Denise Ellen Meredith (or D. E. Meredith) is the British author of historical crime fictions Devoured and The Devil’s Ribbon. Her novels happen in the London of 19th Century and feature Professor Adolphus Hatton and his assistant Albert Roumande. Both books are good choices if you’re looking for chilling historical stories of detection.
We recently reviewed The Devil’s Ribbon (See here) and also had an interview with the author. What comes next is the second and last part of our conversation with D. E. Meredith (Read the first part here).
What was difficult about writing The Devil’s Ribbon?
The first draft I wrote was rubbish (IMHO). First drafts often are. I get that now. There was good stuff in there but, meh. I got some notes from my Editor, pretty much tore up the first draft and rewrote with their notes and ideas of my own over four months of madness. I didn’t go out till I was done. St Martin’s loved the second draft and I was delighted. I knew I’d cracked it. It was a total joy after that, I was on a roll but you really do have to keep your bum on your seat, as a writer. You have to 1. Love it 2. Put the hours in 3. Go to a weird place in your mind. It’s great and I thoroughly recommend it!
Who’s your favorite writer?
What? Just one? Are you kidding! I can give you a little list of my favorite writers writing at the moment – Roger Smith, Andrew Taylor and David Peace for crime; John Preston, Junot Diaz and David Mitchell for more “literary” stuff.
For the Greats, I’d say Henry James is probably my top pick. “The Portrait of a Lady” and “The Turn of the Screw” are possibly my favorite books, of all time and I love Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” It’s bonkers but sublime.
Non-fiction? I love Michela Wrong. She’s awesome and brilliant on Africa. I’m currently reading, “It’s Our Turn to Eat” about Kenya. It’s fantastic.
Give us a writing tip.
Write from the heart and you will find your voice. YOUR voice – not someone else’s – steer clear from trying to “be like” someone else. And it’s a craft. Not an innate gift. Do you have a great story to tell? If so, put the hours in and it will all come to together. Be prepared for rejection – no pain, no gain is a good maxim for writers.
What are you working on now?
The third book in the series will be about the workings of the human mind. Hatton and Roumande will delve into the world of mind doctoring and the very early beginnings of neurology using their forensics to solve a series of twisted and sadistic murders on the streets of near the meat market in Smithfield – each murder taking place a hair’s breadth from the morgue at St Bart’s. It’s working title is “The Butcher of Smithfield.” I am also working/toying/mulling on a book set in Rwanda.
Like Historical Mysteries By D. E. Meredith? Check out the following titles.