How long have you been writing?
I started writing 20 years ago and had three books published in quick succession. But then I gave up for a long time to concentrate on my career in television. I started writing again about five years ago and since then I’ve had another five books published.
What made you want to write thrillers?
My late mother, bless her, was a big fan of Agatha Christie and the great Mickey Spillane. It was through her that I got hooked on thrillers and crime novels. I enjoy writing them because it’s so much fun to develop plots and create really nasty characters.
Is it emotionally difficult to write some of the more disturbing/graphic scenes?
The more disturbing scenes can be a real challenge and you have to be careful not to go completely over the top. My publisher has on occasion asked me to rewrite sections that were deemed too shocking and graphic. However, I like my books to be realistic and hard-edged, so I try to strike an acceptable balance.
What genres do you like to read and/or who are some of your favorite authors?
I only ever read crime books. Top authors are James Patterson, Harlan Coben and Jane Casey.
Are any of your characters based on you or anyone you know?
I don’t base any of my characters on real people.
Which book did you enjoy writing the most and why?
The book I most enjoyed writing was Malicious. It’s set in Houston, where one of my three daughters lives. So it gave me a good excuse to spend time there. Also, it deals with the topical subject of web cam hacking. It’s been my most successful book so far and was an Amazon bestseller.
What does your writing process look like?
I don’t work to a fixed regime. I always write first in longhand before transferring what I’ve written to the laptop. I do most of my writing in coffee shops rather than at home. For some reason I find that much easier.
If you could actually meet Jeff Temple, what would you do and/or ask him?
If I ever met Jeff Temple I would ask for his autograph. After all, I’m his number one fan!
What's the craziest thing anyone ever asked you about your books?
My book Random Targets is about a psycho sniper who shoots at drivers on Britain’s motorways, causing death and destruction on a massive scale. One reader called up to berate me for writing it. She asked me how I’d be able to live with myself if it gave someone the idea to actually do it! Needless to say I didn’t really have an answer.
Do you think you could actually solve a real life murder mystery?
I doubt very much I’d be able to solve a real murder mystery. We writers make it look so easy but I know that’s far from true.
Is writing your only career? If not, what else do you do?
I now write full time. Until recently I ran my own TV production business making documentaries and sports programmes. Before that I was a television news producer. However, I am a part-time close-up magician.
If you had 24 hours left to live, how would you spend those hours?
I’d try to get my family together in one place and spend it with them.
What's your favorite food?
I’m addicted to cakes and chocolate. I also like French fries and chicken.
If you could pick an actor to play Jeff Temple in a movie, who would you pick and why?
David Tennant who appeared in Broadchurch.
Is there a particular time of day or place you prefer to write?
In the mornings. That’s when I pop out to the coffee shops!
What would you do if you were the last person on earth?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate of course.
Salty or sweet?
The sweeter the better.
What's your favorite movie? Song?
Best movie: The Godfather. Best song: Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
If you wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?
‘I DID IT MY WAY.’
Is there anything else you want us to know?
I’ve just discovered how to use Twitter so feel free to follow me on @JimRaven1
Thanks for the fantastic interview James! If you'd like more info on James or his books, you can check out his website www.james-raven.com.