CTG Interviews: Author Jessie Keane

Author Jessie Keane

Author Jessie Keane

Today I’m really excited to be joined by bestselling British author, Jessie Keane, crime writer and creator of several crime series including the Annie Carter crime novels featuring the fabulous strong female lead character Annie Carter. 

So, to the interview …

What inspired you to create Annie Carter?

Annie Carter sort of appeared in my head when I was at a very low ebb. I wanted to write something entirely for my own pleasure – I didn’t care whether it got published or not, this was for me. So I was able to let rip and let aspects of my own personality come to the fore when I created Annie. She’s not so much me, as everything I would really like to be. Forthright, beautiful, a firm friend and a deadly enemy. She’s tough, and I like that. Not perfect, but a real trooper. She dominated Dirty Game, my first crime novel, and she’s been chucking her weight about ever since.

Did you plan the Annie Carter series from the outset?

Emphatically, no. Once I’d written her in Dirty Game, it just seemed a natural progression to continue her story in Black Widow, and then I got excited about her and the Mafia in Scarlet Women, and then Playing Dead, and Ruthless.I would love to do another Annie book, and when I get that crucial idea, I will.

Dive right in, or plan the story first?

I so admire writers who plan everything first! I have friends who do this, and I wish I did too, and I’ve tried … but it just doesn’t work for me. If I try to plan, I find I’m bored with the story before I’ve written even a handful of chapters; whereas in my own style (strictly seat-of-the-pants) I rush up to my study every morning, keen to get started on whatever comes next.

RUTHLESS cover image

RUTHLESS cover image

What advice can you give to new crime writers trying for publication?

Make sure you love writing crime. Always write what you love and what comes easiest to you, what really suits your writer’s ‘voice’. You’ll know it when you find it. And persist! That’s really boring advice, I know, but you’ll get rejection slips (unless you’re very lucky) and some downright rude refusals. Take it on the chin. Keep going.

And, finally, what does 2014 have in store for you?

Publication of LAWLESS, the second Ruby Darke book (sequel to NAMELESS) in July. Lots of interviews and festivals and fun, in between which I’ll be writing a brand new book (my 10th) with a brand new heroine, the deadline for which is November. So it’s going to be a full year, and by the end of it I’ll be starting out on my 11th book, so it’s all go!

Sounds great – and lots to look forward to reading.

Many thanks to Jessie Keane for popping by and answering our questions.

You can find out more about Jessie and her writing over on her website at http://jessiekeane.com/

And check out our review of RUTHLESS, the most recent Annie Carter novel, here

CTG Reviews: RUTHLESS by Jessie Keane

RUTHLESS cover image

RUTHLESS cover image

What the blurb says: “After fighting her way out of East London’s criminal underworld, Annie Carter’s life appears to be perfect. She has all the trappings of a wealthy and successful existence. And her longstanding rivals the Delaneys are dead, out of her life for good …

But behind the gilded surface, Annie’s life is descending into chaos. Her marriage is in tatters, her relationship with her daughter is fraught and there are whispers on the streets of London; are the Delaney twins really dead? Perhaps Annie should have demanded to see their bodies lying on a slab in the morgue …

Once again Annie is being chased by those who want her dead. But this time, the stakes are even higher and her enemies are even more determined …”

This is the first book by Jessie Keane that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last. Tightly plotted, with a full cast of wonderfully larger-than-life characters, this novel had me gripped from the very first page.

The main protagonist, Annie Carter, seems to those around her a real woman-on-top, but beneath her glamorous appearance and no-nonsense business savvy, she’s in emotional turmoil. Still, she’s determined to pull her life back on track.

Then someone tries to abduct her daughter, blow up her car, and break into her home. Worse still, their description seems to match that of one of the Delaney twins, Annie’s arch enemies, who she believed to be long dead. Sending her daughter into hiding, Annie puts her personal problems aside and partners up with her ex-husband, Max Carter, and her youngest step-son, Mafia boss, Alberto Barolli, to find out who is behind the attacks, and whether the Delaney twins really died all those years ago.

The novel takes the reader on a journey from London, to New York, and across to rural Ireland. What I especially loved about this story was the way multiple story strands were woven together: a coming-of-age story for Annie’s daughter, Layla, and an explosive battle of wills (and sexual tension) for Annie as she tries to keep an uneasy truce with her ex-husband; all set within a deadly game of cat and mouse with a determined killer driven by revenge.

Intriguing, suspenseful and thrilling. A real page turner.

Highly Recommended.


[With thanks to Pan for my review copy of RUTHLESS]