The simple answer is I love reading crime fiction and watching crime dramas on the TV.
I also love humour, such as Tom Sharpe, but my bookshelves and Kindle are filled with crime novels, mainly Sue Grafton, Peter James, LJ Ross, Rachel Amphlett, Michael Wood and Ellie Griffiths.
I also have a copy of To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, but that’s the best book ever written as far as I’m concerned.
Puzzles have always fascinated me. I love cryptic crosswords because you have to think laterally. I love word games and riddles. Solving puzzles is the challenge – the mental agility needed, often combined with logic and deduction. I also remain fascinated by anything that’s unknown or in doubt. This allows me to speculate and wonder, enjoy conspiracy theories, make up my own answers and generally look at the world in a different way.
Then there’s an amazing variety in crime fiction and drama. I grew up watching Columbo, Scooby Doo, The Rockford Files, The Sweeney and many more. I read the Famous Five, Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, Arthur Conan Doyle. Later, I fell in love with series like Miss Marple and Inspector Morse.
But no one had ever written about an environmental health officer solving murders. I loved my work and knew it would add an extra dimension to my stories. The irreverent humour comes naturally with the writing and the character of Kent Fisher.
It took many years, and several incarnations before Kent Fisher became real and realistic enough to carry a story. I had to learn my craft and draw on the techniques I studied from authors like Agatha Christie.
But I never doubted that I wanted to write crime novels.