Today we are joined by Helena Dixon, who’s cosy crimes evoke the life of the 1930s.
When did you start writing, and why?
I joined my first writer’s group when I was twelve. I used to write poetry and short stories. I completed my first novel when I was seventeen. It was truly terrible, but it spurred me on to try again and I started submitting my novels when I was in my early twenties. Then life took over and I had a busy career and three children in four years, so my writing took a back seat until just before I was forty when a major medical event made me realise that if I was ever going to do something about my writing now was the time. My first acceptances came a couple of years later.
What motivates you to write?
The stories in my brain would drive me crazy if I didn’t spill them out onto paper. Even in the years when I wasn’t writing novels I was still writing short stories, going to my local writer’s group and scribbling fragments of things down. I love to write.
What do you like to do to relax when not writing?
I read. I love books and short stories and will read most things except horror or gory crime. I love to be by the sea and spend hours at my favourite beaches in Paignton and Torquay just watching the waves. I also love architecture and history so I visit a lot of old houses and parks.
Who is your favourite of your characters and why?
That’s a bit like picking a favourite child! I suppose it has to be Kitty Underhay, the heroine in my Miss Underhay series. She prides herself on being a modern, independent woman and, for the early 1930’s, she is just that. She runs the Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth with her grandmother and is brave, and resourceful. She has a kind, generous heart and a keen brain. She likes to show that the modern woman can do anything a man can do, something which sometimes frustrates her beau, Captain Matthew Bryant, a World War 1 veteran who has a more traditional outlook on life.
Who is your least favourite of your characters and why?
Hmm, well I rather like my villains, but I have to say the ongoing mystery which starts with the first book in the series, Murder at the Dolphin Hotel, of what happened to Kitty’s mother in 1916 and is threaded throughout the series gives me, and Kitty our biggest villains. Ezekiel Hammett and his sister Esther. All the books in the series can be read as standalones but my readers say they love the ongoing story of what happened to Elowed. The books are available as ebooks, audio and paperback and the order is:
What’s coming next…
Murder at Elm House is now available for pre order, and releases June.
Winter, 1933. Kitty Underhay is enjoying a restorative break from sleuthing on a visit to her family at Enderley Hall. The only thing marring her peace – aside from the uncomfortable sensation she has of being watched – is the obvious history between her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant and another guest, the beautiful Juliet Vanderstafen. So, when the parish clerk is found dead on her front doorstep, Kitty leaps at the chance of distraction.
The police are happy to conclude that Miss Plenderleith met her unfortunate end on a patch of ice, but Kitty isn’t convinced this was a case of bad weather and worse luck. And when the Reverend Crabtree fails to show for tea the next day, she heads to the church to speak to him. But she arrives to find the clergyman hanging from the bell rope, dead.
With Matt seemingly wrapped up with his alluring Austrian, Kitty must solve the case on her own. But as she snoops into parish affairs, she makes some less-than-saintly discoveries. Just who has broken the sixth commandment? Meanwhile the killer is preparing a churchyard grave for Kitty, and she’ll have to use all her wits to avoid falling in…
Murder at Elm House will be released in June and I’ve just started book 7 in the series.
Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, and a crazy cockapoo. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon. She now writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime.
She enjoys hearing from readers and you can read her news or contact her via her website at https://www.nelldixon.com visit her blog at https://www.nelldixonrw.blogspot.com find her on Twitter @NellDixon or Instagram as @Helena Dixon and on Facebook as Nell Dixon
Thank you so much Helena, I love the artwork on all the books, and may Kitty go from strength to strength.
Coming tomorrow we have Trish Finnegan