Today I welcome Jackie Baldwin to my blog. I was very lucky to hear Jackie read at the Noir@The Bar event in Edinburgh hosted by Jacky Grámosi Collins. It was superb to discover Jackie Baldwin and it’s a real honour that I have a wee Q&A with her today.
About Jackie Baldwin
Jackie Baldwin was born in Dumfries. She studied law at Edinburgh University returning to Dumfries to practice criminal and family law for the next twenty years. During that time she married and had two children and a variety of pets. She later retrained as a hypnotherapist. Dead Man’s Prayer is her debut crime novel and is set in Dumfries. When not working or writing, Jackie can generally be found in a forest or by the beach on long muddy walks with her two Retrievers.
About The Book
Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood fifteen years earlier.
With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inextricably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when twin boys go missing. One twin is recovered in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?
As Farrell investigates the two cases he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.
You can buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK
My Wee Q&A with Jackie Baldwin
Tell us a little about your Publishing journey, please.
Hello everyone, I live in Dumfries, SW Scotland with my husband and two golden retrievers, Poppy and Rosie. For twenty years I was a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law but now, as well as writing, I work from home as a hypnotherapist. My road to publication was a long and winding one as I was so busy with work and family that I kept pushing my novel to one side. However, after my final rewrite, I heard that Killer Reads were open for submission and sent it off with zero expectations. Two weeks later it was accepted. I don’t think I have ever been so shocked!
Describe yourself using three words.
Kind, cheerful and loyal.
What inspired you to write your first novel.
I had always wanted to write a novel and given that I was flat out with kids and work at the time I decided to ‘write what I knew’ to cut down on research time. I came up with crime and Catholics so DI Frank Farrell arrived in my head. I had a somewhat unusual schooling as I attended the local Benedictine Convent School so it was a great way to explore some of the guilt and angst that had lodged within me as a result of that experience. The nuns were lovely, don’t get me wrong, but some of the imagery used in Catholic education back then could be quite disturbing to an imaginative child.
What time of day do you like to write?
I don’t have a writing routine as I have to work around my clients but given the choice, I prefer the mornings.
What is your favourite book and why?
This is a bit embarrassing for a crime writer to admit to but I have to say ‘Little Women’ by Louisa M Alcott. I rarely reread books but I find it never fails to soothe me. It is my literary equivalent of a warm hug. Also, I love the heroine, Jo Marsh, who is about as far from insipid as it is possible to get. Her personality looms so large it is as though she could burst out of the book and into the real world.
How did you pick the title of your book?
I didn’t! It was originally called ‘The Penitent’ but my publisher felt that wasn’t commercial enough. I wish I had known that would happen as I can’t tell you how many weeks of my life I wasted trying to come up with a good title. Fortunately, I love it, though!
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
No, not at all! However, I subsequently discovered that there is one person in Dumfries with the name I gave my main character. His friends and family think it is hilarious and he has taken all the resultant stick with good humour. Other than that I have had quite a few local people come up to me with a nudge and a wink convinced they know who a character is based upon. The more I protest the more they believe it to be true.
What’s your favourite word?
If you were a colour what would it be?
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
A bit of both. I do a rough outline but as I am typing things occur that can take the story off somewhere different to what I had originally envisaged.
Who is your favourite author?
You’re torturing me now! I have so many. OK, I will go with Robert Bryndza.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you choose?
Definitely the poor creature in Frankenstein. When I read that book I thought my heart was going to shatter like a mirror. I will never read it again or watch the movie. I daren’t!
Are you working on a new project?
I am busy working on the second DI Farrell novel.
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
Yes, I am giving a talk on ‘Breaking into Crime Writing’ as part of Nithsdale Noir at Sanquhar on Saturday, March 4th at 2 pm. The more the merrier!
If you want to follow or contact Jackie here is the information:
Facebook Author Page – Jackie Baldwin Author
Author Website – http://www.jackiebaldwin.co.uk
Twitter – @JackieMBaldwin1
WIN A SIGNED COPY
Thank you so much to Jackie for joining me today. Dead Man’s Prayer will be on everyone’s must-read list. Can’t wait for the new book.
Much love, Kelly x