Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Conversation with Mystery Author Rosie Claverton

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Rosie Claverton

We are delighted to welcome author Rosie Claverton to Omnimystery News today.

Rosie's third mystery to feature hacker Amy Lane is Captcha Thief (Crime Scene Books; February 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the opportunity to talk with her more about the series.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to your series lead characters. What is it about them that appeals to you as an author?

Rosie Claverton
Photo provided courtesy of
Rosie Claverton

Rosie Claverton: I have two main characters in The Amy Lane Mysteries — the eponymous Amy Lane and her assistant Jason Carr. Amy is a greyhat hacker, operating on both sides of the law, but mostly confined to her house by crippling anxiety and depression. Jason is an ex-con, trying to make good after getting out of prison for stealing a car, and working as Amy's man on the street.

I love how these two work as a pair, with Amy's access to any piece of digital intel and Jason's way of worming information out of folks. They compliment each other and, because they're such opposites, they also clash frequently on how to work their way through a situation. That kind of dynamic is gold for a writer.

OMN: Captcha Thief is the third book in this series. How have they changed since they were first introduced?

RC: The characters are slowly changing — not always for the better. Amy is growing in confidence and taking more risks, but Jason is questioning his place in this partnership — what exactly does Amy value in him? The thing that surprised me most was how the secondary characters have emerged from the shadows and stolen the spotlight. In particular, Jason's kid sister Cerys went from a directionless troublemaker in Binary Witness to a probationary constable, though still displaying her brother's penchant for bending the rules.

OMN: How would you tweet a summary of Captcha Thief?

RC: This is a great question! Binary Witness and Code Runner were published off the back of a Twitter pitch, which was: "Ctrl+Alt+Del: An agoraphobic hacker and a streetwise ex-con team up to hunt down a serial killer in Cardiff."

The title may have changed, but I used that pitch throughout my publication journey.

For Captcha Thief, I would go for: "Hacker Amy Lane and her ex-con assistant Jason Carr hunt down the murderer of a security guard and a stolen Impressionist painting."

OMN: Why did you decide to use a pen name?

RC: I've used a pen name since I got serious about writing. The reason is simple: I was training to be a doctor at the time and had a very distinctive name. The advantage is that it keeps my professional lives separate, though most of my psychiatry colleagues now know about my double life. It's very important to me that my patients don't Google their doctor and find a crime novelist. The disadvantage is remembering what name I'm using at any given time and coaching my family to use the right one at events! I have a group of friends at Realm Pictures who I've known since childhood and who I've also collaborated with as a writer — they never have any idea what to call me!

OMN: What kinds of books did you read when you were young?

RC: As a young child, I was an avid fan of Enid Blyton, particularly The Famous Five and The Five Find-Outers. I love an adventure and a mystery, and I think that fuelled my desire to solve puzzles — and then later create my own. I think they also helped me understand the value of an ensemble cast, as did my love of Star Trek's brand of science fiction. My early interest in classic scifi definitely helped my interest in tech and thereby Amy Lane's passion for computers and hacking.

OMN: And what do you read now for pleasure?

RC: I love crime, and mysteries most of all, but I also have a healthy interest in historical and science fiction — and all those things combined! I became happiest as a writer when I started writing the kind of books I wanted to read — you are your first audience, after all.

Getting to know characters over series is one of my biggest reading pleasures. In crime and mystery, I particularly like Lincoln Rhyme thrillers by Jeffery Deaver, The Dido Kent Mysteries by Anna Dean, and Mistress of the Art of Death series by Ariana Franklin. With other genres, I love Naomi's Novik's Temeraire series, MJ Carter's Blake and Avery books, and Patrick O'Brian's classic Aubrey/Maturin novels.

I think my favorite must be Dido Kent, as she is a Regency spinster who sticks her nose into her family's unfortunate incidents and isn't afraid to stand up for women in a age that would rather she didn't.

OMN: What's next for you?

RC: Terror 404, book four in The Amy Lane Mysteries, is ready for editing and will be released next year. I'm also working on a historical fantasy mystery — combining all my favorite genres! — that I hope will find a good home soon. I also have a couple of feature films in development, and I'm enjoying settling back into my soul's true home — Cardiff.

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Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home. She then moved to London to specialise in psychiatry. Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating for accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction. She is the co-founder of #psywrite, a monthly Twitter chat about mental health and psychology in fiction. She currently lives in Cardiff with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at RosieClaverton.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton

Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton

An Amy Lane Mystery

Publisher: Crime Scene Books

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

Agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane and her sidekick ex-con Jason Carr are caught in a tortuous and increasingly dangerous adventure as Amy seeks to help track an art thief and Jason seeks to impress the National Crime Agency investigator Frieda Haas sent to recover the missing painting — and its abductor.

As the evidence leads Amy and the police in circles, Jason finds himself taking more and more risks in his hunt for the thief. Nothing is as it seems. Are Amy and Jason merely playthings for a vicious murderer? Can they survive the game?

Captcha Thief by Rosie Claverton

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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