Interview with M. G. Scarsbrook

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
From childhood – I was always writing stories for myself or bringing them to school for teachers to read aloud to my class.
How long does it take you to write a book?
In the past I’ve written the first draft of a novel in about three months, with lots of rewriting and editing to follow. But my last novel took over two years in total – I tend to work slowly now, making sure every sentence and scene are as good as possible before moving on to the next one.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I generally like to split the day between reading / research, usually done in the morning, and then writing in the afternoon.
How many crime novels have you written?
One. Although I’m planning a series and have already started working on the next instalment.
Which is your favourite and why?
My last novel, Dream of the Dead, is my favourite so far. My previous novels were both historical, and I found the past sometimes quite limiting as a writer. In contrast, Dream of the Dead allowed me to use a more interesting vocabulary, gave me full control over the narrative of my story, and permitted me to engage with contemporary issues in a way that historical fiction, by its very nature, cannot do.
Where do you get your ideas?
I typically base all my stories on research, including historical events / people, recent headline news, or academic studies. The real world is so interesting that it always provides plenty of story material. I like to feel that my writing has a solid connection to reality and the kind of events and characters that exist in the world today.
Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
A hard question! I always invest my characters with a lot of care and attention, so it’s difficult to choose. However, I do like my detective Jack Ravenshaw from Dream of the Dead – his wit, imagination, and the theatre environment in which he exists, is very appealing to me.
Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
Hamlet – for his intelligence, word play, philosophy, and madness. Such a compelling character. My detective in Dream of the Dead is directly inspired by him.
If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
I admire anyone who challenges the abuse of power, especially when doing so entails great personal consequences and sacrifice. Thomas Paine, who was convicted of sedition (in England), has long been someone I’ve admired.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing several plays as well as working on the plan for my next novel in the West End Murders series.
Published 2014-07-30.
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Books by This Author

Total Control Zone
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 37,390. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Persephone was born inside a British labour camp. Slavery and death have been her only experiences of life. No friends. No feelings. No knowledge of the world outside. She is conditioned to work, obey, and survive. Yet when she is ordered to spy on a new prisoner, despite the great differences that exist between the two women, they soon forge a surprising friendship which changes everything...
Poison & Conspiracy: Historical Crime Collection
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 180,260. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Historical Crime Collection. Two Novels by M. G. Scarsbrook. Included inside: Poison in the Blood: The Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia & The Marlowe Conspiracy: A Novel.
Dream of the Dead
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 99,380. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
First book in a new mystery series set in London’s exciting West End theatre district…
Poison In The Blood: The Memoirs of Lucrezia Borgia
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 87,800. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
1497, Renaissance Rome: in their ruthless quest for power, the powerful Borgia family are terrorizing the city, poisoning their enemies. But when Lucrezia Borgia learns that her new husband is next to die, she struggles to help him escape from Rome before the assassins strike. However, as tragedy looms ever closer, she finds herself confronting enemies far more sinister than she ever imagined...
The Marlowe Conspiracy: A Novel
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 111,910. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
1593, Elizabethan England: With his life on the line and the clock ticking, playwright/spy Christopher Marlowe teams up with William Shakespeare to uncover a high-level government conspiracy.