Can you firstly tell us about your childhood, and when was the first time that you knew that writing was for you?
My father was in the forces, and then worked abroad, so I travelled well until my parents divorced when I was seven. There were some 'star' moments at school when I was actively encouraged to write, but I ended up in accountancy. It wasn't until I was thirty that I decided to write full-time.
You have written a few books but which for you is the best one you have written and why. Also do you think you will write a better one than that?
I couldn't choose a favourite, I'm proud of them all. I wrote Hope's Vengeance first, and enjoyed deliberately leaving lanes unexplored for effect but, in contrast, the research for Unlikely Killer took two years before I wrote a single word. Bloody Mary was intense and from the heart, and my latest book, Bonfire Night, is a mixture of exploration, mentally and physically, and fact. But with every book I write I'm trying to develop as a writer (and person), hopefully to create something bigger and better. We're all still learning every day, whatever we do.
How hard was it to decide giving up your day job for writing and whats things do you prefer when you are writing compared to working a day job?
It was easy. I'd been studying/working long days (and nights) since I was sixteen, and I also had three children. I was on my own and tired. The first book I wrote, while I was still working, I thought was marketable (it wasn't!), so I closed my business and from then on spent every possible moment writing. I loved the challenges I faced as an accountant, but writing allows so much internal freedom, and the research element is as much fun again.
How would you answer the question…. Who is Ricki Thomas?
A proud mum of four who writes books and films, and tries to be a decent and productive person. With a head full of ideas, characters, plots and settings…!!!
What made you want to start writing books and where do you get your inspirations from to write them?
I'm not sure I wanted to write books as much as tell stories. I really don't mind what format I'm telling the story in, I just have all these ideas and questions going on. If people are enjoying the work I produce in whatever format, then what better enjoyment is there than to try and give them something better. Everything, no matter how minute, inspires me ... a single shoe on the motorway... is there a dark story behind that..... Imagination mixed with life.
You have written Articles, Short Stories, Biographies and books but which do you prefer to write and why?
I just love the process of writing - even the bits that leave me an emotional wreck. The biographies were indulgent, I picked my favourite comedians and comedy actors, and had the pleasure of researching their lives and careers. Short stories are wonderful when there is little restraint on the genre. The subject of the articles I do always mean something to me deeply. I also write poetry and songs which help when I'm feeling low. My thriller novels are harrowing to write, but I'm proud of how they're turning out. I'm currently doing my twelfth feature script and adoring every moment... as I said, I just love writing!!!
Can you tell us about your latest book and why should people read them?
The latest release is Bloody Mary, and the subject matter is very close to my heart. It explores a manipulative has-been who re-invents herself, and a sufferer of domestic violence (subsequently a single first-time mum). With their twisted family history evolving, events drag from the past to destroy the future. When I was writing it my heart was literally pulped, every emotion was wrung from me throughout those chapters! My next novel, Bonfire Night, should be out soon - a shocking trail leading to an unknown killer from the 80's, and when 2 women disappear on bonfire night, the new investigation leads to the old. The police have to decipher what's true and what's not, and sift through years of deceit and rumour - it doesn't help that one of the suspects has died. I think people should read them if they enjoy fast-paced, surprising, twisting mysteries.
Can you tell me about any books you have planned for the future and if so what can we look forward to ?
Yep yep yep!!! Once I've finished this script (a thriller/horror named One Lonely Night) I'll be starting on my fifth book, Black Park. The general outline follows the aftermath of a serial killer, which leads to finding a child's skeleton (unrelated to the investigation). As the police delve further the story unfolds a very disturbed woman. I have stacks of notes, character names, ideas. I can't wait to write it.
Do you have special routines or processes you go through to write a book and if so what are they?
No routines or superstitions, but I do like the house to be tidy. Working from home, those are pretty much the four walls you see day in, day out. So, for me, I like the kitchen done, floors mopped, clothes clean … then I write!
What things do you do when you are away from writing and what TV music etc are you into at the moment?
I like things to be nice and peaceful. I watch some select TV (either comedies or crime programs) with my sons, and after they've gone to bed I read before sleeping. It must sound boring, but the past ten years have been so unsettling and overly eventful, I'm just loving the routine and mediocrity of it all right now. Who knows what I'd answer a year from now!
For anyone reading this who would like to get into writing what advice would you give them?
If you feel the need to write, do it! It can be amazingly cathartic, whether you're writing fact or fiction. It doesn't have to be for the public eye if that's how you'd prefer, but if you want to be published (rather than self-published which is, I hear, relatively easy now) then be prepared for reams of rejection letters and, if you're lucky, some helpful critique. And never stop trying to improve yourself. It's like anything - if you want it enough then you can make it happen with hard work and determination.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Pretty average answer, I'm afraid - my family and friends make me happy; and rudeness, ignorance, violence - the list could go on - upset me.
Can you tell me one thing about yourself that people might not already know?
I'd love to work on comedies, be it books, TV, or film. I have several comedy feature film scripts that I've never sent to anyone, and a couple of sitcoms. Obvioiusly I'm biased, but I think they're really funny!
What are you up to at the moment and what’s next for you?
This script will keep me busy for a while, I have a number of signings and events coming up over the summer/autumn, a decent amount of charity work, plus writing Black Park … and the kid's summer holidays with all that entails! I'm hoping for a relaxing Christmas, let's put it that way!!!