrible it would be if anyone on that solitary bus was actually a killer. Glancing nervously around at my fellow commuters, I studied their faces for traces of psychopathy, and concluded that they all had potential (it was Scotland after all). I then hit on an even more worrying possibility. What if everyone on the bus, including the driver, were killers? It would be a mobile crime scene. And what if that bus picked up a naïve passenger who felt safe because there were plenty of other people on the bus with them?
What research do you do?
I do quite a bit. The Girl on the Bus is set in California, but with three children and three cats, I could never afford to tour California but I desperately wanted to set a novel there. I remember twenty five years ago, studying Dracula at university and being surprised that Stoker had never visited Romania. This inspired me to use books, websites and friends to help me understand the place well enough to recreate it on the page – hopefully.The Girl on the Bus Thankfully, technology makes it much easier to visit a place.
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Netta Newbound – she has a knack for psychological elements in her writing, and takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
What’s your favorite book?
Perfume – The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
What’s your favorite food?
Penne Arrabiatta with a splash of white wine. I worked as a chef in an Italian Restaurant to pay my way through university, so this spicy pasta was my nightly supper.
What’s your favorite film?
Stand by Me – it’s the best depiction of boyhood I’ve seen on film, but it also shows that good writers are often the product of troubled childhoods.
What’s your favorite song?
Eyes Without a Face – Bill Idol (showing my age now!)
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
By Visiting Bloodhound Books.com or they can find me on twitter @normthewriter or on my bloghttp://nmbrownfiction.blogspot.co.uk/
Norman M. Brown is an author living and working in Scotland. He attended secondary school in Stirling where he spent more time in the library or in the nearby park with a paperback, than he did in classes… Ironically, having graduated from Stirling University with a degree in English, he soon ended up back on the classroom again – where he has shared his love of fiction for two decades.
Having experimented with poetry, scripts and short stories over the years, he finally decided to write sit down and write the type of fiction he would like to read. The result was his crime thriller -The Girl on the Bus. As result, Norman was delighted to be signed to Bloodhound Books at the start of this year. The Girl in the Bus, is his first published novel. He is currently writing a second novel based on its protagonist – detective Leighton Jones.