In this feature, we ask our Crime Cymru authors to name six things that influenced their life and shaped them as a writer. This week, Rosie Claverton talks to us about imposter syndrome and taking out the rubbish.
One TV series:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
When I was a child, I fell in love with the sci-fi shows running on BBC2 at 6pm. But my favourite was DS9. Rewatching it a few years ago, I could pick out what I loved most: the ensemble cast in all their flawed, brilliant, diverse glory, and the perfect balance between dark, serious topics and light, beautiful humour.
It is something I seek out when I read and watch, and what I strive to replicate in my novels. Every character is meaningful and matters, and you need to take the dread with a pinch of wit.
The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver
I was a student searching out paperback bargains when I stumbled across my first Deaver novel. I loved the setup of the two protagonists so much that it directly inspired Amy and Jason – the mastermind in the house and the eyes on the street.
When I was first starting to take writing seriously, I spent a lot of time at Cardiff Central station. For me, it felt like the gateway to the city, like coming home – bonus points if it was raining it.
This liminal space has found its way into multiple Amy Lane books because I can’t get enough of it and the peculiar hold it has over me.
Fake it by Seether
I have a fairly eclectic taste in music and this particular song made it into my collection via a mix CD from a friend. However, it didn’t properly grab hold of me until the final year of medical school when I had the enormous and terrifying realisation that I was not ready to be a doctor.
Now, when I feel that imposter syndrome creeping in at the day job or in my writing life, I blast it on repeat for a while until it soothes the terror and helps me get on with the business of faking it—ahem, aceing it.
Taking out the rubbish
When I lived in Wrexham, we had to take our bins out via a tiny overgrown alleyway. It was transformed by the darkness into a route brimming with potential danger, even on our quiet residential street. Should I lock the back door for that two-minute race to the road? What could happen in those two minutes? Could someone break into my house?
From this most mundane of tasks, the opening chapter of Binary Witness was born.
I had published my first novel literally days before and I was filled with fantasies about what my publishing career might look like. This was my first festival for crime writing, before I was a panellist or even had books to sign.
What was remarkable about it was how it introduced to me to the crime writing community, meeting writers at all stages of their careers who welcomed their peers and aspiring friends with open arms. There I met several excellent people whose writing joys I happily share and who cheer me on for my writing journey.
I have found the same sense of community with Crime Cymru, an organisation founded on principles of inclusion, welcome, and mutual support for writers well-established and just starting out. I hope you can join us in Aberystwyth next year for that festival feeling.
Read more about Rosie Claverton on her website and her Crime Cymru page.
You can see Rosie’s books on her Amazon page.