Today we are joined by the charming Caroline England, the ex-lawyer with more AKAs than you might realise.
When did you start writing, and why?
Though I’d occasionally written a poem or two, I didn’t start writing short stories or novels until about fifteen or so years ago. I had decided to leave my job as a solicitor to be a stay-at-home mum for a while, and as I was winding down my work files, I penned the first few lines of a chick-lit novel at my desk. The protagonist was an unlucky-in-love lawyer! After that I turned to the dark side and began writing what I thought would be classed as ‘contemporary’ fiction, but it turned out to be crime fiction. I guess that’s what happens when you include lies, betrayal, dark secrets and the occasional murder! I still insist that love is at the heart of all my novels, though.
I think the answer to the ‘why’ was twofold. Firstly, I loved doing it and secondly, it satisfied my work ethic and made me feel I was achieving something when my girls were at school.
What motivates you to write?
I really love writing novels and I have had the good fortune of seeing six of them published so far. When everything comes together, it’s such a joy and there’s no buzz like reading a complimentary five star review from a reader who completely ‘gets’ it! I still show them to my hubby and say: ‘Can you believe they are talking about me!’
Which do you like to write, series or standalones? If you write both, what do you find the difference?
I mostly write standalone psychological thrillers, but I have also written two legal dramas under the pen name Caro Land, Convictions and Confessions, which star my feisty solicitor Natalie Bach. She likes to fight for the underdog, but inevitably gets embroiled in personal, legal and ethical dilemmas. I think Natalie is a brilliant character, and if ever the novels catch on, I’d love to write more. However, I do prefer the standalone in terms of bringing everything to an end for those characters (sometimes brutally!)
Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?
I think it has to be Dan Maloney from My Husband’s Lies. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I put Dan through the emotional wringer in many ways. He’s a really good guy who doesn’t know which choices to make. I think his storyline was one of the things that helped My Husband’s Lies become a top five kindle bestseller!
Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?
This is quite a tricky question as few of my characters are plain bad – I like to give them a back story or a childhood to show why they are a flawed individuals. Also, people are not always what they seem in my books, so I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers! It’s also interesting to read people’s take on characters. Betray Her revolves around Jo and Kate who have been friends since childhood. Some readers think one character is good, the other bad; some think they both are bad and others believe they just got caught up in what life had dealt them!
Tell us about your last book…
Betray Her paperback came out during lockdown last year, so I think it is still trying to make itself heard.
As above, we meet best friends Jo and Kate as eight year olds at boarding school, as teenagers and then as adults in the present time. Is their friendship all that it seems? If one of them could have the other’s life, would she? With a man in the mix, who knows!
What’s coming next…
Truth Games is currently out in ebook and the paperback will be out in June this year.
Ellie Wilson tries hard to be the perfect mother, the perfect partner, the perfect daughter but she never seems to get it right. When Sean Walsh, an old friend from university, re-enters her and Cam’s lives, dark memories from Ellie’s past begin to resurface.
As she starts to unravel some shocking and sinister realities, she realises that she must choose between keeping the family she loves – and facing the truth.
Anything else you want to share?
I now have a second pen name, CE Rose, and I’m delighted to tell everyone that my first gothic-tinged psychological thriller, The House of Hidden Secrets, will be published on the 14th April this year!
Author of Beneath the Skin, My Husband’s Lies, Betray Her and Truth Games, Caroline England likes to write multi-layered, dark and edgy ‘domestic suspense’ stories that delve into complicated relationships, secrets, lies, loves and the moral grey area.
Drawing on her days as a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer, she loves to create ordinary, relatable characters who get caught up in extraordinary situations, pressures, dilemmas or crime. She admits to a slight obsession with the human psyche, what goes on behind closed doors and beneath people’s façades. She also enjoys performing a literary sleight of hand in her novels and hopefully surprising her readers!
Caroline has also written Convictions and Confessions, a legal drama under the pen name Caro Land, and The House of Hidden Secrets under the pen name CE Rose
Thanks so much for joining us Caroline, and best of luck under any name.
Tomorrow we’ll be hearing from Fiona Kleitch