My Q and As:

1: What’s your inspiration behind Driven?

I wanted to tackle a different area of crime and as car thefts and catalytic converter thefts has been in the news more recently I decided to focus on this. I then wondered What if someone leaves something of value in the car? and was reminded of a relative of mine (no names here!) who used to leave her sleeping toddler in the car, with the keys in it, while she dropped her other child off at play group. I nagged her, saying it was a terrible risk, but she was blasé about it saying we live in a safe area. Thankfully, nothing untoward happened, but years later I’ve remembered it and used it in my novel.

Also, years ago, two small boys were abducted when thieves stole a car off the drive that had been left running to de-ice the windows. A news story on Twitter a few weeks ago, of a car being stolen with a two-year-old in the back, struck me with horror. Thankfully, the child was recovered a few streets away, unharmed. I think there will be many readers out there who have left their child in the car for a short time but hopefully this story will deter parents in the future.

2: which book turned movie speaks to you most?

For my English Literature ‘O’-Level (giving my age away here) we had to read Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. I was quite lazy at school and had recently discovered boys, so homework, and reading a book I found a bit dull, was low on my priority list. Instead, I decided to cheat and watch the film. Unbeknown to me at the time, the film was no match for the book and I struggled to answer the questions. So much so, that I failed my ‘O’-Level. I’ve never forgiven myself for this and it has been a tough lesson learned. If you want something in life, you have to make the effort. I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since.

3: What’s your best memory from school?

I didn’t start school until I was nearly 5 ½ and I was desperate to read. My mum had recently given birth to my third brother and had very little time to read us stories. If only I could work out what all the squiggles meant. My first day and my first reading lesson was incredible as things fell into place and started to make sense. I looked at all the children crying for their mums and wanted to shout, ‘Be quiet! I’m learning to read here.’ At last, the teacher unlocked the door to the world of books and I’ve had my nose in one ever since. Not a day goes by that I’m not engrossed in a story, either reading it or listening on Audible while I walk the dog or do household chores. I’ve written a blog called ‘A Lifelong Love Affair’ about this and it can be found on my website www.kerenaswan.com

4: What do you do when you have a writer’s block?

I managed to write three novels before I encountered writer’s block. My publisher, Hobeck Books, asked for a novella for a charity anthology and something to introduce readers to Blood Loss. I wrote 10,000 words of Driven intending it to be a total of 20,000 words but realised it had the potential to be a full length novel. I put it aside and wrote Here She Lies (available free via www.Hobeck.net or on my website) instead. By the time I went back to writing Driven, Covid had struck and all my time was taken up with my other work. I own and manage a care agency for children with disabilities so I was caught up with deciding which staff should be furloughed, which families were priority to receive support and numerous other health and safety considerations. I found it difficult to concentrate on writing again so just focused on research and developing character profiles until I got back into the flow.

5. What do you like to cook to unwind?

I enjoy cooking and take pleasure in feeding the family with big pots of home-made soups, casseroles, roasts and lasagnes. I’ve had a bumper crop of apples and raspberries this year so enjoy making raspberry souffles, cordial and ice-cream and trays of apple cakes. This year, the charity anthology for Hobeck Books is Cooking the Books, a collection of recipes with a dark twist, all contributed by Hobeck authors. I’ve written a piece about my apple cake and included the recipe. It’s based on my free short story Scammed that can be downloaded from my website.

For free stories here are the links again: www.hobeck.net and www.kerenaswan.com

Driven

Every mother’s worst nightmare
It was only for a couple of minutes, while dropping Noah off at nursery. Little did Melanie realise that leaving her sleeping son in the car would end up being the biggest regret of her life.

A teenage challenge turns sour
For teenager Woody, stealing cars with his new friend helps alleviate the tedium of a life of poverty and boredom. This isn’t what he wants to do with his life but for now, he feels accepted. Except on this occasion, his actions have consequences that could change his life forever. Is it too late to turn his life around?

How far would you go to save those you love?
While DI Paton is on the case of the missing child, he is quickly drawn into a web of deception that hits dangerously close to home. He soon finds himself torn in two, not knowing which way to turn: save his career or his family? Will he be able to crack the case before he himself cracks?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Driven-Paton-Investigates-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0BMGS953P

US – https://www.amazon.com/Driven-Paton-Investigates-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0BMGS953P

About Kerena Swan

We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See YouScared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.

Social Media Links

Website: https://kerenaswan.wordpress.com/   

Twitter: @kerenaswan

Facebook : @kerenaswan  · Author