Ms Marsh Investigates... Emma at Damp Pebbles #bookblog

Under the spotlight now, the lovely Emma who runs the Damp Pebbles book blog ( covering crime thrillers, psychological thrillers and police procedurals.

Hi, Emma, welcome to BritCrime.

Thank you very much for having me Ms Marsh. I’m excited to be here.

So tell me, why crime as a genre? What about crime novels appeals to you?

I spent my teens reading sci-fi and fantasy, my early twenties reading chick lit and romantic comedies and THEN I discovered the crime genre. Now crime and thrillers are the only genres I tend to read (with a smidge of horror thrown in for good measure). I’m not interested in Sarah’s search to find a boyfriend or an army of aliens heading to earth with the sole aim of destroying life as we know it! I want to read about detectives solving tricky cases. I want the twists and turns of a whodunit, or an edge of your seat cat and mouse.

I live a very lovely but normal life; gorgeous husband (who buys me books!) and two wonderful children. I love my life, please don’t get me wrong! But by reading crime novels I get to live another life, a life where there is danger, a life where I mix where with some pretty shady characters and I love it. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to being arrested (I hope!).

What gave you the impetus to start blogging?

I was looking for a new hobby, something creative, so my husband suggested I give it a go. I was already following a very popular blog and that person, without knowing it, gave me the confidence and inspired me to try. I’m glad I did as my blog is such a big part of my life and I can’t imagine life without damppebbles (and the blogger community) now.

Do you have a particular favourite sub-genre, such as psychological thrillers or police procedurals?

I do love a psychological thriller. Saying that I haven’t found a sub-genre that I haven’t enjoyed!

Who’s on your Must Read list? 

One by One by Chris Carter
Oh wow, what a question! There are so many. I’ll try and keep this relatively short.
My favourite author is Chris Carter with his Robert Hunter series. There is something about that character and the way Carter writes that seems to appeal to everyone, not just crime fans. I adore Angela Marson’s DI Kim Stone series and Robert Bryndza’s DCI Erika Foster. If you haven’t read either of these series, then you must. M J Arlidge who writes the DI Helen Grace series, and what a series it is! I’m going to stop there otherwise I’ll be going for a while…

That’s a great list! So do you have any pet peeves – overused tropes, clich├ęd characters, etc?

I tend to feel quite let down if a police procedural doesn’t have a grumpy, troubled, addiction riddled DCI at the helm! It seems I am the only one to feel this way. I pointed out how strange and unusual a ‘happy’ lead detective is in a recent review on my blog. The comments I received all welcomed the idea and said how refreshing it was!

Who is your favourite character from a crime novel, and why?

Cuckoos Calling by Robert GalbraithAnother hard question! It changes so often. I do love Cormoran Strike from the Robert Galbraith novels. Life keeps knocking him down but he still (somehow) manages to get up and get the job done. I love his character (see my earlier comment about damaged detectives, even though he’s a PI) and I especially love his relationship with his PA/partner, Robin. Actually, he’s another one to add to my ‘Must Read’ list!

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The camaraderie. The support and encouragement the blogging community gives is quite special. I’ve met some amazing people since starting my blog. I’ve also read some incredible books which I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Have you ever thought of turning your own hand to crime writing?

Ha ha! Yes, I have. I would love to write a crime novel. In fact, it’s a dream of mine and I hope one day that I’ll have the time, the idea and the dedication to write it.

Any advice for anyone thinking of starting a crime fiction blog?

Do it! Simple as that really. I love blogging and I can’t imagine not doing it now. There are so many reasons to just dive in. The other thing I would say is join NetGalley, which is a site many of the publishers use to send out review e-copies of their books before publication date. It’s a great place to start.

Lastly, you’re hosting a fantasy crime fiction dinner party – who would you invite? Can be writers, other bloggers, whoever. Alive or dead!

I would invite Agatha Christie (everyone would invite AC, wouldn’t they?), J K Rowling and Mark Billingham.

Nice choices. Thank you so much for submitting to my snooping, Emma – it’s been delightful!
♠ @damppebbles

Ava Marsh

Ava Marsh is the author of psychological thriller, Untouchable. Her second book, Exposure, is out now with Transworld.

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