Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.
You’re best known as the author of the brilliant DI Sterling crime series. Your latest book, The Guest, is a stand alone psychological thriller. What made you decide to do something different?
I have so many different ideas running through my head all at the same time, but not all of them are suitable for a police procedural series. I wanted to delve into the emotional fragility of someone who was being gaslighted by a supposed friend. This was not something I felt I could do justice to in the context of a D.I. Sterling novel, but which was perfectly suited to a psychological thriller.
Can you tell us about your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I am a planning panster. I always have the bare bones of the story mapped out, but once I start writing, new characters and situations arrive unheralded and I have to incorporate them. Often, these can (and do) take the story in unforeseen directions, which is part of the fun of being an author. I never know which characters are going to turn up fully formed and with their own agendas until they appear on the page!
Many readers of my blog are aspiring authors. What top three pieces of advice would you give anyone thinking about writing a novel?
- Get the first draft written before asking anyone to read a word of the book. The first draft is often rubbish, but can be polished into something wonderful. If you ask for feedback before you’ve finished the novel it could put you off writing the rest.
- Set yourself a daily or weekly writing goal – word count or chapters. Don’t set hourly writing goals because these are very often taken up doing anything except writing.
- Believe in yourself and your ideas. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that your dreams are impossible or tries to belittle your abilities.
Any plans to write more DI Sterling books?
I have one last Paolo Sterling book to write, but I am currently working on another standalone psychological thriller which will be published in April 2024.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading (and loving) A Blind Eye by Marion Todd. I love her writing.