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Joining me today for a cozy one on one chat is none other than author extraordinaire Alison Bruce. Drink in hand, real fire lit and her husband’s band playing an assortment of tunes in the background; the pub is buzzing! Celebrating the release of her third novel in the DC Gary Goodhew series – set in Cambridge – Alison took time out of her busy schedule to talk Elvis, her family, Cambridge and writing at an early age.
Alison, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Did you get one of those pivotal moments in school or did it come later?
I had an odd childhood; disjointed, illogical and weird in many ways. Of course, I didn’t really appreciate that at the time and it took many years to piece it into something that made sense.
Now I’ve said something that sounds frustratingly like the opener of the story when I’m not going to go into any more detail… although I could up the ante and add that it all dates back to the 1920s…
Anyhow, trying to understand motivations and read the subtext of conversations was a constant factor in my childhood and I was drawn to stories that gave an insight into the darker side of people’s personalities.
My dad read constantly, whereas my mum would watch TV shows. He disapproved of her choice of English murder-mysteries and US crime drama but later I realised he was reading Conan Doyle, Patricia Wentworth and buckets of America crime, Ed McBain in particular.
I started reading his books but between ‘lights-out’ and going to sleep there was often a period of several hours and it was during this time that I began to invent characters and stories. My best subject at …