Orangeberry Summer Splash Author Interview: Murder at the Rocks by Jill Paterson plus Kindle Fire Giveaway

Welcome to Author Jill Paterson

I’m a writer of murder mysteries with my first book, The Celtic Dagger, being published by New Holland Publishers in October 2010. I have since self published my second book, Murder At The Rocks. I live in Australia, am an avid reader, love going to the theatre, travelling, and delving into my family’s genealogy.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

I would go back in time to the 1920 and 30s because I love the clothes.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

I would choose Robert the Bruce, The Queen Mother (both distant relatives), Winston Churchill, Charles I, Agatha Christie and Martin Clunes.  Sorry, that’s 6.  Oh, and Llewelyn the Great, Prince of North Wales (another distant rellie).  Sorry again, that’s 7.  But just think of the dinner conversation.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

I would want a library, a laptop and an internet connection.  Too bad I can’t have 4 things because I would also need electricity!

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

I would choose to fly.  Without a cape!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Vanilla.  I know that’s boring but I love vanilla ice cream.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?

I would choose Agatha Christie.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Fresh fruit and yogurt with passion fruit over the top.  Plus a glass of orange juice and, of course, a cup of tea.

Night owl, or early bird?

Early bird.  I go swimming at 7am most mornings and endeavor to swim 20 laps.

One food you would never eat?

A MacDonalds hamburger.

Pet Peeves?

I have two pet peeves.  Being stuck behind people who stand in the centre of an escalator, and people who recline their seats during meal time on overseas flights.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

I have two books on the horizon.  Once Upon A Lie, which I’m working on at the moment, and The Fourth String, which is still in my head.

Once Upon A Lie, is the third book in the Fitzjohn Mystery Series, and starts with the bludgeoning death of Michael Rossi, a pedantic, obsessive businessman who probably won’t be missed!  Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is called back from leave to take the case, and soon finds himself embroiled in a mystery within a mystery.  Not only does he find himself investigating Michael Rossi’s death but also a cold case.

As I said, The Fourth String, is still in my head, but the idea came to me one evening while I watched the symphony at the Sydney Opera House.  I haven’t decided who the victim is, but the murder weapon will be the fourth string of a cello!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

What a lovely question.  I could talk all day about where I would like to live.  I love Paris and don’t want to leave when I am there.  The same can be said for Edinburgh, Vancouver and Virginia.  But most of all, I love York in the UK, and that is where I would choose to live if I had half the chance.

York is a walled city founded by the Romans in 71AD.  I spent a day meandering along its wall and met the most wonderful people on my way. I also visited York Minster, the second largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.  The Shambles, a historic street where some buildings date back to the 14th century, and a gaggle of geese in a parking lot on their way to the River Ouse.  I also found Dick Turpin’s grave in a little forgotten graveyard.  Dick was a highwayman in the mid-18th century and came to a bad end!  The end of a rope, no less!  Of course, there’s so much more to see and do.  If I lived there, I wouldn’t have time to write!

What is your favorite Quote?

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present.’ – Bil Keane.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

I have many but Agatha Christie, Robert Goddard, Barbara Erskine and Phillipa Gregory are some of my favorites.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s wonderful when you get a good book review.  All that hard work has suddenly been worthwhile.  And it’s rewarding to think that you have brought pleasure to your reader.

But if you receive a bad book review it can be devastating.  No two ways about it.  Criticism is always hard to take.  We’d much sooner receive praise.  That’s only natural.

So, how do I react to a bad review? Well, if it’s particularly bad, I feel appalling for the next day or so until the shock wears off. After that, but not always, I go back and read the review again. If it’s constructive criticism I might glean something from the review that will help me to better my writing.

Of course, there is another way of looking at this whole experience. And that is, whether it’s a good review or a bad review, the reviewer has been moved enough to write something about your work. He or she has put a lot of thought into what they is conveyed. Far better that than there being no one with an opinion, be it good or bad. So in that respect I venture to say there is no such thing as a bad review!

What do you do in your free time? 

If I only have a few days to spare I go to Sydney for dinner and a show.  I also shop.  If I have more time to spare, one of my favourite places is Tasmania, Australia’s island state, 240kms off the mainland.  The last time I visited I had the opportunity to see the region’s remarkable wildlife.  I went on a Bruny Island tour boarding a particularly fast moving boat and headed southward to where the Tasman Sea meets the Southern Ocean (nothing between us and the Antartic).  With sea eagles and albatross soaring above and a whale off the port side, we came to The Friars a group of rocks that are home to up to 1,000 fur seals.  It’s a truly magnificent place.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

My typical writing day would be to feed my cat, Fergus, who will be waiting in the kitchen for his breakfast at 6am.  I then go to my local pool and attempt to swim 20 laps.  On the way to the pool I pray that I won’t have to share a lane with someone who thinks he’s Michael Phelps because I don’t swim fast.  It’s just after 9am when I return home at which time I make a cup of tea and ensconce myself in my study until lunch time.  After lunch I work through until almost 5pm.  Depending on what I’m working on, I will often go back and work during the evening.  Of course, this typical writing day doesn’t always happen because ‘life’ gets in the way!

What’s your favorite season/weather?

My favourite season is Spring when it’s not too hot and not too cold.  My favourite weather is a raining day that’s not windy.

Favorite places to travel?

I have many.  I love Paris, London, York, Edinburgh, Sydney, New Zealand, Fiji, Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains, and Victoria Island in British Columbia

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

It would have to be, Agatha Christie because I love her books.

Murder at the Rocks

When Laurence Harford, a prominent businessman and philanthropist is found murdered in the historic Rocks area of Sydney, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is asked to solve the crime quickly and discreetly. After barely starting his investigation, uncovering a discarded mistress and disgruntled employees, a second killing occurs.
Meanwhile, Laurence’s nephew, Nicholas Harford, has his certainties in life shaken when he becomes a suspect in his uncle’s death, and receives a mysterious gold locket that starts a chain of events unravelling his family’s dark truths.

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