Talking Out Loud.

Interview with Judith O’Reilly

October 2017.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

When it flows. When you sit at your desk and the words come and you read it back and think ‘That’s not too bad’.

What are you working on next?

Book 2 in the Michael North Thriller series. It’s called Curse the Day and I plan to bring it out in 2018. (I’ve a longterm ambition to write something funny but I’m damned if I can think of a plot or enough knock knock jokes.)

Who are your favorite authors?

So many. Lee Child. David Baldacci. James Patterson. Martina Cole. Val McDermid. Mark Billingham. Frederick Forsyth. Mick Herron. L J Ross. M W Craven. Andy McNab. Patrick O’Brian. Bernard Cornwell. I’ve just found John Connolly and love his Charlie Parker. Adore Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling) Cormoran Strike. Love Raymond Chandler. Adore Philip Kerr and his Bernie Gunther series. John Le Carré and Robert Harris, of course. Anne Tyler. Elly Griffiths. Clare Macintosh. Steve Cavanagh. Margaret Attwood. Robertson Davies. Lindsey Davies. John D MacDonald. Anthony Trollope. Dennis Lehane. Gillian Flynn. Armistead Maupin. We could be here all day.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

I can’t wait to get out of bed. I’m a bit of an insomniac. It’s a relief when the night’s over.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Walking the dog. drinking coffee. juggling responsibilities. paying the bills. same way as most of us though sometimes I look through jobs which would actually pay me a regular salary and think I’m qualified for nothing.

Do you ever read reviews?

Sometimes with my eyes shut. I hate the ones which are by people who normally only ever review Sellotape. They make a point of saying they never read books, but for some reason they picked yours up and hated every word. These are the reviews you can’t get out of your head afterwards until you rinse round thoroughly with gin.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

I do funnily enough. Well i remember the first one I got published. I was about ten or eleven and it was about a black cat and it appeared in the Evening Post with my name and address, and then some oddball made dirty phone calls for ages afterwards, and my mother had to report them to the police.

What is your writing process?

Sit down at the desk. (Having brought in a cup of tea) Install dog under the desk (having walked him earlier so he goes to sleep). Pound the keys till something comes out. Occasionally, if I am struggling with say a plot point or a character, I will write myself a question and answer letter to work out where I’m going. Surprisingly effective.