My Friday Reads this week is Frozen Minds by Cheryl Rees-Price. It is the second book in the DI Winter Meadows Mystery series. Great title - and just look at the cover!
When a man is found murdered at Bethesda House, a home for adults with learning difficulties, local people start to accuse the home's residents of being behind the killing. The victim was a manager at the home, and seemingly a respectable and well-liked family man. DI Winter Meadows knows there's more to the case than meets the eye at first, though. As he and his team investigate, Meadows discovers a culture of fear at the home - and some very unscrupulous dealings going on between the staff. Does the answer to the case lie in the relationships between the staff and the residents - or is there something even more sinister afoot?
It sounds intriguing doesn't it? Want to read more? Here are the links to download the book, and also The Silent Quarry, the first book in the series.
Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and two cats. After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters.
Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time book keeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services.
In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the confidence to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters.
I asked Cheryl to tell us more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been asked this question on a few occasions and I squirm when I have to answer “no”. It’s not the answer that’s expected! I left school without a clue what I wanted to do and stumbled into a job as a legal clerk. I enjoyed reading, especially Stephen King and James Herbert, quite often scaring myself under the duvet. I worked, studied and raised a family before I realised that I would really love to write a book. So with no training or idea what I was doing I picked up a pen and started my first novel. I learnt a few lessons along the way and I am still learning. My only regret is that I didn’t start writing sooner.
Has any author inspired you?
There are a great number of authors that I could say are inspiring. Writers such as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis open a world of imagination where you can immerse yourself in another realm, fall in love with unforgettable character and care about their fate. These are stories that stay with you.
I can’t say that one particular author inspired me to write. If anything I was perturbed, I thought I could never write as well or come up with ideas and plots to equal authors such as Agatha Christie, Linwood Barclay or R. D. Wingfield. I think fear and self-doubt are a writer’s greatest enemy and sometimes we just have to take the plunge.
What do you like writing the most?
I like writing crime. I started with a supernatural mystery which was my first experiment with writing along with some poetry. I quickly moved to writing crime and found that I enjoyed the challenge of plotting and getting into the mind of both the protagonist and antagonist. The research can be fascinating and sometimes a little gruesome!
Do you have a special place for writing?
I always hand write the first draft which means I can write anywhere. Usually on the sofa with a cup of tea. When it comes to transferring my draft to computer I work in the kitchen. Here I’m close to the kettle and biscuit tin.
Are you a panster or a plotter?
I would like to say I’m a plotter. I spend months working on my plot and characters before writing the first draft. I end up with a file of character profiles, backstories, research notes and chapter outlines. When I begin on the first draft is where the problems start. The characters come to life, take over and all my planning goes out the window. At this stage I go with the flow and see where the story leads me.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’ve just completed the third book in the Winter Meadows series. It’s been great to be back with the team of familiar characters as well as creating a few new faces.
What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for this book came from a conversation with a relative. She was having a tough time in work, particularly with her boss. To cheer her up I suggested I make him a character in my book. He ended up becoming the victim!
What time of the day do you write best?
Late afternoon and evening I find I’m at my most creative. This is possibly the worse time to write. My house is usually chaotic with everyone home from school and work. Quite often friends and family call around. I’ve become skilled at blocking out background noise.
What are your hobbies?
I love walking. I’m fortunate to live in an area which provides me with an abundance of hiking opportunities. There are always hidden waterfalls to find or mountains to climb. I find it clears my mind. It also provideds some interesting locations for my books.
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Cheryl. Lots of luck with it.