Pauline Rowson is the author of two thrillers and the contemporary series of mystery novels featuring the flawed and rugged DI Andy Horton set in the Solent area on the South Coast of England. Her crime novels have received critical acclaim in both the UK and the USA and have been hailed as the ‘Best of British Crime Fiction’ and ‘exemplary procedurals’. They have an International readership and have been translated into several languages. Before becoming a full time writer she ran her own successful marketing, media and training company. Born and raised in Portsmouth, England, Pauline draws her inspiration for her crime novels from the area in which she lives, which is diverse and never without incident. When she isn’t writing (which isn’t often) she can be found walking the coastal paths on the Isle of Wight and around Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester Harbours.
For further information visit Pauline Rowson’s Official Website.
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DI Andy Horton (No. 8 in the series)
When ex con, Daryl Woodley is found dead on the marshes bordering Langstone Harbour the Intelligence Directorate believe his murder is linked to big time crook Marty Stapleton currently serving time in prison. DI Horton is not so sure. He attends Woodley’s funeral in the hope it will give them a lead in an investigation that has drawn a blank at every turn. It does but not in the way he or anyone expected. A body found on a rotting boat being salvaged in Portsmouth Harbour throws Horton into a complex and frustrating investigation. As the tension mounts to solve the case, Horton receives a chilling message; time, it seems, is also running out for him personally…
1. Where do you do your best thinking?
Walking the coastal paths of the Isle of Wight and around Langstone, Chichester and Portsmouth Harbours where my crime novels are set.
2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Where I live now in the Solent area of the UK; it’s vibrant, diverse, and in turn both beautiful and ugly but most of all it’s full of characters and a rich source of ideas for crime novels.
3. What are you most scared of?
Failure. But how you determine failure is another matter.
4. Which book do you wish you’d written?
Still trying to write it.
5. How did you find your first agent?
I didn’t because I don’t have one.
6. What is your “guilty pleasure” reading?
Crime novels, although I don’t feel guilty. I particularly love the Golden Age of Crime from Christie to Simenon and many in between.
7. What are you most proud of?
8. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I’ve loved every job I’ve had, working in a shoe shop, a factory, as an usherette in a cinema, in a benefit officer, as a marketing manager and running my own marketing company before becoming a full time writer. And I love that to. When I stop loving the job I stop doing it. I’ve met some fascinating people and I’ve heard some great stories, all fodder for crime novels.
9. Which of your characters would you most like to have a pint with in real life, and why?
Without doubt Andy Horton, my DI. He’s fair, fit, flawed and almost forty. He lives on his yacht and rides a Harley. I’d forgo the pint although a glass of white wine would be nice but I’d settle for a sail on his yacht or a ride on the back of his Harley.
10. Which character of someone elsel’s would you most like to have a pint with in real life, and why?
Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlow for his one liners, intrigue, mystery and moodiness.
11. Who was your first literary crush (author or character) and why?
I had so many when I was discovering the delights of reading, devouring crime novels by Leslie Charteris featuring Simon Templar – The Saint, and John Creasey, a prolific writer of crime novels featuring The Baron and Gideon, amongst others. He was also the author of Westerns and I went through a phase of reading them too.
12. Which literary romance/friendship do you most wish you were a part of, and why?
Apart from DI Andy Horton, and I’m part of that relationship anyway, I have no idea, maybe I’m not that romantic.
13. What is the first thing you remember writing, and how old were you?
I wrote my first novel at the age of eleven, an adventure story in the style of Enid Blyton, but before that I was always writing stories and plays, the latter of which I’d stage with my friends and brothers in the garage at our family home.
14. If people like your writing, what other writers would you recommend to them?
My writing has been compared by others to that of John Harvey, Peter Robinson, Ed McBain and Joseph Wambaugh. I’d also say that the DI Horton crime novels are like those of R. D. Wingfield’s DI Frost series.
15. What do you hate most about the writing process?
Copy-edits and proofs
16. What do you love most about the writing process?
All of it, the research, the plotting, the crafting of the first draft and the revisions
17. Popcorn: salty or sweet?
Never touched the stuff.
18. Do your books share your personality? If they’re different, what’s the difference?
I write from the male point of view so my heroes don’t share my gender (although there are strong female characters in them).
My crime novels contain quite a lot of dialogue and have been described as a ‘punch in the ribs’ rather than bogged down with long descriptive passages. They contain action, are fast paced with a touch of wry humour, so maybe they do reflect my personality!
19. What do you do when you have writer’s block?
I knit. Knitting is great for stimulating the creative juices. It’s something to do with hand and brain co-ordination and not only does it help when thinking through plots and characters but you also get a very nice cardigan at the end of it.
20. What are you working on now?
The tenth novel in the DI Andy Horton series. Number nine in the series, Undercurrent is being published by Severn House in the UK in January 2013 and in the USA in May 2013.