Today I’m thrilled to welcome Jaime Raven to the blog to answer some questions about her new book, The Mother.
Hello Jaime, and welcome to Cosy Books. Could you tell us a bit about yourself ?
I’m a full-time author and I live with my partner in Southampton, although I’m originally from London. I have three children and I’ve written three books for Avon/Harper Collins – THE MADAM, THE ALIBI and THE MOTHER. I used to be a journalist and worked in newspapers and for TV news programmes for a number of years. I enjoy reading crime books and thrillers by other writers.
The Mother is your latest novel, could you tell us what it’s about in your own words?
The Mother is about the abduction of 15-month-old Molly Mason. She’s the daughter of detective Sarah Mason, who works for the Metropolitan Police in London. What makes The Mother different from other ‘stolen child’ stories is that the kidnapper says he has taken Molly as punishment for something that Sarah did to him. However, she has no idea what it is and the agony is made worse because the kidnapper sends her upsetting messages and video clips of her daughter. His aim is to make sure that ‘her suffering does not diminish over time.’ The book follows the desperate hunt to find Molly and the impact it has on Sarah and the rest of her family, including Molly’s father.
I’m intrigued by your main character, Sarah, a single mother working full time (like me, but thankfully not as dangerous a job!) Can you describe Sarah and what makes her tick?
Sarah is like many women – struggling to hold down a full-time job while raising a small child by herself. She divorced her husband, who is also a detective, because he cheated on her. But they stay in touch because he has his daughter every other weekend. As a police officer Sarah is used to dealing with victims of crime, but this is the first time that she’s been a victim herself and she finds it hard to cope. However, she’s a strong woman and is determined to get her daughter back even if it means putting her own life on the line to do so.
Your books feature some pretty dark themes, can you tell us about the research you undertake before writing?
Searching for information is much easier now than it used to be thanks to the internet. I enjoy research and I carry it out before and during the writing process. It’s true that my books feature some pretty dark themes and if anyone looked at what’s on my computer without knowing that I’m an author they would think I’m a real dodgy character.
For instance, I’ve downloaded lots of material on various ways to murder people, on child abduction, prostitution, cyber-crime and how to spy on individuals without them knowing. It all helps to add reality and credibility to a story. Researching a novel is fun because it expands your knowledge base and opens your eyes to all manner of things that you wouldn’t otherwise know anything about.
Crime thrillers keep going from strength to strength in popularity – why
do you think readers can’t get enough of the genre? What elements do you
think make a great Crime thriller book?
I think crime thrillers continue to be popular for several reasons. They’re a great form of entertainment because they take us into a world that very few of us would want to visit in real life. They arouse our curiosity and excite us at the same time. And they can also make us feel genuinely grateful that we’re not in those tricky and dangerous situations that our fictional heroes find themselves in.
To my mind a great crime thriller needs to be full of twists and turns and move along at breakneck speed. The characters – both good and bad – must be engaging and plausible. And originality is crucial if a book is to stand out from the rest in a crowded marketplace.
Most writers are readers first….is this the case for yourself? Which
authors and novels would you recommend as must reads?
I’ve been an avid reader of crime novels and thrillers since I was a teenager. I still read at least two books a month even when I’m working on a novel. Among the books I would recommend are two of my all-time favourites – The Godfather by Mario Puzo and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. The first is about the American mafia and the second introduces readers to fiction’s most notorious serial killer – Hannibal Lecter.
I’m also a big fan of Lee Child’s books because I love his creation, Jack Reacher. My favourite Reacher book is Tripwire. Another bestselling author I would recommend is Linwood Barclay, who never disappoints. A must read would be his early work No Time for Goodbye in which a teenage girl wakes up to find her entire family has disappeared.
As a non-writer, I’m always fascinated by the writing process…can you tell
us about where you write and any rituals or routines you have to aid the
I’m one of those authors who have to write in longhand first. I just can’t tap out a story directly onto the computer. I have a small office at home but I don’t like to use it. Instead I visit coffee shops on most days. For some reason the words and ideas flow more easily when things are going on around me. I tend to sit for a couple of hours in a coffee shop and then return home to type up what I’ve written. After I’ve completed several chapters I’ll upload them onto my Kindle and go through them again because it helps to see how it will look when it’s published.
I also have to carry a small notebook and pen with me wherever I go. If I ever forget them I start to panic because I hate the thought of coming up with a brilliant idea and not being able to jot it down.
Finally, can you tell us what you are working on next?
I’ve actually just finished the first draft of the next book for Avon. I can’t give too much away because I haven’t yet sent it to my agent and my editor. The working title is THE THREAT and it’s due to be published early next year. The book is set in London and features two very strong women whose paths cross in a story that includes generous helpings of love, sex, villainy and violence!
Thank you Jaime for taking the time to answer my questions…I hope you enjoyed
The Mother by Jaime Raven
I’ve taken your daughter, as punishment for what you did …
Prepare to be gripped by the heart-stopping new thriller from the author of The Madam.
South London detective Sarah Mason is a single mother. It’s a tough life, but Sarah gets by. She and her ex-husband, fellow detective Adam Boyd, adore their 15-month-old daughter Molly.
Until Sarah’s world falls apart when she receives a devastating threat: Her daughter has been taken, and the abductor plans to raise Molly as their own, as punishment for something Sarah did.
Sarah is forced to stand back while her team try to track down the kidnapper. But her colleagues aren’t working fast enough to find Molly. To save her daughter, Sarah must take matters into her own hands, in a desperate hunt that will take her to the very depths of London’s underworld.
Published 7th September by Avon (UK)