Happy publication day for DEAD OF WINTER by Lee Weeks!

Welcome to our blog, Lee, thank you for coming! First of all, for our readers, who is Lee Weeks?

I am an adventurous type. Love life, giggling, dancing and partying but unfortunately have to work sometimes. Luckily my work is writing and that’s really under the heading of passion.

At the Agency we all enjoy following you on Twitter (@leeweeksauthor). And at this point we just have to ask, why do you support Wales in the rugby and not England, despite being brought up in Devon?

I support Wales because my family comes from there. I watch the rugby with my mum. I have so many Welsh relatives I feel very lucky. They are immensely supportive and love following my book writing career.

Okay, imagine you’ve just found out that from tomorrow you’re going to be snowed in for a week. What is on your emergency supplies list?

Emergency list is a bit of food a lot of good wine and masses of spare printing cartridges. Huge amounts of magazines of every kind to catch up on.

Back to booky things… The brilliant DEAD OF WINTER is published today. What can readers expect from this brand new title?

They can expect a whole new series based on a London Murder Squad. My aim with this new series is to have a strong story each time with its own lead characters. In the background will be my new murder squad. Each book will uncover a little more of their lives and sometimes one detective will come to the fore and sometimes another.

And will we see any more of Johnny Mann in the future?

Yes I fully intend to bring JM back and have the next two JM stories mapped out. He had reached a point when his life was radically changed. I think it’s a good place to leave him for a while before I take him in a new direction.

Where do you write?

This is my office. I am a messy person by nature. I LOVE making a mess. I love my office because of the dual windows. I can watch my son and his friends play cricket out of one and then I can look at my front garden out of the other.

When you’re writing, do you prefer a pen or the keyboard?

Mainly a keyboard but will make use of a pen when away from home. Using a keyboard is necessary to keep up with the frantic pace necessary to keep the story flowing. For lyrical, poetical musings a pen is the tool.

Silence or music?

A little background music or radio chatter but nothing that I can be distracted by.

Day or night?

Both. They bring out different things in me. I tend to get the bulk of the words down in daylight hours but the more interesting nitty gritty bits will be done after dark.

What do you find is the worst thing about the writing process?

The worst thing is not being able to switch off. Becoming obsessed with horrible facts and figures and sharing them with people. Do you know what it feels like to be suffocated? No? Well let me tell you! It scares people – especially potential boyfriends. When I go out on the pull I pretend I’m a nurse.

And what do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I love the fact that I get to learn such an array of interesting facts. I love immersing myself in someone else’s life. I really love the fact that some things I write move others and I hope that in some way they benefit others too.

Do you have any rituals you must perform when writing? Or when you’re about to deliver a new manuscript?

No rituals. I am really not a black cat, cross three fingers and cover yourself in salt girl. I will never hesitate to walk under ladders because I have one of those natures that’s ridiculously optimistic and would probably look on a pot of paint landing on my head as somehow lucky!

What do you like doing when you’re not writing?

I like walking my dogs and going to the gym. Both of these things enhance my writing and I can often find the answers to problems then. I like going out with my girlfriends and usually end up on the dance floor of Mama Stones (Joss Stone’s mum’s club). I love spending time with my family. I have also reinvented my love for London and now have a wonderful excuse for coming up more often with this new series.

Do you have a favourite author or book?

I will always love Last of the Mohicans best and it was the book I tried to emulate when I started to write. It has everything in it for me. But, now I would also add John Burdett’s Bangkok books, Jo Nesbo’s books and Carl Hiaason.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

GQ magazine

What are you watching at the moment? X-Factor or Strictly? What about Homeland? Or Peep Show?

I am watching all of the above. I actually watch very little TV but like all the ones where celebs have to do something hard. It’s nice to see the ones who can still cut it as human beings.

What are you reading now?

Ummm sorry very little now actually. When I write I try and keep influences at bay. As soon as I have a decent break then I’ll line up a stack of books to get through. I like to see what’s trending and then give myself a treat with something classic.

What inspired you to start writing?

Since I was a child I have loved losing myself in other worlds. You’d always find me up the Faraway Tree or running along the banks of the river with Hiawatha.

What would be your top tip for aspiring writers hoping to get published?

Give your work to people to look at in the planning stage. Talk them through the outline. Don’t let loads of people influence the end product.

Dead of Winter, published by Simon & Schuster, is out today!

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