Today we have a spotlight focus on Lisa Hartley's new thriller 'Ask No Questions'. I have some Q&A's with Lisa Hartley the best-selling author herself! and some much anticipated information about the new-release novel.
Ask No Questions Summary:
Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one
After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.
Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect - even close colleagues.
Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.
This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.
The start of a must-read new series, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Clare Mackintosh and Lucy Clarke. It will keep you in suspense until the very last page.
Lisa Hartley's Top Ten Things about being an author:
1) It’s a dream come true.
It really is. I’ve always loved reading and writing, and dreamed for years about being an author. Did I ever believe it would actually happen? No. Not at all. I certainly never believed I would be published, and even if it happened, I didn’t believe I’d ever be able to write full-time. I still haven’t quite got used to it.
2) You can create anyone, or anything.
Being a writer means you can conjure up worlds light years away from our own. No one can tell you such a place could never exist, because if it’s there in your imagination, you can write about it. You can create characters with similar traits to your own, or people who are nothing like you or anyone you know. You can put them into scary, desperate situations and know it’s up to you how they respond, or even if they live or die. Hopefully, the stronger the link between you and your characters, the more your readers will enjoy meeting them.
3) When people really ‘get’ what you were trying to do.
For me, being contacted by a reader who has enjoyed your work and really connected with your characters is an amazing feeling. I’m lucky enough to have had emails from lots of different people including an elderly man who was just getting used to his Kindle and a young woman who said one of my characters felt like a friend. Sometimes reviewers also make comments about how real characters feel, which again is lovely to read.
4) Having a moment of inspiration when you least expect it.
Sometimes, writing a book can seem a monumental task. When you open a document to start a new novel, staring at a blank page and knowing you need to make 80-95,000 words appear is daunting. The words have to make sense, they need to tell your story; they must contain a great plot and memorable characters. For all that to happen, you need an initial idea. Another amazing part of being an author for me then is the spark of an idea for a plot appearing in your head when you’re cooking, or hanging out washing, or in any number of situations that are totally unrelated to writing. Suddenly realising how you can write your way out of a situation, or figuring out how to solve a problem with your plot when you’re not even thinking about it feels pretty good.
5) Watching your idea grow into a full-length novel.
I don’t plan my books, other than a very rough idea of the beginning, and how I want it to end. I don’t keep many notes, or know what’s going to happen to my main character. I’m often surprised by things the people in my books do or say, or the situations they end up in. This means that I don’t really know how the book will progress, and so watching the story happen as I work is as much of a surprise to me as it (hopefully!) is to the reader.
6) Meeting readers and other writers.
I’m lucky enough to have met lots of amazing people because of my writing; both readers and other authors. Platforms like Twitter make it easier than ever before to contact a writer whose work you admire, and in my experience, they’re friendly and generous people. I have friends I’ve ‘met’ through social media who are chatty and supportive, even though we’ve never spoken face to face. For someone who spends their working days alone, it’s great to able to reach people on Twitter or Facebook.
7) It’s the most flexible job I can think of.
I have an eleven-year-old son who has autism. We’ve struggled to find a holiday club that will consider him, so when he’s off school, I need to be around for him. He’s also had many hospital appointments, which again means I need to be flexible. As a self-employed writer, I can plan my day knowing I can catch up on my work when he’s in bed, or is playing safely. For my family, this is invaluable.
8) Learning constantly.
As a writer, research can be a huge part of your day. ‘Ask No Questions’ is set mainly in London, and because I don’t live there, I’ve had to do a fair amount of research into the various places my characters visit. During the process of writing the book, I’ve researched lots of Tube journeys, making sure my characters get on and off trains in the right locations. I’ve virtually walked down streets to make sure a journey between two places on foot is possible. I’ve read about Metropolitan Police units, physical injuries, undercover work, firearms… My Google history might look a little suspect, but being a writer means you’re constantly picking up new information. It’s usually fascinating.
9) Doing something you love.
In my twenties and early thirties, I had several different jobs. None were terrible, and I met some amazing people through work (including my partner), but did I love, really and truly love any of them? No. Even though writing can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, like when you’ve stared at a blank page for half an hour with no idea of what to type next, it’s still a pretty amazing way to make a living.
10) Entertaining people.
When I look at my sales figures, I’m always amazed at knowing there are people out there who are choosing to read the words I’ve written. That people are making space in their busy day, their busy lives, to have some time with my characters and story. To me, that’s a huge privilege, and probably the most amazing part of being an author.
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.