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Introducing DI Eve Hunter

Believe it or not, DI Eve Hunter started out as a man. Way back at the start of me exploring my writing, I signed up for a six-week Introduction to Crime Writing online course through Professional Writing Academy. Students were asked to create a detective and then to show that detective in a breakfast scene.

I found myself writing about a man lying in bed in pain. Pain that was coming mainly from his leg. Breakfast for him was nothing more than a stretch to the bedside table where several pill bottles lay alongside a day-old cup of coffee that bore a thick skin on top. I saw him eyeing those bottles, thinking how easy it would be to just uncap them all and wash down the contents, and I knew then that this man was damaged with a story to tell.

From there we were asked to create a murder scene and to show the detective interviewing the suspect. These early writing exercises led me on to two Faber online courses – carrying through my detective and the seed of an idea that I had for a story.

After a lot of feedback and tightening the novel, I found the courage to send off the manuscript, amazed and delighted when I was offered representation from the fantastic Oli Munson at AM Heath. It was only once I had started his suggested edits that I started to doubt my lead character.

Something didn’t feel right but I couldn’t put my finger on it and then, one night, lying in bed, it came to me. He needed to be a she. As a female writer I wanted to be writing a strong, kick-ass female lead. I remember being nervous about announcing that to my agent but thankfully he was in full agreement.

I set to work changing ‘he’ to ‘she’ throughout the novel, surprised to find that I wasn’t actually changing much about the character herself – the speech the same, the decisions rock solid, that leg still injured. But I wanted her to hit the page running, so to speak. And, so, I gave her a difficult cross to bear from childhood; had her returning to work after enforced leave that had left her partner with life-changing injuries; made sure her return would be met with resistance from other colleagues.

Basically, I threw the kitchen sink at her.

But what that left me with was what I had been striving for. A fiercely determined, bloody-minded, conscientious and loyal woman, and one who wouldn’t always conform.

DI Eve Hunter was born.

I love writing her character and it’s been great seeing her develop in the two books I’ve written so far. I see some of myself in her but I’m also a big softie who wouldn’t always necessarily be as full-on or as brave as her. But, sometimes, I ask myself how she would deal with something and go on to surprise myself and realise that I’m stronger than I think.

Out For Blood

Deborah Masson

Out For Blood

Deborah Masson

Deborah Masson, author of From the Ashes
Deborah Masson, author of From the Ashes
Deborah Masson

Deborah Masson was born and bred in Aberdeen, Scotland. Always restless and fighting against being a responsible adult, she worked in several jobs including secretarial, marketing, reporting for the city’s freebie newspaper and a stint as a postie – to name but a few.

Through it all, she always read crime fiction and, when motherhood finally settled her into being an adult (maybe even a responsible one) she turned her hand to writing what she loved. Deborah started with short stories and flash fiction whilst her daughter napped and, when she later welcomed her son into the world, she decided to challenge her writing further through online courses with Professional Writing Academy and Faber Academy. Her debut novel, Hold Your Tongue, is the result of those courses.

Follow Deborah on Twitter.

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