TAUK Publishing is pleased to finally see Thirty Pieces of Silver published by Ruth Parry. Read her interview as she chatted to us about her new book and her writing.
How would you describe your book?
It’s 1949 post-war Britain, and Colonel Longley-Walsh lies sprawled at the foot of his staircase. A dagger protrudes from his chest, and thirty pieces of silver are by his side. Newly appointed Constable Septimus Plant stumbles upon the scene, igniting a macabre curiosity about the case. But Septimus has a secret of his own-a brutal mother and a timid father who took his own life. Yet, from an early age, Septimus understood there is power within his silence, complementing his ability to observe and listen—great attributes of any budding detective. Septimus studies the art of body language, improving his powers of deduction and combining that with his dogged determination, he sets his wits against a network of perilous suspects. No one is above suspicion!
Who is your reader?
Thirty Pieces of Silver is a real whodunit aimed at the whole family. A fireside peruse or holiday read, perhaps set your wits against the family members because we’re all amateur sleuths at heart.
Tell us about the story of your story.
There’s a lot of me in Constable Septimus Plant. I enjoy nothing better than a good murder that doesn’t rely on modern-day policing or forensic science. I decided to blend my love of literature with my fascination for murder.
Have you always wanted to write?
Writing, for me, is a passion and an escape. I don’t go a day without scribbling something down. It’s a world of my making, and when I hold the pencil, anything can happen. Spending decades working in social care has given me a real insight into everyday people and lifestyles. That, alongside travel and my need for adventure, drives me on.
Where do your ideas come from?
I’m the youngest of six children, and storytelling was part of my everyday life, alongside practical jokes and pranks. I began people-watching to interpret conversations without language. Later, I would develop nonverbal communication skills such as facial expressions, gestures, posture and tone of voice and apply them during writing.
How long did it take to write?
Septimus Plant took on a life of his own. So, I wrote three full volumes because this character wouldn’t leave me alone—constantly chattering to my psyche. The volumes took about twelve months in total for the first draft. Of course, they needed a rewrite and editing.
Are you writing anything else?
The Sacrificial Lamb and Riddle Me will follow Thirty Pieces of Silver. This stand-alone tale is in the Septimus Plant series.
Do you enjoy writing?
I can’t imagine a day when I’m not planning or plotting. I’m a conversationalist and always have a story to share.
Do you plan out your story?
There needs to be structure when developing a whodunit—a formula, if you like. And once you’ve cracked it, things become straightforward. Although I must confess, I love a bit of free-writing as I draft the back story—expect the unexpected.
Any lessons learned?
Read aloud to hear the flow of the narrative. But the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is don’t be too hard on yourself. Enjoy the journey because life is a story full of twists and turns, and when you’re gone, all that remains is the anecdotes.
If it were on TV, who would you cast?
Constable Septimus Plant- Barney Walsh
Ethel Causters-Jody Comer
Sergeant Bob Horsham-Stephen Graham
Inspector Granville Oddpenny-Danny DeVito
Superintendent Richard Vaast-Daniel Craig
Ms Swincoe-Samantha Womack
Why did you choose TAUK Publishing?
Writing is a very personal journey. Putting your thoughts and feelings out there and choosing the right publisher to guide and support your development makes the journey simpler to navigate. Trust between the author and publisher is essential, while constructive criticism helps the author grow. It’s never too late to pen that story.
Any advice for a new author?
Mistakes are all part of the learning process. Practice makes perfect. And finally, believe in your storyline and characters and others will too.
Now available on Amazon and select bookshops.