Leigh Russell writes an exclusive piece for Female First
Leigh Russell writes an exclusive piece for Female First

To celebrate the release of her latest book in the critically-acclaimed DI Geraldine Steel series, Deep Cover, we asked author Leigh Russell to take part in our 'seven things' series! Here's what she had to reveal...

1. It never occurred to me to try and write a book when I was young. In fact, I only started writing in my fifties. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. In 12 years since then, 25 books have hit the shelves with my name on the cover, and I’m still writing!

2. Before leaving my day job to write full time, I was a secondary school English teacher. I’ve now returned to teaching for two or three hours a week, delivering sessions on writing skills to adults. It’s very different to working full time in a school. I’m enjoying using my teaching skills again, but I no longer threaten my students with detention. Homework these days is entirely voluntary!

3. I have always been scared of dogs, having been snapped at by an Alsatian when I was very young. I don’t recall the specific incident, but my fear has been visceral and very real. I told my daughter I would never visit her if she bought a dog. Convinced that was an empty threat, she bought the most adorable puppy in the world. Yes, my daughter was right. I adore her puppy!

4. Around 30 years ago I decided to become vegetarian and haven’t eaten meat since. I did start eating fish again some years ago, and I’m glad I did. Both of those decisions felt like a whim at the time, but they must have been building unconsciously for a while. As with writing fiction, we can have ideas without being aware of them. I often don’t know what I’m going to write about until I sit down and start to type (Best not tell my publisher that!).

5. One of the things I am most proud of is having given up smoking forty years ago. I really sympathise with anyone who is struggling with an addiction. Unless you have experienced the torment of giving up, you cannot really imagine how difficult it is.

6. I’ve had to travel to many fascinating places in the course of research for my books. Some of the wonderful places I’ve visited for my books include The Seychelles, Marrakesh, New Orleans, Venice, Casa Blanca, Paris, Rome… but the truth is that I am only really happy when I’m at home.

7. I suspect there is a lot of me in my detective, Geraldine Steel, although I didn’t realise how similar we are when I started writing about her. We share a passion for justice and are both task-orientated and determined to the point of obsession when we feel something needs to be done. Yet although we both focus on the task in hand, we also feel empathy for others.

Deep Cover by Leigh Russell is out now, available from all good bookstores or via https://noexit.co.uk/deep-cover.

Follow Leigh Russell on Twitter (@LeighRussell) and sign up to her newsletter for exclusive offers, news and more via leighrussell.co.uk/news.

MORE FROM BOOKS: Seven things I'd like my readers to know about me, by Lisa Cutts

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