From childhood – I was always writing stories for myself or bringing them to school for teachers to read aloud to my class.
How long does it take you to write a book?
In the past I’ve written the first draft of a novel in about three months, with lots of rewriting and editing to follow. But my last novel took over two years in total – I tend to work slowly now, making sure every sentence and scene are as good as possible before moving on to the next one.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Sometimes I write all day, ranging from about 9:30am till around 7pm. But I generally like to split the day between reading / research, usually done in the morning, and then writing in the afternoon.
How many crime novels have you written?
One. Although I’m planning a series and have already started working on the next instalment.
My last novel, Dream of the Dead, is my favourite so far. My previous novels were both historical, and I found the past sometimes quite limiting as a writer. In contrast, Dream of the Dead allowed me to use a more interesting vocabulary, gave me full control over the narrative of my story, and permitted me to engage with contemporary issues in a way that historical fiction, by its very nature, cannot do.
Where do you get your ideas?
I typically base all my stories on research, including historical events/people, recent headline news, or academic studies. The real world is so interesting that it always provides plenty of story material. I like to feel that my writing has a solid connection to reality and the kind of events and characters that exist in the world today.
Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
A hard question! I always invest my characters with a lot of care and attention, so it’s difficult to choose. However, I do like my detective Jack Ravenshaw from Dream of the Dead – his wit, imagination, and the theatre environment in which he exists, is very appealing to me.
Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
Hamlet – for his intelligence, word play, philosophy, and madness. Such a compelling character. My detective in Dream of the Dead is directly inspired by him.
If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
I admire anyone who challenges the abuse of power, especially when doing so entails great personal consequences and sacrifice. Thomas Paine, who was convicted of sedition (in England), has long been someone I’ve admired.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing a play as well as working on the plan for my next novel in the West End Murders series.
M. G. Scarsbrook is the author of three novels and the editor of four literary collections. Since 2011 his books have sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide and been translated into five languages. English editions of his work are sold in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats at all major online bookstores. A member of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors, he lives in the UK and is working on the next book in the West End Murders series.
Dream of the Dead: West End Murders, Book 1
Poison In The Blood: The Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia
The Marlowe Conspiracy