The Dolls House (watch the trailer) is the brand new crime novel from Louise Phillips. Today’s stop on Louise’s blog tour tells you all about the new book and includes some great tips for aspiring crime writers.
Valerie Sirr: How does a crime writer go about getting an introduction to the Irish Police Force for help with research as you have done?
Louise Phillips: The simple answer is to ASK. I got a lot of my initial information from a crime writing workshop I attended a couple of years ago. I asked questions of detectives, forensic experts, and also people working in the State Pathologist Office. After that, and having done as much research as I could, I approached a detective from Rathfarnham station. Surprisingly, detectives and other professionals working in the Irish Police Force are well used to being approached. A writing friend of mine phoned her local police station recently and asked if she could visit a cell as she wanted to get a concept of what it felt like to have a prison door close behind her. They were really supportive, and she was delighted when they brought her around the cells and locked her up! It added authenticity to her narrative. I would say approach tentatively, and professionally. Be patient as they are busy people, and research as much as you can beforehand. Don’t waste a detective’s time by asking them something you could easily find out on Google!
VS: Readers have taken a liking to your Criminal Psychologist, Dr Kate Pearson. Do you intend to continue developing her for future novels?
LP: The character of Kate Pearson has a way to go yet, and it’s interesting as a writer the concept that you can develop a character over the course of a number of books. It allows you dig deep and to use subtlety of insight, having time on your side. Crime writing is gripping, and often fast paced – nothing exists within a crime novel unless it has to be there! The other interesting aspect about Kate is that she is very much the puzzle solver, the missing piece in the jigsaw, and brings psychological insight into the ‘WHY’ of a killer acting in a particular way. In both novels, RED RIBBONS, and THE DOLL’S HOUSE, the story is told from a number of perspectives, the killer, the criminal psychologist, and the principle protagonist. I hope by writing the stories this way the reader becomes the quintessential fly-on-the-wall, seeing things that the varying voices in the novels, don’t always see.
VS: Looks like you had a lot of fun with your book trailer. How much input does a publisher have with making trailers or is it up to writers to do it on their own initiative, like you did?
LP: If you’re an International bestseller, I’m sure there is expert help available, but by and large, an enormous amount of publicity is down to the author themselves, and with modern technology, the use of iphones for example, it’s easy enough to create your own trailer. It’s important to remember that the market is a very crowded place, and anything you can do to make others aware of your work is beneficial, and it was great fun to do. The last twelve months have been an enormous learning curve, and I hope I don’t stop learning anytime soon!
Buy the book on Louise’s website here or on Amazon.
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Middle-aged male, multiple stab wounds, found drowned in the canal. You have my number. Call me.”
This is the message criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson receives one cold Saturday morning from Detective Inspector O’Connor, spoken in his usual curt manner. The middle-aged male in question is Keith Jenkins, the host of a popular TV programme, and as Kate and O’Connor begin their investigation, they find themselves faced with more questions than answers.
The past . . .
Following her mother’s recent death, Clodagh has begun to explore her past – her memories of her father, who died in a mysterious accident, and the dark tragedy that seeped through the cracks of her childhood home. When she begins to visit a hypnotherapist, scenes from her childhood begin to take shape, with interjections from a sometimes sinister cast of dolls.
. . . is waiting . . .
As Kate continues to investigate the disturbing details of the vicious murder, she is drawn closer to Clodagh’s unsettling family history. What terrible events took place in the Hamilton house all those years ago? And what connects them to the recent murder?
Time is running out for Clodagh and Kate. And the killer has already chosen his next victim…
THE DOLL’S HOUSE has been described by crime writer, Niamh O’ Connor, as ‘chilling, mesmerising. Gets under your skin and stays with you,’ and by Myles Mc Weeney of the Irish Independent, as, ‘A gripping, suspenseful story, peopled with well-drawn characters…’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Dublin, Louise Phillips returned to writing in 2006, after raising her family. That year, she was selected by Dermot Bolger as an emerging talent. Her work has been published as part of many anthologies, including County Lines from New Island, and various literary journals. In 2009, she won the Jonathan Swift Award for her short story Last Kiss, and in 2011 she was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform. She has also been short-listed for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and long-listed twice for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition.
Her bestselling debut novel, Red Ribbons, was shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year (2012) in the Irish Book Awards. The Doll’s House is her second novel.