Close to Home by Cara Hunter | Author Guest Post

January 20, 2018 Tours and Events 1

Hey all! Today is my stop on the #CLOSETOHOME Blog Tour! I’m currently reading Close to Home at the mo and absolutely gripped by it. Loving Cara’s writing and the premise is fab. Look out for my review in the next few weeks but defo add this to your TBRs! If you’re in the UK and Ireland, it’s only 99p on Kindle at the mo, BARGAIN! 

I’m sharing a post by Cara about her writing day so do get yourself a nice cuppa and have a read! 🙂

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Someone took Daisy Mason. Someone YOU KNOW.

Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from her parents’ summer party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows that nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying. And that Daisy’s time is running out…

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, CLOSE TO HOME is a pulse-pounding race against time and a penetrating examination of what happens to a community when a shocking crime is committed by one of its own.


Plotter or panster? Organise or improvise?

I’ve never really liked the term ‘panster’ but if I had to plump for being either that or a ‘plotter’ I’m definitely a plotter. I just cannot conceive of sitting down to write a novel without a really clear idea of how the story is going to evolve.  And all the more so in crime, where Who, What, Why and How are so fundamental. Not to mention the small matter of getting the ending right.

That said, there are 50 shades of plotter, and I confess I’m probably at the extreme end of the scale. My first priority is to get a really strong idea which you can express in one sentence (ideally in four words, which was certainly the case with Close to Home). That grows to a one-pager for my editor and agent, who are always my first sounding-boards, but before I write a single ‘real’ word I devote a lot of time to a detailed synopsis – anything up to 20 pages. I want to have a very clear idea of the trajectory of the story before I start. The sequence of events, the ebbs and flows of suspicion, and what information the reader is going to get, and when.

It might sound a bit like a straitjacket but – paradoxically enough – it’s actually quite liberating. I’ve written three Fawley books now and they’ve all followed the initial synopsis fairly closely, but they’ve all offered surprises as well. Things I hadn’t expected, or characters who developed in ways I didn’t plan. That always sounds a bit bonkers, given that these aren’t real people, just creatures of my imagination, but every writer will have had the same experience at one time or another. It’s usually a good sign – it means the personalities you’ve created are becoming genuinely complex and rounded-out.

So that’s the big picture of how I write. When it comes to the little picture I’m pretty disciplined (though after all I’ve said that probably won’t surprise you!). I try to get to the gym most days, and then I’m at my desk by about 9. I always start by going through what I wrote the previous day – you can usually spot things that need to be changed after a few hours away from it, and it gets you back into the rhythm and tone of the book. After that I work through till late afternoon, but then I stop. I’m not good at writing in in the evenings and if I do it’s usually a case of three steps forward four steps back. I don’t set myself word targets either: I know  when I’ve done a good day’s work, and when a book is starting to sing. There’s no beating that feeling.



One Response to “Close to Home by Cara Hunter | Author Guest Post”

  1. Anne Windeler

    You will never read a better crime novel than that not in a million years I read Caras book close to home in two settings what a fantastic book I have read many crime novels I love crime novels but she beats them all you will have to go a long way to beat her

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