I am passionate about South London. It is the place I call home. I was born in Brixton and grew up in the vicinity. I have watched the many changes that have taken place south of the river, during my lifetime. The 80’s Brixton riots have made history and since then the rise in drug, knife and gun crime has been significant.
My training and long career as an actress has a strong influence on my crime writing. As a performer I am led by my emotions and I now realise that as a writer I am driven in exactly the same way, ie- I write about things I feel an emotional connection to. I know I only want to write about South London crime.
My third novel was always going to be about the importation of drugs, guns under-age women for prostitution and its effects on the streets of South London. As I started writing I just couldn’t get Marilyn Monroe out of my mind; I had played her as an actress in the theatre in play about her life and studied then the effect drugs had on her. I had always seen Marilyn as a victim of her Hollywood environment, and her unstable childhood had left her unable to cope with the insecurities of the film world, and yet, like a drug, she needed stardom to make her feel alive- and special. While all this was stirring in my brain, the idea of having some of my regular police characters, under-cover, and doing star impersonations, badly, seemed fun. The title- Dead Like Her came then as the idea of a lookalike club emerged, and a serial killer who preyed on the most famous victims of all- the Marilyn Monroe look-alikes- and then this book had shape. Most importantly for me in my stories is the reality of what is truly happening out there on my local streets, and I work very hard on the research side; and then I like to add a little of what I know best- which is show business- to add some lighter moments and fun. I have the same detectives through out all my books, and so it is nice to discover their other sides as the stories progress. In previous books their muddled love lives feature heavily, as they do in this- but also having them impersonating superstars, I thought would be different- and fun. I so hope readers will enjoy it.
DEAD LIKE HER is published by CremeDeLaCrime.