Eva Jordan in conversation with @nholten @OneMoreChapter

Although we’ve never met in person, I’ve been an online friend of Noelle’s for over 5 years now, and like many bloggers and writers, I’ve found her to be both extremely supportive and encouraging to all those linked with the book world. Today we get to know her a little better…

  • Welcome Noelle, thanks for chatting to me. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – I understand you used to be a probation officer?

Hi Eva! Thanks so much. A little about myself – hmmm. By day I am the PR & Social Media Manager at a leading digital publisher in the UK – Bookouture and by night I write the DC Maggie Jamieson series for Harper Collins imprint, One More Chapter and read/review on my blog: CrimeBookJunkie. Yes, I was a Senior Probation Officer for nearly 18 years. I managed two teams of officers and one of the teams was based in a police station. I left in 2017 when my dream of working for a publisher came true!

  • Did you always want to be a writer, and if so what writers inspired you?

The short answer to that is no! I always wanted to work in the criminal justice field. I used to write morbid, teenage poetry in my youth and a few short stories in high school but I never believed I could actually write a novel myself. I was an avid reader from a young age and my favourite genre has always been true crime/crime fiction. My interest in writing came when I was about 44/45 yrs. old and every crime author I read (there’s been a lot) are the ones who inspired me. I was in awe of their talent to pull a reader into a story and I wanted to see if I could do the same. So far, so good! My series isn’t for everyone, but that’s the great thing about books – some people will love them, others won’t but there are plenty of great crime writers out there to choose from!

  • How does writing compare to probation?

The only murders I now have to deal with are those I create myself on the page! Probation can be a very stressful and emotional draining job. Even though I left in 2017, I still consider myself a probation officer – albeit an ex one! It is challenging and the rewards can be few. I admire all my colleagues who still go in and do their very best to ensure the public are protected. I loved my time in Probation but once politics became involved and split us into Public/Private sectors – I knew my time was limited. What I love about writing is I can still be ‘involved’ in probation and other criminal justice fields – without the stress.

  • And finally, for anyone thinking of starting a blog, or becoming a writer, what advice would you offer?

For starting a blog, I’d say – just go for it! Be yourself, read and review what you love and make it your own. There are no rules!

In terms of writing, I would say read as many books in the genre you want to write about as you can. See how your favourite authors keep you turning those pages. I would also suggest that if you seek any advice, by all means take it on board, but find what works for you. If you don’t have a thick skin… develop one! You need to be able to accept constructive criticism, rejections as well as negative reviews. And finally, persevere! Not everyone gets a book deal the first time around. You may have to keep at it for years – but if it is something you are serious about, think of it like a job – you need to keep doing it and hopefully you’ll find that agent or publisher who sees your potential. There’s always the self publishing route too – but I’d suggest that you make sure you invest the time and money into making your self publishing journey as successful as possible – like Mark Dawson, L.J Ross or M.A. Comley to name a few!  

To read my review of Dead Inside click here

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
Blog FB page:https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
Instagram:@crimebookjunkie (https://www.instagram.com/crimebookjunkie/
Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk  
Bookbub Author page: https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB
Newsletter:https://bit.ly/3glVZlO

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2Y1kCM1

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/37P4t0C

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2Y1lQ9Y

Harper Collins Website: http://bit.ly/2OAnBYJ

Buy Links – Dead Inside 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PtcKk7 

Apple: https://apple.co/2SBRpqt 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2DZwZ2M 

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/T17w30nCWp3 

Audiobook: https://adbl.co/2qiQVJR 

Eva Jordan reviews Dead Inside by @nholten40 published by @OneMoreChapter

“The crash at the bottom of the stairs woke me instantly… I didn’t want to move. I couldn’t, I was paralysed with fear. I had always accepted the verbal abuse that was thrown at me. I could take that. It was the physical abuse that filled me with shame.”

Dead Inside is the debut novel of award winning blogger, and writer, Noelle Holten, and the first in her DC Maggie Jamieson Police Procedural series. Written in the third person (except the prologue), the central theme of this story is domestic abuse, a subject matter the writer handles with great sensitivity and professionalism. The cast of characters is large, so it’s important to keep up with who’s who; otherwise you run the risk of becoming a little confused. However, the chapters are short and snappy, making it easy to read as well as adding to the pace of the storyline.

Some reviewers have said there is one main protagonist in this killer thriller, however, I’d argue there are two. The first is Lucy Sherwood who, based on Noelle’s own career experience, is a probation officer. In her professional life, Lucy comes across as a tough, no nonsense individual: a given for a probation officer dealing with offenders who have abused their partners, which is also rather ironic when juxtaposed to Lucy’s private life. The second protagonist in this story is DC Maggie Jamieson who, like Lucy, is a strong individual, the right balance of firm but fair, and it’s her job to solve the recent murder of a man connected to a domestic abuse case.

However, when a second body turns up, followed by a third, and the discovery of a connection between the said individuals in that all three men had either been previously charged, or linked to separate domestic abuse cases, it quickly becomes apparent there’s a serial killer on the loose.

With the clock ticking will DC Maggie Jamieson and her team find their suspect? I suggest you buy the book and find out!

A fab debut and a great start to a new series.

For buying links, or if you’d like to know a little more about Noelle, click here where you can read my brilliant Q&A with her, including a fascinating insight into her former career as a Senior Probation Officer, as well as a wealth of knowledge and advice on blogging and writing… which I strongly urge you to take a look at.

Wild Thing!

Recent events and restrictions have, as I’m sure they have for many others, affected my ability to do ‘normal’ things of late and stick to a routine. Some of my family are working from home, while others are furloughed, which means the house is often awash with noise. This means the sleeping and working patterns of some family members have changed, and while some of us are still getting up at the crack of dawn, others are rising later, which in turn means there is always someone pottering about, often at all hours of the day and night. The cat was most disgruntled by this intrusion to his routine at first, mainly because, except for the tap, tap, tapping of my computer keyboard, he generally likes the peace and quiet of our house during weekdays, when I usually work and he sleeps.

Simba cute

Now our house is full of people and noise––all day every day!

Simba grumpy

However, like a lot of us, the cat has adapted. Unfortunately for me though, as someone who needs the peace and quiet to write, this has meant these remarkable circumstances have left me barren, suffering from writer’s block. I’m not particularly worried about it though, mainly because I have a couple of other important distractions keeping me busy at the mo. I’m reasonably confident that the desire to put pen to paper will return when it’s meant to. Plus, I’ve also come to realise, as is often the case, sometimes our loss is our gain, and that by taking more walks to clear my head, I in turn have become closer to nature again. I’ve always loved walking, and as my other half is a keen amateur photographer, we’ve made the most of our extended time together to explore some of the breathtakingly beautiful local wildlife areas close by.

Sometimes during our walks we’ve been lucky enough to spot certain animals or birds, often when I was feeling particularly worried or confused––emotions I’m sure we can all relate to, especially of late! However, once home again, refreshed and revived from my walk, I’ve found myself sitting in front of my computer, not to write, but to research, usually about the said seen animal or bird, including their spiritual meaning. I’m pleased to say my findings, while fascinating, have at times brought me great comfort, some of which I’d like to now share with you, and, some of which may even creep into my future writing projects!

Fox

Fox – the fox reveals itself during great and unpredictable change, and compels you to turn up your own senses.

Cuckoo

Cuckoo – the cuckoo provides the message to listen with your heart as well as your head, and also to learn ways to unfold the fate coming your way.

Owl

Owl – known for it’s sharp vision and keen observation, the owl totem means you can see beyond the masks that other people wear.

Kite

Kite – spotting a kite is a symbolic message that is directing you to release the pain you are experiencing and instead go with the flow of things. She will help you make decisions, illuminate what is black and white, along with any polarities you may be experiencing, while enhancing clarity. Seeing a kite brings about truths and wisdom while keeping the watery emotions in balance.

Deer – a deer emphasizes softness, kindness and gentleness, even during the toughest and most challenging times of your life, reminding you that you can assert yourself without violence, and should always lead by example.