Juliet B Madison, Welcome to Spotlight, thanks for being here with us tonight, you have indicated your enthusiasm about your main character in the DI Frank Lyle Mystery series a few times, can you please tell us why so much enthusiasm, what is behind it, and what makes your main character so interesting to you, or to others please? — with Juliet B Madison.
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Juliet B Madison DI Frank Lyle is the kind of man you would want to be in charge of solving your own murder. He is dedicated to justice, compassionate to victims of crime and defensive of those he loves. He also gets on well with his superiors and does not break the rules. He is based physically and emotionally on characters played by my favourite actor Robert Bathurst.
27 September 2013 at 23:03 · Unlike · 4
Shah Fazli Thanks, how did you find this character, can you please tell us how you first came across with him, how did you create him?
27 September 2013 at 23:05 · Like
Juliet B Madison I thought about the kind of cop I would like to solve the case if anyone I loved was murdered. Part of him is a romantic ideal but there is I hope some realism in him too. Physically, as I have said, he is based on an actor I like and roles he has played. He just appeared in my head one day and said "I'm here and I have stories I want to tell."
27 September 2013 at 23:08 · Edited · Unlike · 3
Shah Fazli Thank you, I know you said you like writing and reading about crime, is there any other reason why you love to create such characters, any other particular reason?
27 September 2013 at 23:10 · Like
Juliet B Madison Crime fiction is one of the most popular fiction genres and I read a lot of it as well as watching crime series on TV. Once I get an idea for a plot the characters form slowly, some get developed more than others but I think that's the same with any genre.
27 September 2013 at 23:13 · Like · 1
Shah Fazli Do you have a female main character as well in your series, if not, why not, if yes, tell us a little about her?
27 September 2013 at 23:15 · Like
Juliet B Madison Ros. Yes it does but I think of how he would act the part. Shah, yes there is an Indian female character Detective Constable Janet Lynch. She came over from India at the age of 3 months so her name was anglicised. She is ten years younger than DI Lyle. She is dedicated. She was married to a cop and widowed young so she joined the police as she wanted to do something rewarding. She does not fully follow the Hindu faith but doesn't eat meat or fish.
27 September 2013 at 23:19 · Unlike · 3
Shah Fazli Thanks, why did you name your main character DI Lyle, any reason for that, or did you think of other names as well?
27 September 2013 at 23:22 · Like · 1
Juliet B Madison I had just bought Tate & Lyle sugar at the time and Frank went with Lyle quite well.
27 September 2013 at 23:23 · Unlike · 2
Juliet B Madison Sorry about that Ros.
27 September 2013 at 23:27 · Unlike · 3
Rebecka Vigus Sounds interesting. How long have you been writing?
27 September 2013 at 23:29 · Unlike · 1
Juliet B Madison Crime fiction, only this year but I did self publish a series of racy historical romances under my own name but I try to keep them separate. I started those in 2011 but I have been writing stories and things since I was a teenager. When kindles and blogs did not exist. and you had to wait a millennium for a publisher to make a decision. Juliet B Madison is a nom de plume.
27 September 2013 at 23:32 · Edited · Unlike · 2
Shah Fazli Tell us about one crime scene please, what happens there, I will ask you to post a passage later?
27 September 2013 at 23:33 · Like
Juliet B Madison In the first novel Second Chances DI Lyle is called to a scene where a 17 year old girl has been raped and stabbed to death. He talks to the doctor and views the body. He has no idea then that this is the case that will blight his otherwise unblemished career.
27 September 2013 at 23:37 · Edited · Unlike · 1
Shah Fazli What is the most sad thing that happens to your characters in the series, do they lose family members, do they get shot?
27 September 2013 at 23:38 · Like
Juliet B Madison Oh Shah, you are asking for spoilers. DI Lyle does lose a much valued colleague and friend halfway through Second Chances. No guns involved though because I don't feel confident writing about firearms because I don't like guns and have never even seen a real one much less handled it.
27 September 2013 at 23:42 · Edited · Unlike · 1
Shah Fazli Thanks, don't give away a lot of your story please, if you don't want, can you please read a short passage from your book?
27 September 2013 at 23:44 · Like
Juliet B Madison This excerpt comes from the first chapter of the first DI Frank Lyle Mystery Second Chances.
The shrill ringing of the telephone disturbed me close to 4 am. I grunted as I rolled over and grabbed the receiver. My head was thick with sleep.
“Frank Lyle’s phone,” I muttered; my tongue cleaving to the roof of my mouth. It was a warm night and as usual the bedclothes had ended up tangled on the floor.
“Boss,” It was Detective Sergeant Sunil Desai.
“Desai, you had better have a bloody good reason for waking me at this ungodly hour,”
“Is the murder of a young girl good enough, Boss?” Desai asked.
Sunil Desai was a second generation British Indian in his mid thirties. He was a good copper’; steady and thorough and he kept both his head and his temper which I sometimes failed to do especially since my wife, Sarah, had left me for some
I put down the phone after telling Desai I would be there within the hour. I had a hasty shower and dressed. I downed a cup of lukewarm tea because boiling the kettle was too much of a chore at this ungodly hour. I left the house with my jacket over my arm, running a comb through my blonde hair and nibbling on a shortcake biscuit.
I found Desai standing with two uniforms that were guarding the crime scene. In the distance I could see the tent that had been erected to give the victim some belated privacy.
“Is Martin here yet?” I demanded, amazed at my ability to go from sleep to work in less than an hour. It was little after 5 am and already it was getting warm.
“He’s with her now, Boss,”
Dr John Martin was the pathologist we used; a balding man in his early sixties covered in military tattoos but what he did not know about common causes of death and post mortem changes was not worth knowing.
“I think we should go and have a look at her,”
We were on an overgrown canal towpath thick with nettles and weeds. The water was murky; no doubt swimming with rubble, waste, excrement and the odd discarded supermarket trolley. Desai ducked under the scene of crime tape and waited for me. I stalked through the long grass, my six foot Three inch frame cutting a fine imposing figure more than head and shoulders above most of the gathered police presence.
“What’s that smell?” I wrinkled my nose.
“She must have shit herself,”” Desai answered.
I pulled back the tent flap and Desai followed me inside.
Dr Martin was crouched down beside the inert body of a young girl that he had laid on disposable heavy duty plastic sheeting. She might have been pretty when she was alive but in death she was pale and unremarkable. Her dark hair fanned out around her head and her clothes were torn. When you had seen one half naked corpse you had seen them all, was my view but for Martin it was different because the dead relied on him to tell their stories and find out how they died.
“Are there any signs of sexual assault?” I asked.
“She’s been raped Frank; but I will know more when I get her on the slab. His semen is flooding out of her, it was one of the first things I noticed.”
He looked up and I knew he anticipated my next question even before I asked it because it was a question I was obliged to ask at every crime scene where there was a human body involved.
“I know what you’re going to ask Frank. The answer is that she has been dead between four and six hours.” He pinched the skin on the victim’s forearm, “She has a waxy appearance and her skin is cool to the touch,” he indicated her neck, “Early rigor is setting in here, her jaw is beginning to stiffen.”
“Did she have any ID on her?”
“I haven’t checked her pockets yet,”
“May I?” Desai asked politely as he donned a pair of latex gloves.
“Certainly Sergeant Desai,” Martin said, “I have taken all the swabs and samples that I need for now.”
Desai went through her trouser pockets. Her trousers had been found folded across her abdomen and carefully removed with plastic gloves before Dr Martin commenced his examination. Desai found half a packet of Polo mints, some loose change and a small packet of tissues. He felt something hard and flat in the back pocket which he withdrew. It was a Student identity card.
“Her name was Rachael Lewis, Boss and she was seventeen.”
27 September 2013 at 23:45 · Unlike · 2
Shah Fazli Thank you,you may want to tell us why you changed you own name here, is that because of your crime series, or is it something personal you don't want to talk about?
27 September 2013 at 23:50 · Like
Juliet B Madison I wanted to keep them separate Shah. People who have written sexy stuff are often not taken seriously if they try a serious genre. In the phonetic alphabet the police use J is the only letter represented by a female name. There is a romance author called Juliet Madison so I added the B which does not stand for anything. Guess I was thinking Of J B Fletcher from the TV series Murder, She Wrote but I might have got into trouble if I called myself Jessica Fletcher lol.
27 September 2013 at 23:58 · Edited · Unlike · 2
Shah Fazli Thanks, I got that, what is the difference between your characters with the characters you have read in the other crime fictions please, anything you have realised?
27 September 2013 at 23:59 · Like
Juliet B Madison Yes a lot of them have maverick cops who break the rules and don't get on with their superiors because of their less than orthodox methods. Characters like Ian Rankin's DI Rebus. I wanted DI Lyle to get on well with his superiors so that what happens to him in Second Chances is more of a shock. He gets results but does things by the book. Guess I wanted to show maverick cop creators it is possible to get results this way. Also a lot of have alcohol problems and broken marriages. DI Lyle is divorced to start with but he does not have alcochol or substance abuse problems. just an addiction to folk singer Joan Baez's music & Nescafe Gold blend instant coffee.
28 September 2013 at 00:04 · Edited · Unlike · 2
Shah Fazli Thanks, Juliet for your time, I will leave it to others now, if they have any more questions, hopefully see you in the future soon, it was a pleasure for me.
28 September 2013 at 00:05 · Like
Juliet B Madison Thanks Shah, it was useful and hopefully more people will get the books now.
28 September 2013 at 00:06 · Like
Tom Winton Juliet, how long have you been writing? And what mad you decide that you wanted to.
28 September 2013 at 00:07 · Like
Juliet B Madison Since I was in my teens. It is the only thing I have ever been really good at.
Do you have to take any courses to be a writer? Or is just really liking books enough!
Like · · Share · 28 September 2013 at 00:59
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Juliet B Madison Some people take creative writing courses but I believe that it comes from within and is part of one's genetic makeup. Some people can't do it no matter how hard they try. See various 1 star reviews on Amazon, evident they can't compose a grocery list without a kid's picture ABC book.