Claire Sheldon, one of my favourite authors invited me to interview one of her main characters – Detective Inspector Chris Jackson. That wasn’t an offer I was going to turn down.
Claire lives in Nottingham with her family, a cat called Whiskers and a dog called Podrick. She is an avid reader and book blogger.
Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Claire cut her hours at work some years ago, but undertook a creative writing course which inspired her to write her fabulous books, “Perfect Lie” which was picked up by Ruby Fiction and published in June 2020. And her second book “A Silent Child” published by Ruby Fiction in March 2021. Both are available from all good bookshops and on-line retailers. They form part of the Lisa Carter Files and both star Chris Jackson.
Here’s a little taster – Perfect Lie – Lisa Carter Files Book 1
What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?
Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces…
And A Silent Child – Lisa Carter Files Book 2
The streets are no place for a child…
A woman’s body is found in the river. Shortly afterwards, a young boy is discovered wandering the streets. He refuses to speak to anyone, just repeats one name over and over, to the confusion of most of the local authorities –but Jen knows exactly who he’s asking for, and it’s enough to make her blood run cold…
Claire’s main character Chris Jackson appears in both books. Born in Nottingham, Jackson, 34, joined the police force straight from school, rising quickly through the ranks to become a Detective Inspector of one of East Midlands Special Ops teams. His girlfriend, Hannah Littlefair, is also a police officer. He lives in Derby and has recently been involved in the two high-profile cases above.
So, here goes,
Hello Chris, I’m delighted you’ve taken time out to talk to me today. And more to the point, you’re looking well. You had us all worried last year when we saw you on the brink of several health issues, and on your way to Derby Royal for brain scans. How did they go?
It was all a panic about nothing to be honest, but I am having regular tests to try to find the reason for my headaches and blurred vision.
Wow that sounds horrific, but tell us a bit about Chris Jackson. Are you a dog or cat person?
I have a cat name Fluff. With the long hours I work, it wouldn’t be fair to have a dog. My neighbour feeds her when I can’t get back. But she is always waiting for me when I get home ready to cover me in fur.
Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
I drink far too much coffee, whenever we feedback on a case I always make sure everyone has a drink on hand because sometimes it’s a good way to have a moments break before we get into the heavy stuff.
What is your most unappealing habit?
I’m not the tidiest person in the world when I’m at home. To the point where I have a company called Maid Madness come in and tidy my mess and, I’m ashamed to admit it, iron my shirts. If they didn’t come in, my shirts would look very much like my hair.
What do you dislike most about your looks?
That would have to be my hair. Whatever I try to do, it ends up very messy, a bit like our Prime Minister’s, so I can totally relate to his hair issues. Though my hair is dark, it’s so thin, so there is no point doing anything with it because it will just look a mess, anyway.
What made you decide the police force was the job for you?
Watching too many police dramas as a kid. I grew up, wanting to be a police officer so I could emulate some of the great detectives I used to watch on TV. I signed up on my 18th birthday, much to my parents’ disappointment.
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
At work, do you mean? Or in my private life? At work always, but never in my private life.
Tell me about your first case.
The first case that really sticks in my mind is the case of Daisy Chambers, with us finally getting justice for her last year. I first came across Daisy when she got herself arrested in a hotel with a high-profile footballer. A week later, she was found dead, having been badly beaten. We couldn’t find any next of kin or relatives for this girl which was heart breaking. Then the case hit a dead end and we had to move on. I wished at the time I could have done more and forced the issue but with time and resources…
You know what they say about “all work and no play”, so, how do you relax?
It tends to be when I sit on the sofa in front of the tele. Fluff comes and sits on my knee and I tend to just fall asleep where I am sat.
I write romantic fiction so of course I’m interested in your relationship with Hannah. No spoilers but can we expect to see more of her in your next case?
Hannah has just been promoted to the boss of the MET team, so she’s a little busy now trying to find her feet. She makes me laugh because she moans about how much paperwork she’s suddenly got and I’m like, what did you expect?
If you were taking Hannah out for a romantic meal, where would you go and what would you eat?
I’ve taken Hannah to some amazing places to eat, but you can’t beat a good pub meal at the local. As I get to spend time with the real Hannah when she isn’t pretending to be someone else. I’ll have the mixed grill and she’d have a pub favourite and to anyone looking on, we just look like a normal couple who are in love.
Who would you like to play you if your two last cases were turned into films?
Danny Pinto has the same type of hair as I do! He also played me down to a “T” in Law-and-Order SVU and Cold Case.
Good choice. I understand Claire likes her music – “Jimmy Eat the World”, is that one of your favourite bands too?
I don’t really listen to music unless I catch it on the radio in a pool car. When I am driving home, I just like silence because it’s usually the only quiet time I will get in the day.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
You know what, this sounds silly. Having grown up watching The Bill, I think I’d want the music of the end credits played. Because sometimes my job and the case we investigate, I often think to myself that this would have made a great episode of the Bill.
And finally, can you tell us a little about your current case and when we can expect to read it?
There has been a series of explosions at one of Nottingham’s premier music venues, which has caused a lot of death and injury. So, the team and I are working through a lot of CCTV footage trying to find the culprit. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more in 2022.
I hope so too. Thank you so much for finding time to answer my questions Chris and I am very much hoping we will see more of you soon.
Buying links for Perfect Lie:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Claire_Sheldon_Perfect_Lie?id=mffnDwAAQBAJ
And for A Silent Child:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Claire_Sheldon_A_Silent_Child?id=2EcdEAAAQBAJ