From time to time Auntie M likes to mix things up. So today instead of a formal review, she’s introducing readers to a writer they may not have found. And being a series writer and a fan of reading them, Pat McDonald has a great one to seek out. Here’s her background and then in her own words, get to know this remarkable woman who has persevered despite a heavy medical condition to continue to write.

British Crime Author Pat McDonald lives in a rural part of the Midlands, United Kingdom. She has an extensive career working as a researcher, project manager and programme manager within the British National Health Service and in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Her work encompassed Heart Disease, Mental Illness and Learning Disability (her formal publications under the name Pat Mounser). Her lifelong ambition has always been to become a writer of fiction; after all, fiction is a reflection of life of which she admits she is a long time voyeur.

“I am a people watcher, and nothing pleases me more than sitting in a public place observing the world as it passes by – hence my penchant for writing my novels in my favourite coffee shop, where I have met some extraordinary people.” She is now a full time novelist.

Her crime trilogy (nicknamed ‘The Blue Woods Trilogy‘ because of an over-active imagination at disposal of bodies!) consists of (1) Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold, (2) Rogue Seed and finally (3) Boxed Off.

Pat’s fictitious detectives D.I Luke Wariner and D.S Aidey Carter tackle a range of Major Crimes against a background of corruption and deception involving some of their own officers. Boxed Off, published in December 2014, brings the plot to its conclusion – or does it? “I only meant to write one book,” Pat confesses, “but I have a real difficulty in ending stories!” Well crime does go on!

Her current work in progress is a move to a different genre. It’s a Young Adult paranormal thriller about stalking, based in the North of Wales, UK, and has a hint of historical W.W 1 drama that is surprisingly haunting!

‘The Blue Woods Trilogy’

When I began writing fiction, I started by writing snippets of my own life which if I ever decide to write an autobiography would contribute as the basis to such a book. But I was far more interested in other people, having spent most of my life watching the world go by with all of its most interesting people.

That is why almost all of the ‘Blue Woods Trilogy’ was written in a coffee shop and other public places. Some of Getting Even was written on a plane out to Dubai and in United Arab Emirates hotels, what I call ‘real’ research; I was there so it had to go in the book.

I love to create my characters from snippets of conversations with strangers; such a character was Hugo Bott, the most unlikely person to become a Police Constable. Having spent seventeen years meeting police officers, I can honestly say my characters are my own creation, within the police setting I knew very well.

I like to take a real situation or setting and say “what if……” just for the sheer hell of it. I loved creating Hugo Bott because he is different with a twist and no psychosomatic testing in the days he was appointed, he became one of my characters.

I have been accused of having too many characters and hence too many personal situations, when what the reader wants is only the action and the thrills. My books are real life with a twist, and my disappointment with most crime books, films and dramas is that the police officers don’t seem to have a life outside of their work. Police officers do. Not only do they have to balance their home life against their work, it can often get in the way and influence it. One impacts on the other. I have tried to reproduce this and then add the – what if.

I don’t really do happy endings, life is not like that or if it is then I would say that these were charmed lives and I have yet to meet someone who has one. It doesn’t mean that my trilogy is all doom and gloom, far from it. I like to weave a theme through each one. The first is about revenge, but explores all facets of it; part of which is life has a natural justice. Rogue Seed was, yes, botanical – a plant growing in the wrong place by force of nature; but also it explores what would happen if a person grew in the wrong place and of course ‘Going Rogue’ is the police concept of going bad. Boxed Off was about finishing the books for me, making one’s life neat and tidy, but also about containing – a body, a person or in one scene people at a ‘rave’.

Finishing the trilogy left me wondering about a character in the first book who drops out of the plot. Needing to know what happened to her became my fourth book (although separate); Breaking Free allowed me to find out. You see I am a ‘free flow’ writer. I don’t plan my plots–they evolve. And so I decided what would happen if she, Livia Morrison, was to come back to the UK? It was my opportunity to explore another genre and is a mix that led me find my ending in Wales at Caernarfon Castle where the Royal Welsh Fusilier’s have their exhibition. This book is a combination of paranormal, historical and crime I wrote for my granddaughters and will be out during 2015.

I am currently editing this book whist I convalesce from a recent operation to remove a brain tumour and take up a new venture. Oh, did I mention the one I’m also writing? It is a humorous look at crime from the villain’s side…..working title ‘A Penny For Them.’

You can find Pat and her books here: Amazon:

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Twitter: @issyblack