Where are you from?
We were born in Inverness and raised mostly in Edinburgh, Scotland – total tomboys, we might add. Our father was Scottish and our mother English although we’d never admit it because of course in all our games and early history classes, the English were the enemy! We spent our childhood summers in the mystical Isle of Skye, running through the heather, fishing for crabs and daring each other to enter the frigid ocean. We moved as pre-teens to the South of England where we became horse-crazed stable brats and after high school ended up working in London. We now live in England and the USA but consider ourselves Scottish through and through. There’s nothing like taking a Scottish lass out of Scotland to turn her into a confirmed patriot.
Tell us your latest news?
Besides Meddling With Murder being published on April 9th, our entire family is flying over to visit Colorado and we’re throwing a huge party. (Publication day also happens to be Lorraine’s birthday.) And Lorraine has just signed up for a 17 day horse riding trek in Mongolia during August which will involve six-hour days traveling through remote forests and steppes. With camping (ugh.)
Meanwhile Pam will be “Riding the Alps” in July – in other words puffing away on the back of a tandem bicycle while her husband on the front guides a group of fearless cyclists on a five-day 424-mile alpine route involving 45,000 feet of climbing and numerous hairpin bends. She usually closes her eyes at those points! After that she’s booked to tour around Russia, which she has yet to plan. All she knows is she’s starting in Finland and ending in Finland.
When and why did you begin writing?
Lorraine: I loved writing but in the early days it took the form of letters. Then I started working for a literary agent who encouraged me to start short fiction. But I think it was always in the blood. I was a total bookworm, devouring several books a week. I even used to dream entire novels that I’d forget when I woke up. Pam and I started several books and plays together when we were children though not sure we ever finished them.
Pam: I enjoyed writing essays at school and was thrilled but totally shocked when my English teacher once read out one of them to my class and they all clapped. Like Lorraine, I also did a lot of letter writing, especially as I went backpacking for a few years and that was the only real way of keeping in touch with family and friends. I started joining writing groups in my early twenties and began with poetry – I still have notebooks of poems that I wrote back then, but thankfully they’ll never see the light of day. I began writing short fiction a bit later than Lorraine (well she is older than me – ha – so it makes sense) and she was the first person I rang when I sold my first story.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Lorraine: When I sold my first short story to Woman magazine in the UK. Or maybe the second. The first could have been a fluke.
Pam: Same as Lorraine. The second person I told when my first short story was published was a very accomplished writer friend of mine – who’d won big prizes in journalism. He said, tongue in cheek, that I had to wait to sell the next piece before I could call myself a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a natural progression to tackle a longer piece of fiction after years of short stories. And it so happened both of us wanted to write a book about sisters, being the youngest two of four and knowing a lot about the subject. With our shared history and similar outlook, it was the perfect project for our first collaboration.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not exactly, our writing has changed somewhat as we develop. But all our books seem to have some kind of a mystery or at least dramatic twist or two that we hope will keep the reader guessing. And they all have humor in them, and things that interest us like female friendships besides issues like alcoholism, bigamy, sibling rivalry, power struggles within marriages. We like romance but we like to stay grounded in reality and real life is often hilarious. Having said that, the three books that comprise the Crouch End Confidential series, Looking For La La, To Catch A Creeper and now our latest, Meddling With Murder, are in the first person, more in the cozy mystery genre and definitely have more of the comedy caper element. Cathy O’Farrell is quite an exaggerated outrageous character and her antics don’t exactly follow a predictable or reasonable path.
How did you come up with the title?
We wanted to keep the alliteration that we had in Looking For La La and To Catch A Creeper. We liked Meddling With Murder because Cathy’s always getting caught up in things that lead to a killer, much to her husband Declan’s dismay.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We could probably come up with something, but intentionally? No. Unless it’s something like. ‘If you’re a blabbermouth by nature, it’s probably a bad idea to start a confidential agency that forces you to keep secrets.’ Or, ‘Beware the best friend who asks you to trail her fiancé?’ Or even, “Thank goodness we’re not teenagers in today’s confusing world.’
What would you like my readers to know?
That we love hearing from our readers and are thrilled when people like our work and fans stay in touch. We’re never too busy to chat.