Easter, 1996: /Rock DJ Marcie Craig sets out to solve the murder of a young junkie whose boyfriend is the prime suspect in his death. Marcie doesn't believe he did it, and she's determined to find the real culprit. It's a dangerous road, though, and she winds up putting her own life at risk to find the truth.
What gave you the idea to write this story?
“I knew I wanted to write a mystery novel set in Birmingham but I didn’t know where to start. Everyone told me to write what I know but I didn’t think I knew enough about anything interesting. The only thing I did was work or go out to rock pubs and clubs, so I settled on the local music scene. I needed a protagonist and came up with an amalgamation of all the rock DJs I had ever known, then I made her a female and put her on a motorbike. Marcella was a favourite name and Craig was the professional surname of one of my DJ friends.
“The milieu gave me my scene of crime and it was easy enough to place a victim there, but I needed a reason for Marcie Craig to get involved, I needed her to care. So I had an old friend of hers falsely arrested and charged."
What was your writing process like?
“I wrote copious character notes for all of the main players, I wrote a detailed chapter-by-chapter breakdown, I made timeline notes as I went along. I drew a map of the murder scene and I made a detailed timeline for the actual murder so I knew where everybody was.
“I wrote the first draft by hand, every day, making notes of things I didn’t know, and then I carried out my research interviews. The second draft was also in longhand but this took into account what I had learned. The first typo-free typed draft went out to my “experts” for checking, and all of my factual errors were corrected, most of the feedback was also incorporated. Then the second type-written draft was produced and the polishing process begun.
“I did two more handwritten drafts before the final print-ready version. Then years of submissions began.”
Why did you decide to self-publish?
"The book was completed by the end of 1996 and in 1997 it started to do the rounds. I hawked the manuscript to publishers and agents for more than ten years, building in many of the suggestions they made. While many were genuinely interested, the only company that offered to publish it ran out of money. Spurred on by mostly positive feedback, I decided to have a go myself and 'get it out there'."
Why did you go with Lulu?
"Lulu is a print-on-demand self-publishing organisation that offers authors various levels of support. With so much editing experience, however, I decided to do everything myself. I did all of the editorial and technical work and even sourced my own artist for the cover. Lulu is available to anyone with internet access and offers various distribution services and packages. Every book gets an ISBN."
Visit Lulu.com and purchase Night Crawler in hardback or digital format.
Learn more about Diane by visiting her blog. I, by the way, am jealous of all the snow she's getting in her little corner of England!