12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Interview with Norfolk based crime writer Elizabeth Haynes

PUBLISHED: 10:48 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 13 March 2017

Author Elizabeth Haynes

Author Elizabeth Haynes

RYAN & JO PHOTOGRAPHY

From pleasing her friends with playground stories to creating best-selling crime thrillers, author Elizabeth Haynes tells Rachel Buller why everyone should have a go at writing a novel

Elizabeth Haynes' latest book Never AloneElizabeth Haynes' latest book Never Alone

Ever since buying a typewriter from the free ads of her local newspaper, Elizabeth Haynes has been writing stories. While some have never been read by anyone other than her and some still remain very much works in progress, she is now a best-selling author of six crime novels which are devoured by fans all over the world.

She moved to Norfolk with her family two years ago and is already firmly ensconced in county life. This month she will be talking about her latest thriller, Never Alone, at Briarfields in Titchwell for the first Bookfest event of the year; she was a judge in the 2016 East Anglian Book Awards and is starting to use the county’s landscape and rich history as creative inspiration.

“We lived in Kent but wanted to find somewhere with an annex so my mum could live with us – and because my husband and I both worked from home, it meant we could pretty much live anywhere,” she says.

“Quite by accident, we came on holiday to Norfolk and completely fell in love with it. We found the perfect house in a little village near North Walsham. My son goes to school in Cromer and gets to enjoy things he would never have experienced back in Kent and we just love living here. It is a county full of surprises and unusual things to discover. There is nowhere like it in England. It’s like it has got permission to be every so slightly mad and as a county it seems to absolutely relish that,” she laughs.

Her writing career began while at school, creating magical tales for her own enjoyment and then stories to share with classmates.

“I was about 13 when I got my typewriter and used it to write my first novel around that time - The Year Book. Not the best title, it was a wintry, Christmassy story about a mystical book a girl has discovered in an attic. It has never seen the light of day,” she says.

“But I also wrote serialised romances in my notebook like you would see in girl’s magazines. I would pass them round my friends at school and then they would get me to write another chapter to bring in the next day. That’s where I learned the importance of creating a good hook for my ending, how important it was to keep people wanting more.”

Her writing remained largely under wraps and an occasional hobby until she was persuaded by a friend to take part in National Novel Writing Month - and she is now a passionate advocate of its benefits.

“It is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn’t have to be award-winning, it doesn’t mean you have to carry it on and send it off to a publisher, it is just a great reason to sit down and write. It is for all those people who have always said, just like I did, ‘I have got a novel in me.’ It is very liberating. It takes away the pressure to produce a masterpiece, it is about learning the discipline of writing.”

Elizabeth has done ‘nanowrimo’, as it is affectionately known, every year since 2005. In 2008 her project was the start of her first novel – Into the Darkest Corner - and she has produced a book a year ever since.

“I always wrote for fun but it enabled me to really expand my writing muscles. Writing at speed can sometimes generate some really great ideas. You have to put it out of your head that anyone is going to see it. I would encourage anyone to join in.”

Elizabeth was working as a police intelligence analyst in Kent when she began to take part in ‘nanowrimo’ and, she says, the two things combined perfectly, giving her the confidence to write about crime.

“I always read crime novels growing up, starting with Agatha Christie. But I never had the confidence to approach anyone to research my own crime story. I think saying it out loud, actually asking ‘experts’, would have meant admitting to myself I was researching a book and therefore trying to be a serious crime novelist. I wasn’t ready for that,” she laughs.

“But after working with the police I felt I could start to write about it with some authenticity. I had the jargon and acronyms to make it realistic and, most importantly, the banter.”

Elizabeth Haynes will be appearing at Bookfest, at Briarfields Hotel on March 13, see www.briarfieldshotelnorfolk.co.uk

For information about National Novel Writing Month, see www.nanowrimo.org

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EDP Norfolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EDP Norfolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EDP Norfolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Yesterday, 15:47

When global airline British Airways was looking for a first class magazine cover, they chose a young Norfolk artist

Read more
June 2017
Yesterday, 15:25

The Norfolk museum devoted to straw, run by a woman devoted to straw, is an irresistible mix of expertise, creativity, enthusiasm and eccentricity

Read more
June 2017
Yesterday, 12:54

Greg Adjemian and Daniel Smith, best mates since Daniel was 12 and Greg eight, are the driving force behind one of Norfolk’s most successful pub business, G&D Ventures

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017

We caught up with Sophie Ellis and Jess Lapping, co-organisers of Norfolk Superhero

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017

Norfolk sailor and environmental journalist Laura Hampton swapped a cosy job with the BBC for a life on the sometimes deadly ocean waves; here, she tells us why

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017

His portfolio ranges from the Jerusalem olive grove where Jesus was arrested to the grounds of Boris’ Johnson’s official retreat. Rowan Mantell talks to world-renowned Norfolk garden designer George Carter

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017

June is the month to celebrate Father’s Day and Norfolk is home to some great family businesses, so Judith Palmer spoke to four father and son teams to find out what working so closely with your family is really like

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017

Fifty years on from the 1967 ‘Summer of Love’ when an estimated 100,000 people converged on San Francisco in search of nirvana, Victoria Manthorpe looks back at how an Anglo-American youth counter-culture arrived in Norwich and thrived in Norfolk for nearly a decade

Read more
June 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker has been in charge for six months. So how is it going? From Nativity Play mishaps to Mamma Mia he has some great answers

Read more
June 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017

Helping out and fundraising are better than holidays for village stalwart Glenda Tooke. This month she will be making money for charities with an exhibition of archive pictures and a flower festival

Read more
May 2017

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search