I had always wanted to be a policewoman, but life took me down the nursing route. Years down the line, I found myself working as a Forensic Nurse with young people between ten and eighteen, who had committed crimes. Their offences ranged from theft, drug or alcohol use, assault, to murder. I visited the young people in their homes, schools, hostels, or young offender institutes (prison). I was finally working alongside the police.
My experiences of visiting prisons, police cells and courts, add some (I hope) realism to my novels. I remember vividly the pressure of the job, the claustrophobic feeling of the cells, and the general malaise clinging to the atmosphere in the prisons. I was visiting an offender once, when the prison alarm rang. A fight had broken out, and lock-down was being enforced. Although I was completely safe, adrenaline riddled by body. I also remember taking a group of male adolescents to a male adult prison, with the idea of dissuading them from a life of crime. Walking within the grounds, men were hurling obscenities at myself and my female colleague, which was an uncomfortable experience.
I obviously do not use real people or their actual crimes in my novels, but I do liaise with a Detective Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Force, who advises me on procedural issues, which is a great help. As he is the same rank as my female DI, he is able to see things as she would. However, I reserve the right to use artistic licence, as sometimes the police procedure is quite a drawn-out process, which could be quite boring to read. I want an element of realism in my work, but not an out-and-out- procedural novel. I like to study the human aspects of crime, and the people behind the Detective Inspector and Detective Sergeant badges.
I am due to attend jury service in a week, which I hope will add another dimension to my writing. I’m used to being in Court with an offender, but never on the side of a jury, so I’m excited to see what that is like.
I have a plethora of books on policing, forensics, poisoning, true crime, and criminal psychology, to name but a few. I read a variety of male and female authors of crime fiction, such as Ian Rankin and P.D. James, but nothing beats human intervention, in my opinion.
When I write, I have the idea of the crime in mind, but sometimes the perpetrator changes from who I originally intended it to be, as once I start, things I could not see before writing suddenly develop. It is then I see who else would be better suited as the perpetrator, which often affords me the twist in the denouement, which hopefully thrills the reader.
This has taught me that over-planning a novel could stifle such hidden gems. I will write a mind-map as I move through the story, to check where people were when the crime took place, but I only use this overview as a guide, not a testament to follow religiously, as things always have a potential to change. But that makes a story interesting for me to write, and for a reader to devour.
Hemmie’s site: http://hemmie-writing.blogspot.co.uk/
Rightful Owner is available for pre-order now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rightful-Owner-Hemmie-Martin/dp/1941058191/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415704619&sr=8-1&keywords=rightful+owner