I’ve always enjoyed inventing stories, and I suppose I’ve been writing off and on since age fifteen. I won a story writing competition at that time (at my school) and it boosted my confidence in the idea that I could write.
This never developed into a career, instead I spent many years in another profession. Then, after the birth of my second daughter (I have two daughters), I had a massive period of creative passion. Maybe it’s because I was spending so much time in the house for a few months, or the effects of the childbirth, or the frustrations of having two small children to look after! – I don’t know -but I can tell you something kicked off. I wrote pretty much every day, quite manically, everything was just spilling out. I remember I used to write just after I put both children to bed. That was ten years ago.
One of those ideas turned into a children’s story but was never published. Many of the other ideas changed into short stories and poetry which were published on-line by a writer’s cooperative that I belonged to at that time. People started telling me that I could, and should, write a novel. That’s when I found my niche in mystery and suspense and I wrote several short stories in this genre, and then I started writing seriously about three years ago and finally focused on writing a novel.
- What is your favorite genre to write?
I kind of answered this above but let me tell you a little bit more. My favourite genre to write is definitely mystery, suspense, thriller and this is the genre I write most in.
As a side-line, I also like to write women’s fiction, poetry, children’s stories and some other fiction which I describe as ‘insight pieces’ – which are snapshots inside someone’s head as they face a moment of crisis or decision in their lives.
- Please tell us about your book.
Good Girl Bad Girl is a mystery, suspense, thriller. I wanted to create a story that kept readers holding their breath, not necessarily with gore and blood, but with fear and a deep-seated anxiety about the outcome of the story.
The idea of a young woman who has a dark secret came as a natural idea. We all have secrets, don’t we? And in this story it’s not Kal’s fault. She was born into it. And now she must struggle with it. Some people have to live with these secrets hidden inside forever. What if they started leaking out? What if there were repercussions that came to trap you? Started threatening those around you?
Kal must find her way in an impossible situation and must face who she really is.
- Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?
It would be easy to say that Kal was my favourite character, and that’s true. In fact, I really enjoyed writing all of the characters but perhaps it might surprise you is know how much I enjoyed writing Padma. For me, Padma embodied so many good qualities. As Kal said, Padma actually was all the good things that Padma thought Kal represented.
I don’t have any least favourite characters because I enjoyed creating them all, even the members of the syndicate.
- What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Finding the time and space. Writing is not, unfortunately, the way I earn my living. There’s nothing worse than finding, at the end of the day, that you’ve no ‘juice’ left to write!
- What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?
I need peace and quiet to write. The only company I can stand is the cats, and we have three of them who like to lie nearby as I type.
- How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
It took three years of actual writing.
- Can you tell us about your editing process?
This is a very good question because, probably at least one of the three years was taken up by editing.
In the early editing stages, this was me on my own, changing the story and going through three or four proof stages until I felt more satisfied with it. Then I sought out beta readers, through my own Reader’s Group and through my writing network. Then, I was lucky enough on Goodreads to find one or two readers who were happy to make final comments on copy editing.
I didn’t engage a professional editor, though probably I should have. I think many independently published authors have a ‘do-it-yourself’ tendency and there is a lot of expertise available in the informal networks. For instance, I often do critiques for other writers and have done this for years.
- Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?
Yes, Good Girl Bad Girl is the first book in the Kal Medi series. I have the main story ideas for the next three books in my mind.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My main advice is to keep going and to keep writing. There are many sources of advice and support online – writing circles, critique groups, discussion forums – join some of them, contribute and listen in – they will help you more than you realise.
- Why should everyone read your book?
A stalker. A pact. A deadly secret.
Kal’s got guts. She’s got determination and the skills to maybe pass under the radar. But has she got what it really takes to face the truth?
If you like reading suspense, this book is for you.
- Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’ve just started working on the second book in the Kal Medi series. I’m not going to tell you much about it because I don’t want to spoil Good Girl Bad Girl for you, but if you’d like to know a bit more, you might like to join my Reader’s Group (you can find details on my website). I’ll be keeping in touch with them from time to time about Kal Medi #2.
About the Book
Author: Ann Girdharry
Social Media: @GirdharryAnn
Author Website: www.girdharry.com
Publication date: 23rd August
Publisher: Create Space and Kindle Direct
Format: Available in ebook and paperback
Mother missing, the discovery of a powerful and corrupt syndicate and dark secrets about her father revealed leaves 28-year old Kal determined to pursue her own investigations, no matter what sinister truths she uncovers, in this intense psychological thriller.
Kal is convinced her investigative journalist mother must have been working on a controversial, and top level, news story, it is the only explanation for her sudden and suspicious disappearance. Although mistrustful of the police, Kal allows Detective Inspector Spinks, the officer assigned to her mother’s case, to accompany her when she visits her grandmother to break the news. What they don’t expect is to uncover a file of shocking research cataloguing the deviant activities of seven members of London’s political and business elite. Back on the streets of London, the survival instincts and specialist expertise she learned from her late father, kick into overdrive, as Kal resolves to not only find her mother but continue her work and unveil the conspiracy hidden amongst those in power.
About the author
Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racism and racial attacks. Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children. As well as her passion for writing, Ann enjoys gardening and is a member of her local roller blading club. Ann has previously published a series of short stories called Tales of the Unexpected (2015-2016). Her debut novel, and the first in the Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry (published by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing 23rd August 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.