What is your schedule when you’re writing?
I don’t really have a schedule and it very much depends on what stage I’m at in my process. When I’m at the start and trying come up with ideas for the story and develop it, I try my best to practice patience and just allow the ideas to come to me. But once I feel that I have the full skeleton of a story I get into a zone, almost obsessively writing with every spare minute that I have to flesh it out.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember this changing more frequently than the British weather! I went through phases of wanting to be a footballer, an actor, a comedian, I even remember having a phase of wanting to be a dentist! You name it, at some point I probably wanted to have a go at it.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I think a big ego is not a good trait to have in anyone. Personally, I believe humility is a much more attractive quality to have whether you’re a writer or not.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
My main focus is writing an entertaining story that will really grip the reader and drag them into the book. I think that in order to really achieve this it does need to at least have elements of originality; it certainly can’t be predictable.
How do you select the names of your characters?
With great difficulty at times. I’m paranoid that if I use a name of someone that I know they’ll think that the character is based on them. It’s not uncommon for me to trawl through lists of names trying to find one that doesn’t ring any bells.
What is your favourite childhood book?
I haven’t got an individual book, but I remember that I first fell in love with reading after my first Goosebumps book by R.L. Stine. I ended up collecting and reading most, if not all of them.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me five months to write Lies After Death, and I spent another two months putting it through a self-edit before I felt it was ready. Not sure if I should admit this but I practically wrote the whole book on my phone. As I mentioned before, when I’m writing and I get ‘in the zone’, I’m constantly writing. My phone is a convenient way for me to attack my WIP whenever I want.
What do you think makes a good story?
It needs to be entertaining. That’s it. In my opinion a good story is one that keeps the reader eager to turn the page to find out what happens next. A good twist at the end is always welcome too.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Both. Lies After Death is a stand-alone crime thriller, but I’m hoping to use some of the characters again in the future so it will also be the start of a series.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
My character names are all chosen at random, except one. One is named after my two favourite comedians.
Keith’s debut novel, Lies After Death , is out on 7th October 2023 and will be available in ebook and paperback.
In the meantime, you can find out more about Keith and connect with him over on Twitter.