Dave Sivers is the Author of the Popular Police Procedural Crime Mystery Series Featuring Detectives Lizzie Archer and Dan Baines
DAVE SIVERS grew up in West London and has been writing all his life. His popular series featuring detectives Lizzie Archer and Dan Baines is set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale. His latest novel, Die in the Dark, is the sixth in the series. In Ink, published in 2020, introduced DI Nathan Quarrel at the start of a new series set in West Hertfordshire. Dave is also a scriptwriter and lyricist. He is a founder of the annual BeaconLit festival in Buckinghamshire and a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.
Have any of your jobs outside of writing influenced your writing?
I had a forty-year career in the civil service as my day job (and moonlighted as, among other things, nightclub bouncer and bookmaker’s clerk). I write police procedural crime novels, and people often assume I have a background in the police. Although I don’t, it’s certainly true that the British civil service has a similar rank/grading structure to the police, and also works in teams and solves problems, which probably has similarities to trying to crack a case. So that experience doubtless influences the way my detectives operate. I also get research assistance from actual police officers.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Always. My mum taught me to read and to love stories before I started school, and I really was writing them almost from the moment I could write. Occasionally life has got in the way, but I’ve always come back to it, and I never feel quite right if I don’t have a writing project on the go.
Tell us a little bit about your books. What is the title of your most recent novel?
I write what I call Chiltern Noir–the Archer and Baines series, set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale and the new DI Quarrel set in nearby West Hertfordshire. My most recent novel, Die in the Dark, is the sixth Archer and Baines and opens with a horrific homophobic attack late at night in the market town of Aylesbury. Another attack soon follows, and this time one woman is left for dead and her partner has disappeared–and this time the victims are a lot closer to home for Archer, Baines, and the team.
Let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:
From the start of the series, I wanted the two main police detective characters, in particular, to be on a journey that made for a story arc spanning several books. The series opens with DI Lizzie Archer transferring into the team at Aylesbury Vale, effectively running away from London, where an arrest that went wrong left her disfigured and wrecked her confidence and her personal life. There she finds DS Dan Baines, whose family was destroyed by a serial killer some ten years previously, and who is still suffering the consequences. They don’t initially hit it off, but they soon have to find a way to work together when the Vale is rocked by a series of gruesome murders. Fans of the series are every bit as invested in the characters and what is happening to them as they are in the individual crime mysteries. By Die in the Dark, there is quite a lot going on for most of the main characters. A vicious homophobic attack late at night in Aylesbury town centre is swiftly followed by another attack which leaves one woman in a coma and her partner missing–and this time the victims are close to home for Archer, Baines, and the team.
Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?
My current work in progress is the second in my DI Nathan Quarrel series. Its working title is In Ice. It’s probably my darkest work to date and is proving quite a challenge.
What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?
My wife, Chris, has always been incredibly supportive and is always my first and most critical reader. My dad, who sadly passed away last year at the incredible age of one hundred and a half, was my number one cheerleader, and never missed an opportunity to tell people about my books and why they should buy them.
The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?
I like to think all my main characters are different from each other, each with their own qualities and faults, and I never deliberately set out to reflect myself in any of them. But nor do I go out of my way to make them completely different either. All that said, it’s inevitable that the way each of them thinks and acts is how I imagine that sort of person to think and act, so something of myself must be going into that creative process.
When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?
Like many Brits, I devoured Enid Blyton’s various “crime” series–the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, and the Five Find Outers and Dog. I also adored C S Lewis’s Narnia books–they were my first experience of a book pulling me through what Stephen King calls the hole in the page, and into a different world.
Where do you write? Set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting? Or do you write at a coffee shop or other location?
I’m lucky enough to have a decent-sized office at home. I have back issues, and in the last year, I’ve invested in a decent orthopedic chair and an adjustable desk. The room also houses a piano and my guitars, and the pictures on the walls continue the themes of the story (Pre-Raphaelite prints, including my favourite, ‘Ophelia; by Millais), and rock music. And of course, there are bookcases that are never big enough.
Is there anything else you want your readers to know about you? Include information on where to find your books, any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and writing.
I have a website at davesivers.co.uk, which includes my blog, and where you can sign up for my newsletters and get two free short stories. My Amazon page, with buy links to all my books, is at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dave-Sivers/e/B005OUQCD0. You can also find me on Facebook at davesiversauthor1 and on Twitter @davesivers.
Thank you Dave for telling us more about your police procedural crime novels and what you’re working on now,