Today on my blog, I am thrilled to be talking to the lovely Claire Sheldon. I’ve really enjoyed “A Burning Lie” Claire. It’s lovely to be back with Chris Jackson and Jen Garner again and thank you for joining me on my blog to talk about your new book. It’s the third in the Lisa Carter files isn’t it and I for one, hope there are going many more.
I’ll let my publisher know …
When a deadly explosion brings secrets and lies to light …
A city shaken to its foundations by a fire in a well-known music venue. A nightclub owner seemingly more concerned about money than the lives of the young people who fill the dance floor at the end of every week. A dangerous bomber still on the loose.
All things that Detective Jen Garner must face in her first week of local level policing whilst trying to start afresh and finally make a break with her past.
Working alongside DI Chris Jackson, it’s crucial that Jen connects the dots to bring the culprit to justice. But it seems that everywhere Jen turns there is somebody with something to hide – and whilst she and her team attempt to unravel a web of lies years in the making, could the bomber be getting ready to strike again?
In this one we see the extent of Jen’s double life, I don’t think it’s a spoiler alert to say that she’s joined the Nottingham police force in a very different role and, to some extent, is finding it difficult to adapt. Would you say that’s fair?
Yes, having been dragged back into the last two cases she is now finding she can’t just go and kick down a door. If she thinks someone is guilty there is protocol she has to follow and there needs to be solid evidence before you can arrest someone. She can’t go on her gut feeling alone. She gets threatened with being sued for slander in A Burning Lie and that would never of happened before.
Okay, first question – the McDevitts are on stage at Carbon, when the first explosion happens? Tell me a little about their playlist.
This is a hard question because what makes the perfect set list? I have been thinking about this a lot, what do I expect when I go to a Jimmy Eat World concert. They always play certain songs. But I never stand there and think, they played the exact same set last time. Then I’m like there must be some songs that you can’t play live because the amount of “behind the scene” stuff that gets added when your making an album.
But I think they would leave their latest hit song till last, after the encore have everyone waiting for it and thinking could it be the next one …
Would Claire Sheldon be first in the queue to buy a ticket for their concert?
In my head I imagined them being like Jimmy Eat World. So, yes, of course…
What’s your number one karaoke song?
God, it’s been that long since I’ve dared do karaoke, I think the last song I did do, was don’t let me get me by P!nk.
So let’s find out a bit more about Jen Garner. What does she do to relax?
Nothing beats cuddling up on the sofa and watching a good film.
I’m a romance writer, so of course I want to know what qualities does she most admire in her husband, James?
James was the stability Jen needed from the chaotic life she was leading working undercover. Even when they met that night in the club, he treated her like a person and not some conquest and Jen saw that she could have stability in her life. Plus as Max says Jen was starting to act like a hamster trapped in a cage.
Before we meet Jen she is getting her thrills and excitement through running and her sex life, but since A Silent Child things in the bedroom have calmed down a lot because James now understands her more and why she’s the way she is. She is no longer searching for the next high because she isn’t hiding anything from him anymore.
I was once told you can tell a lot about someone from the contents of their handbag. Tell me about 5 items from Jen’s handbag?
Packet of Tissues, wallet with cash and cards as Jen knows how important cash can be in an emergency, plasters mainly for when her shoes start rubbing, receipts lot of receipts and her mobile phone in the holder the kids made her.
What about her alter-ego Lisa Carter – the same question, 5 items from Lisa’s handbag?
Lip stick, Bank Cards and ID, mobile phone, packet of chewing gum and a nail file.
They are very different characters, what would be Lisa’s survival plan if she was suddenly faced by a zombie apocalypse?
The more I think about this, I think “Lisa” would be straight into the office and getting all the experts together to try and find away to defeat what ever is making these people into zombies. And obviously she’d tried to find the cure to save the world. Lisa is a very career minded person; she never wanted kids and her whole focus was on her job.
Whereas Jen, I think is more family focused, and wanting to protect those around her but at the same time she would be itching to know what was going on. She would try to get information from others and offer to help, but she’d rather stay home and protect her family.
In “Perfect Lie” she ran because she thought her family was in trouble and the only way to save them was by going back. Same with “A Silent Child” she believed that Mikel was where he was because of her. So, she needed to go back to make up for what she might have done in her past. Jen today is struggling to balance the nagging need to be involved against the need to carry on as she was prior to “Perfect Lie”, perfect mum and wife and that was where she was happiest.
We meet Chris again in Burning Lie, he’s clearly not well. His illness is clearly a concern for him? You write his illness very sympathetically, but he’s not the only one who’s had a diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis, is he? Can you tell me a little about your condition and diagnosis?
I was officially diagnosed with MS in 2009 after the birth of my son Alex though it was in my life beforehand as unknown. I am at the bottom of the scale when it comes to MS and I’m symptomatic, so I am on various tablets to deal with each issue though my main problem seems to be the overwhelming tiredness (yes, I’ve fallen asleep at work). As mentioned at the end of “A Burning Lie” I have experienced everything Chris is going through but there is support out there for people. I wanted Chris’ story to show people that MS isn’t the end of the world even though sometimes it feels like it. Plus, we share the same neurologist so we’re both going to be just fine 😉
Hopefully Burning Lie will raise awareness of this condition, if there’s one piece of advice, you’d like to pass on to Chris what would it be?
That it isn’t the end of the world and there is a way through. I would also offer to give him the contact details of a servicing police detective, who is already managing his police career while having MS.
This is now your third novel in two years, tell me a little bit about your writing process since becoming a published author. Has it changed much?
When you write your first novel you have all the time in the world. Though I am lucky and my publisher doesn’t set time frames for submission. I kinda feel I don’t know “A Silent Child” and “A Burning Lie” as well as I knew “Perfect Lie”. As a lot of “Perfect Lie” is ingrained in me from reading and writing it over and over till I got published. “Perfect Lie” even has its own soundtrack, where as “A Silent Child” has a couple of songs. But I’m still writing in the evenings when the kids are in bed or during snatches of time during the day.
What advice would you give another writer?
Since being a published writer and getting emails and messages from people who have read my books, I’d tell them to keep going. Because somewhere out there, is someone loving your work and telling all their friends they MUST read this book by you.
With an unpublished writer I’d tell them to never give up, there are so many ways you can get published these days you don’t always need an agent, there are publishers out there like Choc-lit. Just keep going and reach out to other authors because we are a friendly bunch honest xx
Final question, I love your books, so this is a personal question. What’s next from Claire Sheldon?
What you mean between work, football training, the fire service, air cadets and scouting? Maybe book four and finish my sewing and chasing the allusive Parkrun PB.
Thank you, Claire, I’ve loved talking to you. Good luck with the book.
Book links are as follows:
Kobo: A Burning Lie eBook by Claire Sheldon – 9781912550708 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom
Google: A Burning Lie by Claire Sheldon – Books on Google Play
Goodreads: A Burning Lie (Lisa Carter Files #3) by Claire Sheldon (goodreads.com)
Website: A Burning Lie (rubyfiction.com)