Noelle Holten - Gritty, Dark and Chilling Crime Novels
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA's - Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice - and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog.. Dead Inside - her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about the next book in the series, Dead Wrong.
Please give us a short introduction to what Dead Wrong is about.
The official blurb is:
The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…
DC Maggie Jamieson's past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.
Three missing women running out of time…
They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.
The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…
But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.
Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.
Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…
What inspired you to write Dead Wrong?
My previous life as a Senior Probation Officer brought me into contact with a lot of serious crimes and high-risk criminals. Although Dead Wrong is purely fictional, I was inspired by a case I was involved with early on in my career.
Tell us more about DC Maggie Jamieson. What makes her tick?
DC Maggie Jamieson has been a detective working murder cases for over ten years. Although she passed her Sergeant’s exam, she prefers to stay operational in the field. Her experience lets her put the pieces together by visualizing the crime scenes in her head and using this to walk in the killer's shoes. She’s stubborn, assertive and holds people at a distance. Maggie also has a strong sense of justice and will do whatever it takes to put a criminal behind bars.
What fascinates you about serial killers?
Everything! I want to know what motivates them. What makes them tick? Was it nature, nurture or a combination of both?
Why did you title this book Dead Wrong?
My publisher has control over all my titles, though I have been fortunate in that they do take on board my own ideas. The first book was titled Dead Inside and covered the theme of domestic abuse. This one is about the possibility of a wrongful conviction and the title seemed to work. The third will also start with Dead ... guess it is part of the series brand now!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I'm not sure I have any other secret skills! I'm great at shouting about fantastic books I've read...does that count?
The book contains some twists - did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way while writing?
I’m not a planner at all. I also write the first chapter and the last chapter and then the rest just comes as I write. I never write chronologically either - so when I finish, I have to put the book in order, edit chapters to work with others and hope it flows enough for my editor to read!
Can Dead Wrong be read as a standalone?
Yes, each book in the series looks at a different case and can be read on its own. There are characters from the first book, Dead Inside that will appear throughout the series, but I fill in some details so that readers won’t get lost.
How much research did it require from you to make the police procedural feel authentic?
I worked in police stations/ with police teams for over 8 years so I had some idea about procedures, as well as having contacts to clarify things. But my series takes a multi-agency approach, with the police working alongside other criminal justice agencies that I was also involved with. I hope that my 18 years of experience within the criminal justice system brings a level of authenticity to my writing. I use reference material on forensics, police procedure and psychology as well.
Your work takes you to some very dark places. Do you ever get nightmares while writing your books?
Not at all! I’ve been reading horror, true crime and crime fiction for over 35 years. I worked as a Probation Officer for over 18 years. I’ve managed some very dangerous people in prisons and the community. I learned to separate and compartmentalize the darkness. You have to.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
This is the second book I’ve written...ever. My greatest challenge was making it as interesting as the first despite them being two very different books. The reviews so far suggest I’ve done ok!
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
I’m very disciplined. I work full-time as a PR & Social Media Manager for a leading digital publisher in the UK - so I’m very busy. I also run a book blog - CrimeBookJunkie - so even though I’ve had to cut back on that, I love reading and reviewing and couldn't stop if I wanted to. Writing for me needs to fit in between those things so I make sure that I write 1,000 words a day for an hour in the evenings. Usually between 6-7pm. I do the same on the weekend but may include some research to stretch to 2 hours. Each first draft takes me about 12 weeks to write. Then two or three weeks to edit before I send it in to my publisher (not the one I work for by the way!) That’s my routine.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently writing Book 4 in the series which is due in June. Book 3 is finished and will be published in Oct 2020. Book 5 will be delivered in Dec 2020. My contract will be finished then, so unless I get a new contract - I might work on a standalone psych thriller idea that has been festering!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2Y1kCM1
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/37P4t0C
Harper Collins Website: http://bit.ly/2OAnBYJ
Buy Links - Dead Inside
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2SBRpqt
Buy Links - Dead Wrong
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2DtugNU