Meet the Crime Author: Mari Hannah
When Mari Hannah’s career as a probation officer was cut short by an assault on duty, it was too painful for her to write with a pen. So she started using a computer, and the idea that she may one day become an author began to form. Fast-forward a few years, a lot of hard work and five books (and counting) and her crime fiction series featuring DCI Kate Daniels has become a great success on both sides of the Atlantic with TV rights for the series just been optioned.
If you weren’t an author, what other career would you have liked to pursue?
Years ago, I wanted to be a police officer but my kids were young and I couldn’t have worked the shifts. I’m now fulfilling that ambition vicariously through my protagonist, DCI Kate Daniels, a Northumbria murder detective. She’s the kind of copper I admire.
What’s your tipple of choice?
Gin and tonic, unless I’m celebrating, then it’s champagne (if my publisher is paying) or prosecco (if I am).
What have you got series linked on Sky?
I dumped Sky a while ago. I hardly ever used it. These days you’re not tied to someone else’s schedule. I tend to use back-up TV a lot. I’m also a great fan of box sets where you can sit down and watch a series until your head drops off. I don’t have a big TV at the moment. It blew up in the middle of the World Cup. I think it died of disappointment – along with the rest of the nation.
What do you want to be doing in 10 years’ time?
Where and when was your last holiday?
Majorca, near Cala D’or in August: I took the whole family and we had a lot of fun. It was fantastically peaceful. The villa was enormous with acres of space, inside and out. Between the table tennis, pool and jumping off rocks, it made me realise just how much I like spending time with them. The feeling is mutual. I’ve already had the hint for next year!
What are your favourite websites?
For research purposes, I access all sorts of weird sites. In the age of Big Brother, I’m amazed I haven’t been arrested!
How would you spend a full ‘day off’?
I’d drive to the Northumberland coast, take a picnic or have lunch at the Ship Inn (Low Newton) followed by a walk to Craster and back, a hot bath at the end of the day, straight into my PJs and a glass of something chilled in front of a roaring fire. Perfect.
What would you name your racehorse and why?
First Responder. Kate Daniels would approve.
Which of your achievements makes you most proud?
This week I was shortlisted for the prestigious CWA 2014 Dagger in The Library award, all the more satisfying because it was the reading public who voted for me. Out of hundreds of authors nominated, I made the final five. Every crime writer wants to win a Dagger.
What question have you always wanted to know the answer to?
How the hell does my phone do that?
What’s your most treasured possession?
The ring on my third finger, left hand.
If you could swap places with one person (living or dead) for a day, who would it be and why?
I swap places with the living and the dead every day. Today, I’ve been a murder detective, a pathologist, a victim, a vicious killer and a frightened young woman struggling with a deep conflict of interest. That’s quite enough swaps for one day.
If you could travel in time, where would you go?
May 24th 2014 so I could say goodbye to my dad.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I once shook hands with Diana Ross. Despite performing on stage for hours she had the coldest hands! I remember wondering if she was nervous.
What would be your chosen subject on Mastermind?
Distractions used by authors in the 21st century. I’d score highly.
What or who would you spend your last pay cheque on?
My family. I’ve not always been in a position to treat them. Now I am, it gives me enormous pleasure. You can’t take it with you.
Mari’s new book Killing For Keeps is out on 4th December. To keep up to date with her latest news and projects go to www.marihannah.com