H L Marsay Delights in Thinking of New Ways to Bump People Off in her Novels
Here’s a brief biography of H L Marsay
H L Marsay grew up binge reading Agatha Christie novels and promised herself that one day she would write a murder mystery too. Living in York, a city full of hidden corners and dark snickelways, she is never short of inspiration and the Chief Inspector Shadow Mysteries were born. A Long Shadow is the first book in the series, and was released in May 2021. It was followed by A Viking’s Shadow, A Ghostly Shadow, and now A Roman Shadow.
When H L Marsay isn’t coming up with new ways to bump people off, she enjoys red wine, dark chocolate, and blue cheese – not necessarily together! On the rare occasions when it isn’t raining in North Yorkshire, she can be found tramping across the windswept moors with the five males in her life – two sons, two dogs and, one husband!
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! As a little girl, I was quite ill and spent a lot of time absent from school. I filled my days with reading and then writing my own stories. Unfortunately, I had to wait thirty years until anything was published!
Tell us a little bit about your books. What is the latest title?
I write the Chief Inspector Shadow Mysteries. They are traditional, English detective stories set in the beautiful city of York. My latest release is book number four, A Roman Shadow.
The story begins with Chief Inspector Shadow investigating the theft of valuable coins and jewelry from a Roman Museum. As always, he is assisted by his sergeant, Jimmy Chang. The two detectives have to contend with an incompetent museum director, his scheming wife, and a charming chocolatier. Things get even more complicated when a young Chinese tourist disappears from the gardens close to the museum. Shadow doesn’t believe in coincidences. Is it possible the two cases could be connected?
Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?
I have two more books in the Shadow series due out this year. A Forgotten Shadow is out in August and A Christmas Shadow in October. Currently, I’m working on a new series called The Hartwell Trilogy. It’s more women’s fiction than pure mystery, but each of the four main characters have a secret. The first book is due to be released in February 2023.
Do you belong to any writing forums or organizations that have helped spur your career as a writer? If so, tell us about them and how they’ve helped you.
I’m a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, which promote my new releases in their newsletter and on social media. Tule, my publisher, is also hugely helpful and regularly host virtual workshops. I have learnt so much from my fellow Tule authors.
What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?
John Shadow, the main character in my series, is a fan of American jazz singers. When I’m sitting down to write a new mystery, I always have Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday or maybe Frank Sinatra playing in the background.
Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?
It has to be the ‘Queen of Crime’, Agatha Christie. All her plots are beautifully crafted and she created my two favourite detectives, Poirot and Miss Marple.
Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
Apart from a few years spent in Scotland and on the Isle of Man, I have always lived in North Yorkshire. I love the people, the scenery, and the history here. The city of York in particular has had a huge influence on my writing.
My heart will always be in Yorkshire but if I had to live somewhere else, I would definitely pick somewhere a little warmer – Italy or the South of France maybe.
Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them
Dogs have played a huge part in my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have one. Currently, I share my home with a very well-behaved, but slightly deaf Golden Retriever and possibly the world’s naughtiest Basset Hound. While I write they sit at my feet sighing deeply, as if they are doing all the hard work.
Now that you area published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?
Totally! I think I had a romantic notion that as an author I would sit serenely in an immaculate white office overlooking the ocean and write in peace all day. In reality, I’m usually at my kitchen table bashing away on my laptop trying to meet a deadline, whilst fielding questions about homework and avoiding making eye contact with my hungry dogs!
Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog today, Vanessa.
If any of your readers would like to know more about me, please visit my website www.hlmarsay.wixsite.com/hlmarsay
And thank you, H L Marsay for sharing your work and influences with my readers today,