Episode 137: Writing and Human Nature — Interview with Clare Mackintosh

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I am thrilled (pun intended) to have award-winning and bestselling author, Clare Mackintosh on the show to talk about her latest book.

Clare spent twelve years in the Thames Valley Police Department, during which time she worked on criminal investigations. After leaving the police force in 2011, she worked as a freelance journalist and social media consultant before writing her bestselling debut novel I Let You Go.

She is the winner of two major international Crime Awards and for one of them, she even beat out J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith to win. She is the Director of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, a police officer, and their three children.

In this episode Clare and I discuss:

  • Balancing work and life and knowing how to give your best where it’s needed most.
  • How work and life can influence your writing, both in terms of the topics you write about and the detail you give to certain aspects of the story.
  • Plus, some not-so-obvious ways that your experience can filter into your storytelling.
  • Suggestions for how writers can use more “detective thinking” in their own work, and build up those investigative skills that they can then apply to their writing projects
  • What you do when you feel your story has two strong protagonists. We discuss my theory on protagonists and then about how two strong characters can serve as counterpoints for each other.
  • Sharing bits about the antagonist, the villain, to enhance the reader’s experience of the overall story. It’s a tricky thing to pull off a slow build-up in a thriller without losing your readers.

Plus, Clare’s #1 tip for writers.

About the Author

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the Thames Valley Police Department, during which time she worked on criminal investigations. She left the police force in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant. She is the winner of two coveted international Crime Awards: Prix Polar International, France’s foremost crime fiction award, and The UK’s Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award, beating J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith to win. She is the Director of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, a police officer, and their three children.

Visit Clare Mackintosh online at claremackintosh.com, Facebook.com/ClareMackWrites and at twitter.com/claremackint0sh.

I See You

You do the same thing every day. You know exactly where you’re going. You’re not alone.

That’s the nerve-tingling premise behind Clare Mackintosh’s second novel I SEE YOU, already a #1 London Times bestseller in the author’s native UK.  Like Mackintosh’s stunning debut I Let You Go, the book with the plot twist heard ‘round the world that was picked as one of New York Times’s “10 Best Crime Novels of 2016,” her new thriller kicks into high-gear from the first chapter and never lets up.

When Zoe Walker discovers her own picture in the local newspaper’s classified ads, she’s shocked.  A photo from her Facebook page accompanies a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.  All Zoe’s efforts to discover what the ad means lead to dead ends.  And then a second woman whose picture appeared in a similar ad is assaulted.  When a third woman is murdered, Zoe’s unease turns to fear and paranoia.  The only thing the three have in common is their daily commute on the London subway system. Someone is methodically tracking down these women…and Zoe is next on the list.

The follow-up to the international phenomenon I Let You Go—a debut that sold more than half a million copies in the UK—I See You confirms Clare Mackintosh’s growing reputation as one of the most accomplished crime writers at work today.  Before turning to writing, Mackintosh spent twelve years as a detective and her police work informs her remarkably realistic, pulse-pounding thrillers.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase DIY MFA makes a small commission at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 137

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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