Which fictional detective would you choose to have dinner with and what would you ask them?
Hmm, now this is a tough question too. There are some brilliant ones but having recently read the whole Sherlock Holmes canon, it would have to be him. He was a bit arrogant, but he was so far advanced in Forensic techniques. I'd love to know what made him even consider his ideas. Soil analysis for example that wasn't taken as a specialist subject until fifty or more years later. With a joint interest in forensics, it seems perfect. He had an impact on future Forensic Science too.

The purpose and meaning of crime fiction has evolved over the centuries. In your opinion, why do you think it is as important and popular as it is now?
Oof, tricky. I think there's a variety of reasons. One of them is definitely escapism. There's something darkly satisfying about reading about other people's lives, seeing characters going through what we go through. Crime fiction, possibly more than other genres, explores more about real life. The political uncertainty, the various issues of crime that plague our towns and cities. We can relate to the characters on a deeply personal level. When a character goes through something and comes out the other side, we can perhaps hope we'll be OK too. There's also the element of justice usually being done. Unfortunately, our police, our forensics, and our justice system seem to be creaking, under so much pressure from unserviceable budget cuts. In fiction, the baddie gets caught and prosecuted. I think psychologically this helps us when sometimes the real world can be a scary place to be.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of writing their first crime fiction novel?
Stop making excuses and just do it. I've heard so many lame excuses. Age isn't an excuse, time isn’t an excuse. If you really want to do it, you'll find a way. Don't put it off. Just start writing. I don't think you have to write every day. I don't think you need to be able to use grammar correctly or spell properly. You just need to be able to tell a good story. The only way to do that is to sit at a keyboard. Once that story is down, then you can worry about the details, but you've done the hard bit by then.

I’d like to thank Donna Morfett for taking the time to talk to me today. She’s a lovely person, and it’s been wonderful to gain an insight into her inspirations and how she approaches writing. I know the publication of her debut novel is highly anticipated by readers and authors alike. I’ve preordered my copy and I highly recommend you do the same. Please see the buttons below for links to the book’s Amazon page and Donna Morfett’s Facebook group. 

​                                                                                                                                                       ~ T.G. Campbell, May 2024

© Rampart Books and Donna Morfett 2024

Above: Mark Billingham (left) and Donna Morfett.
© Donna Morfett 2024


An Interview with Donna Morfett

Readers of the Gaslight Gazette and subscribers to the Bow Street Society YouTube channel may recognise the name of my guest as I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by her. A long-standing supporter of all crime fiction and thriller authors, Donna Morfett needs little introduction. I’m absolutely delighted to be welcoming her to this month’s blog, wherein I turn the tables and put her under the spotlight to discuss her debut novel, knowledge of Forensics Science, and more.

I started by asking her to tell us a bit about herself.
I grew up in a small town in Bedfordshire. I love the mix of small-town life with the close proximity to the big cities.
Apart from being a huge reader, I also love live music, comedy and the theatre. I got to fulfil a bucket list dream last year when I saw The Lion King. My sixteen year old self will be happy when I see Green Day next month!
I gained a degree in Forensic Science two years ago. I decided being a mature student would be better for concentration and studying. I was wrong. I also realised any kind of science I'd learnt at school had fallen from my head and was never to return.
I have a little Yorkshire Terrier called Trixie, who usually pops up in my author interviews.
I have suffered with mental health issues for around fifteen years and try and be open about it to try and encourage others to be. I suffer from a strange thing called aphantasia which means I have no mind’s eye, no internal image. I am also waiting on a referral for a diagnosis of ADHD. It's fun in my brain!

Your debut novel, and the first in the DI Cora Snitton series, The Disappearance of Peter Markham is being released by Rampart Books on 23rd May. Could you tell us a bit about the book and the inspiration behind it?
Umm, well, yes, so... I don't hold a grudge or anything but, well, I really wanted to make a guy suffer who wronged me. I can't do it for real and needed an idea to write a book. I soon learned that was nowhere near enough, but that was the germ that started it all.
It's a story of revenge and karma. A businessman, due to receive an award from the King, goes missing. As the police team investigate, they realise the image he portrayed to the media was nowhere near the truth. I've made my team young, and as far from any kind of cliche and stereotype as I could. I think I've written a lot of myself into two of the characters, but I'll let readers decide who they are! 

You have been an awesome supporter of crime fiction and thriller authors for some years now. As part of this, you’ve read, reviewed, interviewed, and met many authors. Out of all these authors, who would you choose to spend 24 hours locked in a prison cell with and why?
Ha ha what an evil but brilliant question. My funny answer would be Tony Forder because he'd find it immensely uncomfortable.
In all honesty, I think Mark Billingham. He's had such a varied and incredible life and I'd love to hear more. The time before he wrote, but also the career he's had, and how he's managed to stay so successful. I’d have to ask about performing at Glastonbury for a 2nd time too. He's always really open and honest and can't help being funny, so I think I would laugh a lot too. I look up to him immensely and admire him a lot.
I'd love to get Simon Kernick locked in a cell so I could finally interview him! Been chasing him three years or so now!

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