Firstly let’s say a big #HappyPublication to @cmacwritescrime – and I have a special #authorinterview for you all.

Yay!!! publication day is finally here for mistletoe and crime. The Stonebridge Mystery series book 5.

And as a special treat I have an interview with the amazing author Christopher Macdonald.

So… let’s get right to it shall we.

What difference do you see between the terms writer and author?

This is great question! If I’m truthful – I don’t know! Everyone who puts pen to paper shows an incredible amount of bravery, despite what they are called.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

The most difficult part is fitting it in with the day job. Teaching takes up a lot of time – planning, marking, parents eves etc – and when you have a story whirling around your head, or an idea for the next chapter, it’s frustrating that I can’t immediately sit down and get it written. Luckily my kids are pretty good at going to bed quite early, so I can get in front of the laptop for an hour or so each night.

Which is your favourite book you have written?

OOOF! This is a really tricky one, like choosing your favourite child (that might be easier, actually!) A wash of black was so important, because it started off the whole journey. Each of the Erika Piper books were fun to write as it progressed her story, and I got to know her world a little more each time. The StoneBridge Mysteries were such fun to write, as they are lighthearted and short! My favourite cover is probably Whispers In The Dark, though I do love them all.

Which of your characters do you relate most to and why?

I relate to Adam the most. He is Northern Irish, he loves FIFA and Thai Sweet Chilli crisps. He is a bit lazy, a good friend and likes heavy metal music. In fact, now that I’m writing this, I realise I may have modelled Adam completely on myself!

What has inspired the ideas for your books?

For A Wash Of Black, I had the opening scene in my head for almost a decade, I just didn’t have the confidence to start it. I liked the idea of body on ice, the vivid red blood spreading out across the white. For Whispers, I liked the idea of doing something for the dark web and for Roses For The Dead, I quite liked the idea of the suspect being named in the first chapter, and then taking the reader on a journey to find out if it was right or not.

The Stonebridge’s are a bit different, because they are set in a small town, so it’s fun to think about what sort of shenanigans the residents would get up to. The only difficulty with those are the fact that two ordinary lads are the detectives, so finding a way for the police not to be interested in the crime is the tricky part.

Which has been your hardest scene to write and why?

There’s a scene in Whispers In The Dark that caused quite a lot of people to call me a bastard. I knew it would get a reaction, but I didn’t realise how hard it would be to write. Each time I edited it, I had a little cry. I was going to go even bigger in my third book, but my wife vetoed my idea, and probably for the best.

OMG!! I was definitely one of the people who called you a bastard 😂 but knowing that you actually cried when editing makes me feel a little bad… but I definitely think I like your wife more than you right now as I can only imagine what you could have done in book 3.

If you could meet your characters what would you say to them.

I’d tell Adam from the StoneBridge Mysteries that he is doing a good job, as he was a bit of a waster at the start, and now he’s on a good path.

What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused.

I have a writing playlist that I listen to. It only has about 10 songs on it, and they are mostly instrumental bands like Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You. I also have one of those banker lights with the green shade on it. That has to be turned on, at any time of day.

If your books were to be made into a movie, which actors would play your main characters?

I’ve always said I see Emily Blunt as Erika Piper. As for the StoneBridge lads, Tom Holland might be Adam and strangely, my best friend Colin would probably be Colin.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given about writing?

Move the story on a little bit every day, even if you can’t be bothered! I aimed for 500 words a day with A Wash Of Black, and now aim for about 1000. Also, that rocks don’t float (I’m never going to live that one down)

So, there we have it ladies and gentlemen!! The world of writing from Mr Macdonald himself.

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