• Dark Edge Press

Dark Edge Press Sign Debut Adult Crime Novelist, Vivian Oldaker, Two-book Deal

We're delighted to be able to share with you today that we've signed crime author, Vivian Oldaker, a two-book deal. Heaven Drove, featuring DCI Anne Dalton, is a brilliantly constructed novel, our acquisitions editor, Michael Norman, cannot wait to get into the hands of readers. 'Heaven Drove is incredibly well-written, the characters are well-defined, and the story is gripping from the first page to the last.'

Vivian was born and bred in Surrey but now lives in Wiltshire. She has been writing since she was a child. Her first published work was a YA novel titled: The Killer’s Daughter (Andersen Press/Random House 2009). Since then, she’s self-published two children's books, a number of short stories and has written several plays (some of which have been performed). Returning to full-length prose, Heaven Drove is her first foray into adult fiction.

Heaven Drove will be published at the end of the year in digital and print.

Read on to find out more about our newest addition to the stable.

Q. When and where do you write?

A. Whenever I can, where I can be undisturbed for a while. Early morning is often a good time, before anyone in my home is awake; although this doesn’t always work as I’m not a natural ‘early riser’! I write on a Mac desktop computer in our living room – sadly I don’t have my own Writer’s Shed or study; maybe one day.

Q. Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

A. Yes, ideally. I can work with a certain amount of background noise but constant interruptions can make it difficult to get back into the groove. I imagine this is the case for most writers.

Q. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

A. Great question! And so difficult to answer. Two of my favourite writers are Alan Bennett and Stephen King – the results would certainly be very different, depending on which one I chose . . . Chance would be a fine thing!

Q. Where can I find you when you are reading?

A. At this time of year, either in the garden or in bed. Usually paperbacks in the garden and something on my Kindle in bed. My favourite place to read would be on a sun lounger on a beach in Greece, but that’s sadly not an option that’s often available!

Q. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

A. By day, if the weather’s fine, I’ll be wandering about the countryside. If it’s not so good, you may find me arguing with strangers on social media (I know, I really shouldn’t). At night I’ll be either watching TV or taking part in an online quiz.

Q. How do you come up with a title for your book?

A. That varies a lot. Sometimes the title suggests itself right away, at other times it won’t be until I’m close to finishing that it comes to me.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration to write?

A. Usually it starts with a 'what if?' idea and goes from there. But I’m not always sure where my inspiration come from.

Q. How do you research your novels?

A. It very much depends. Often, with the sort of books I write, I don’t need to do much research. If I do, there’s always Google, the modern-day saviour for any writer! If I was going to write about a nuclear physics laboratory I would invest in several books, both fiction and non-fiction and perhaps watch a documentary or two on the subject, to ensure I wasn’t writing total gibberish. Sometimes it works in reverse. I’ll be on holiday somewhere and take notes about the setting, language and culture with the aim of maybe setting a book there in future.

Q. What’s your book about and how did you get the idea to write it?

A. Heaven Drove is a crime fiction novel set in rural Wiltshire. I had the idea of writing about a high-ranking female detective who, like many women, has a number of elements in her life besides her career to balance. Detective Chief Inspector Anne Dalton is a modern woman and proud of her own success, but she’s not hard and ruthless and her partner Detective Sergeant Jamie Clayton is a friend as well as a colleague. I wanted to write about murders taking place in a peaceful, rural setting; where people generally feel safe - though I’m well aware that, for example, both Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby have both explored this ground before me!

Q. What did you/do you do for a living if not writing full-time? What would you do, if anything, instead of writing?

A. I’ve always wanted to write, but before I had children I had a number of jobs, most of them dire; including working in a bottling factory (I was hopeless: broken glass and red wine everywhere) and a betting shop (dark, dingy and full of cigarette smoke – it was some time ago!) The best job I ever had was managing a book shop – heaven!

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. Not at the moment. I’ve had an enormous Bernese Mountain Dog and cats in the past.

Q. Do you like to travel, and if so where and why?

A. I love travelling. I’m particularly fond of Greece. I like to follow the World Enduro Championship (off-road motorbikes) and that’s taken me to various places off the beaten track all over Europe. Other than that, having a holiday somewhere sunny with all of my family (my elder daughter lives in Finland, so I don’t see her as often as I’d like) is my idea of bliss.

Q. You’re marooned on a desert island with seven writers, living or dead. Who are they?

A. So hard to choose! But I’ll say: Stephen King, Ann Cleeves, Charles Dickens, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Helen Dunmore, David Sedaris.

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