Ms Marsh Investigates... Neal James author and reviewer #bookblog

Today Ms Marsh Investigates Neal James – author of six novels and crime blogger at

Hi Neal, welcome to BritCrime. So tell me, why crime as a genre? What about crime novels appeals to you?

Crime appeals to my sense of adventure. I watch all of the current batch of UK and US crime dramas, and have become fascinated by the detail. Novels are, of course, different; I read a wide range of both British and American writers, and have tried to emulate without copying.

So what gave you the impetus to start blogging?

As a writer you need to get your name out there, and the blog on my website was the next natural step to releasing my first novel in 2008. The frequency of the entries grew as followers began to take part in the site through my pages ‘Guest Author’ and ‘Showcase’.

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

Not really – I just go where a story takes me and if that lies in the direction of physical crime, psychological thrillers or even stories with a political twist I just go with the flow.

Who’s on your Must Read list? 

James Patterson, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Val McDermid, Robert Crais – authors who know how to keep me in suspense and turning page after page.

Do you have any pet peeves – overused tropes, clichéd characters, etc?

Grammar – the misuse of English, punctuation, spelling errors; all of the things which some writers simply cannot be bothered to iron out, and there are a few of them.

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
Who is your favourite character from a crime novel, and why?

Alex Cross – Patterson goes into such depth to make the man truly believable, and puts you right at the scene with him.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The exposure that it gives to me and my writing; I get regular feedback through the blog itself and also from the links to other sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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

Read critically and try to imagine that you are the writer of your favourite book – what would you like people to be saying about it? Keep it regular and up to date; never be afraid of criticism.

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

Patterson, Connelly, McDermid, Conan-Doyle, John Buchan, Crais… I could go on forever.

Many thanks, Neal – good luck with the writing and the blog!

Ava Marsh

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

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