Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Interview with Wendy Cartmell: Author of the Sgt Major Crane military crime thrillers

I met Wendy on Facebook. I am a sucker for crime thrillers, and that's exactly what she writes. I can't wait to read my first book of hers. 

I'm so glad I reached out for an interview too. Wendy is full of helpful hints and interesting facts about her own writing.

Below are the questions I asked her:

1.     Describe your crime thrillers. Why should we read about Sgt Major?

  Sgt Major Crane is a military investigator, which makes him different to the usual police detectives. It also means the reader get an insight into military life, the military way of doing things and, of course, the life of the military wives.

2.     How many books do you have published? Any favorites?

  There are three Sgt Major Crane novels and the fourth is with beta readers. My favourite is the second one,
         40 Days 40 Nights, when Crane is looking after the 2013 Olympic athletes as they train on Arborfield

3.     What has been your experience with publishing Kindle Editions?

  I’ve found publishing the kindle editions really easy, but then I am very computer literate and have a fab cover designer who just happens to be my husband! It was very interesting learning how to format the books properly and I’m very pleased with the professional results.

4.     Where do you go for a great cup of Joe/Tea in your town?

  Many of the Spanish bars/cafes serve great freshly brewed coffee for only 1 euro a cup!

5.     What do you think about the publishing world today? Easier for writers to publish? Harder to find readers?

  It is definitely easier for writers to publish - they just go the self publishing route and there are a myriad of small companies able to help with those skills they don’t have. 

  It does mean, however, that it is much harder to find readers as there are so many ebooks out there. The hardest part of the whole process is getting yourself noticed.

6.     Do you have an agent? How has she helped you? 

   Yes, I was lucky enough to get an introduction to an agent who liked my work and has taken me on. She is fantastic in terms of feedback. She sent my books to major publishers and their feedback has been incorporated in the fourth novel Cordon of Lies. 

   Her attention to detail is awesome and her encouragement has meant I have written the best Sgt Major Crane novel yet - I hope!

   7.     What time do you get up and what do you eat for breakfast?

   We have two dogs who usually wake me up around 7.30 - 8am. At the moment we are eating porridge for breakfast, but I’ll soon get too hot for that.

8.     Where do your ideas come from?

  Mostly from newspaper articles, which will give me a seed of a story, which I then embellish. I also draw on my husband’s 22 years experience in the British Army.

9.     Describe your writing process.

  I firstly write a story synopsis. Then I use this to flesh out the characters. Once that’s done I produce a chapter by chapter break down detailing what needs to happen in each chapter. I then find it very easy to write the book as I basically write what I see as the scene is played out in my head.

10. If you knew back then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Spent more money on advertising. 

It’s vital to get noticed.

11. Who is your biggest cheerleader?

  Without question, my husband. We plan the novels together so he can make sure the army characters, procedures and places are correct. He then puts up with my silences when I’m writing and the housework not getting done. He dries any tears over a bad review and toasts my successes!

12. You write children's books also. How different is that process for you?

  Very different. My children’s books are based on teaching methods, so writing that is much more of an intellectual process.

13. Who is tougher to write for children, or adults?

  They are equally tough in their own way. 

  The children’s stories much be channelled, focused and teach something. 

  The novels are much longer and have a completely different vocabulary.

14. Do you belong to any writer's associations, like SCBWI? 

  No I don’t. I would like to be a member of the Crime Writers Association, but you have to have a traditional publishing contract to join.

15. Have you taken any writer's classes or gone to any writer's retreats or conferences that would be helpful to other writers?

  I first joined a writing group about 4 years ago, here on the Costa del Sol run by the author and tutor Hannah Davis. This was the springboard that gave me the confidence to write novels.

16. Give 3 words of advice to newbie writers:

Work, work, and work.

17. What one word best describes you?


18. How can my blog readers help you to become an even bigger success?

  Read the Sgt Major Crane books and if you like them, recommend them to your friends. Word of mouth recommendation is worth hundreds of dollars in advertising.

19. What is your blog about?

  I didn’t want to do a ‘how to’ blog, either writing or teaching, so I fell back on what I do most of, which is reading. I focus on book reviews, mostly from indie authors. I also review for

20. Any big news?

  The big news 3 months ago was being agented by Leslie Gardner, so now it’s watch this space for the reaction to Cordon of Lies.

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