A Few Quick Questions With…Noelle Holten

Struck by inspiration a couple of days ago, I hit Holten up with a last-minute request to participate in this, which she graciously agreed to and found time in her busy schedule. Hope you enjoy this half as much as I did.

In case you haven’t read my posts about her books, Dead Inside and Dead Wrong, you should before (or after) you read this, so you have a clue what we’re talking about.

So what was it that flipped the switch for you to move from Award Winning Book Blogger to Crime Fiction Writer?
I’ve been an avid reader of crime fiction for so many years – too many to mention. In the back of my head I had always wished I could write a book but never thought I could string a story together. I was encouraged by other writers who I had met at various festivals and then in 2017 I attended Crime & Publishment run by Graham Smith with Michael J Malone. All I had was the prologue to Dead Inside and when I finally showed it to both of them (separately) and got the same reaction – ‘Wow. That’s powerful’ I thought maybe I could actually write a book… 12 weeks later, the draft for Dead Inside was complete!
If that draft prologue was close to the published version, I can easily see why they’d react that way. I did. 🙂

Technically, Dead Inside was a Maggie Jamieson book, but it was Lucy Sherwood’s just as much (if not more). Was the plan all along to slide into Maggie’s series like or did Dead Inside evolve into a story focusing on Lucy?

Dead Inside had always been Lucy’s story. In fact, Maggie had originally only played a small part in the book and the whole series I had mapped out in my mind. I always saw this as an ensemble series – many, if not most of the main players would be introduced in Dead Inside and then each of the following books would focus on someone else – with the police & Maggie solving any crimes that came up. My publisher felt that a police procedural would be a better focus and so I brought DC Maggie Jamieson more into the story. Dead Wrong was/is her story and we see much more of her in the other books that follow.
How was the experience of writing Dead Wrong different than Dead Inside? Having the confidence from one under your belt, was it easier? Or was it like starting from Square One again?
I think writing Dead Wrong was much harder. Although I had an idea mapped out, I had Dead Inside in my head for a few years – or at least an outline of it. I also didn’t have deadlines to meet! That makes a huge difference no matter how disciplined you are! I still feel very much a newbie to the game and love learning more about writing as each book comes alive. I don’t think it will ever get easier for me as I am always worried that I won’t write a story that people will want to read – the whole imposter syndrome sets in.
Obviously, you’re a Crime Book Junkie, but is there another genre you’d like to try your hand at?
If I had to choose another genre it might be horror – as I definitely would have no chance at writing a rom com or sci fi – I know I couldn’t do it! I do have an idea for a stand alone psychological thriller – so I might try that one day.
Let’s play “Online Bookstore Algorithm” (a game I’ve recently invented). What are 3-5 books whose readers may like Dead Inside? [N.B. I meant to ask about Dead Wrong, whoops.]
Oh this is a tough one! Ok, I have some series in mind so I will choose one book from those I guess!
Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
Somewhere to Hide by Mel Sherratt
A Suitable Lie by Michael J MaloneI can’t really think of others off the top of my head but the above I think each have a similar feeling to Dead Inside that I think readers would enjoy if they enjoyed these books.
What’s next for Noelle Holten, author?
I have a few crime festivals I will be attending either as an avid fan of crime fiction or on a panel. I am currently editing the third book in the series (cover and title to be revealed soon I hope – woohoo!) and that should be out towards the end of this year. I’m also about 20k into writing Book 4. I work full time as well and although blogging itself has taken a back burner, I am still reading and reviewing too. Somewhere in between all that I try and sleep too!
It’s Release Day Eve for Dead Wrong. How nervous are you? How’s it compare to Dead Inside?
I am EXTREMELY nervous. I think I feel exactly the same as I did when Dead Inside came out but maybe even a little more nervous. I mean, what if people don’t like Dead Wrong?! What if they were expecting something exactly the same as my first book – and it’s not the same – oh my god, the nerves!! So yeah, I don’t think it gets any easier.
Thanks for your time—and thanks for Dead Wrong, I’m really enjoying it, and hope you have plenty of success with it.
Thank YOU for having me and after your incredible review of Dead Inside. I am SO NERVOUS to hear what you think of Dead Wrong.

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