Welcome to author Benedict Brown, a rarity in a world of cozy mysteries dominated by females. I look forward to his interview, don’t you? PS. Just an FYI, he lives in Spain.

Describe your favorite writing spot or space.

I write every day in my study at home on a vast, old wooden desk with a beautiful view in front of me. I’m originally from Britain but live in the north of Spain and through the window I can see the fields of Castilla with a hundred types of birds flying past every day from tiny wrens up to harriers, vultures and eagles. In the paddock two fields over, there is a donkey, who my two-year-old daughter climbs on my desk to see. Most of the time, all this distracts me from my writing, but it’s great to have it there when I need inspiration.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I only switched to writing murder mysteries about a year ago. Before that, I’d spent fifteen years focussing on children’s fiction. I love those stories and, as soon as my Izzy Palmer detective series is up and running, I hope to publish them. There are comedy fairy tales, teen dramas, futuristic fantasies and funny middle-grade stories. My next murder mystery A Corpse on the Beach is half-finished and I have to write fast as I’ve set the pre-order for June 28th!

What comes first for you, the plot or characters?

This is a tough question to answer as my characters are so integral to the plot. I think that, now I have a series of oddball characters established in my Izzy Palmer books, I know they’ll react well to any situation. I come up with the initial plot and they do the rest, but in the past it was definitely the other way around. When I wrote the first in the series “A Corpse Called Bob” it was no great feat of my imagination to come up with the idea of a girl finding her boss dead in his office one morning, the originality came with Izzy, a shy, bookish, six-foot-three introvert with a very active internal monologue who has read so many Agatha Christie novels that she believes she’s the only one who can solve the murder.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

This is something that people focus on a lot in my writing, but I’ve always written from both points of view and I find it comes naturally. I’ve grown up surrounded by strong women and probably have more female than male friends. I live with my wife and daughter, so if anything, I’m more exposed to feminine interests and perspectives a lot of the time anyway. I also like to say that there’s not as much difference between us as some people want us to believe and hopefully I bridge that gap with my books. Though most of my readers are women, when men do find the books, I get a great response from them.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Probably just to keep going. When I was writing kids’ books I only had one other writing friend and we supported each other a lot, but it’s much easier now that I use internet forums and Facebook pages to feel less cut off from other writers. It’s so much easier to learn about how to publish these days, but I’m really glad that I spent all those years honing my skills as I believe that most people have to write for a long time before we can become really capable writers and, even after all these years, I feel my writing improves with every book.

Where to Find Benedict Brown & His Books:

Website | Facebook | Amazon

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