Short, Sharp Interview: Mike Craven

PDB: Can you pitch YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK in 25 words or less?

Commander Sam Vimes ends up in his own past, trying to stop a revolution whilst keeping his twenty-one-year-old self safe at the same time.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

Music: Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Long Live Punk by the Anti-Nowhere League, Complete Control by The Clash

Books: Anything by Michael Connelly, Carl Hiaasen, Chris Brookmyre, Terry Pratchett or Mick Herron.

Films: Michael Mann’s Heat.

Television shows: The West Wing, Breaking Bad.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series. Extremely funny but they’re also very clever and relevant spy capers.

PDB: Can you tell me a joke?

What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

Chris Brookmyre, Mick Herron, Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe, Arthur Conan Doyle.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown in March this year. The first in the new Washington Poe series, The Puppet Show, is out in hardback next June.

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive . . .

The German rights have been sold and we’ve also been meeting with a major TV production company and hope to be making an announcement on that soon.

PDB: Anything else?

I’m 50 next year so this is a fair warning for people to start saving now I suppose . . .

Bio: Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out to the community and host events such as England’s first ever Noir at the Bar.

Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown (D. I. Avison Fluke), was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors.

mike craven