Alice Castle is on the blog today. She’s the author of The Girl in the Gallery, available now from Crooked Cat Books.
Welcome to my blog, Alice!
Name: Alice Castle
Book Title: The Girl in the Gallery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
How would you describe your latest book?
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich… Beth Haldane stumbles on a mystery that lays bare frightening truths about life in south east London.
How did you come up with the idea for The Girl in the Gallery?
I’ve always loved Dulwich Picture Gallery, which the book is based around. It’s a very beautiful building but at its heart is a mausoleum containing the dead bodies of the two founders of the gallery and one of their wives. It’s such a weird and creepy idea. I always thought it would be the perfect place to set a murder mystery.
What have you learned in your journey from fledgling writer to published author? And how do you feel you’ve grown or changed as a writer from your first published title to your latest?
I’ve learned that writing the books is only half of the job – you also have a duty to let people know about your work, but there’s a fine line between putting the information out there, and bombarding people. I’m learning all the time – or trying to. My first book was published in 2011 and is a chicklit novel, quite a different genre to the cozy whodunits I’m writing now. I feel I’ve come home with the murder mysteries. I love writing them and ideas seem to leap out at me at the moment, which is a blissful state of affairs. Long may it continue!
How did you celebrate when you learned The Girl in the Gallery was going to be published?
Believe it or not, I went out and bought some Liberty bedlinen that I’d been craving for ages. It sounds very low key but for me it was a special moment. I’ve always loved Liberty prints and this one is my favourite. I still can’t believe I spent that much money on duvet covers.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read The Girl in the Gallery?
Everyone loves a mystery – I think there’s a deep human need to solve puzzles. This one has all the pieces you need in plain sight – go on, I dare you to see if you can find the clues and identify the culprit. Plus, if you’ve got teenage girls or love art, I hope you’ll connect with the themes of the book.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer a writer who feels discouraged?
Just keep on going. I always think of JK Rowling when I feel low about writing. She fought back from so many rejections to become such a beacon. You may not love her books but she does incredible work for charity and has helped millions of children get the reading bug. Plus I love her pithy comments on Twitter.
Thank you, Alice! The Girl in the Gallery is available now.
Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019. Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.
Alice is also a top mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com
She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children, and two cats.