GUEST POST for Audio Killed The Book Mark

British, Crime, Author, S C Cunningham, Siobhan Cunningham, Thriller Author, Writer, Psychological Thriller Author

AudioKilledTheBookMark, Guest Post with Author S C Cunningham  

Working in Crime, my writing routine and favourite book


S C Cunningham

Three questions that people regularly ask are; what’s it like working in crime, what’s my writing routine and what’s my favourite book? Well, here you go.

Crime Work

When not writing thrillers I’m a Police Crime Investigator.  Over the years I’ve worked within the Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intel Analyst, and Investigations Hub.

The work is a mix of thought provoking, exhausting, soul lifting and heart breaking emotions. Some images never leave you. The wave of crime that Officers protect us all from 24/7 is frightening, but when a victim is given justice it’s heart-warming, worth every second.

Those brave, hardworking men and women (fathers, mothers, sons, daughters) who walk daily into unknown dangerous situations deserve a medal.

I sometimes wish the public knew more of the struggle behind the scenes that they face. But, I’ve signed the Official Secrets Act so am (quite rightly) unable to talk about cases I’ve worked on, so I’ll shut up now. ☺  

Strangely I’ve found that the two jobs, writing and investigating, help each other. They have a synchronicity, a similar thought process but with a reverse order of events.

  • Writing crime – creates the characters, builds the storyline, ends with a crime scene and police sirens.
  • Investigating crime – starts with sirens, assesses a crime scene, unravels the storyline and detects the characters.

My crime work teaches me to be open to hearing both sides of a situation, not everyone arrested is guilty, it’s my job to find and prove the truth. Having an open exploring mind is a good trait when writing.

Writing Routine.

Writing is probably not good for my health. I eat rubbish quick-fix food, get back-ache from sitting too much and become mushroom-like reclusive.

I tend to back out of the world and everything that’s going on around me for days before, emptying my over-zealous mind, to fill it again with another world – that of my current storyline.

On a writing day, I take the dogs for a beach walk, strolling via the back roads to avoid conversations that take me out of the zone. Am sponge-like and easily drawn into chatting with folk; local villagers and dog walkers are a lovely friendly bunch and I can’t resist saying ‘hello’.

On the beach I start the process of thinking about scenes for the day’s writing. My work tends to have complicated spaghetti storylines which I need to be on top of – tough on an old dumb-blonde bird like me. ☺

I get home, try to do a few minutes on a rowing machine, then set the scene of my writing room; smelly candles/incense, calming music, good lighting, cosy warmth, nibbley easy-to-pick-at computer food and plenty of drinks.

The dogs, exhausted from their walk, sleep at my feet. It’s nice to have another heart beat in the room, writing can be lonely.

I sit at the computer for between 5 to 8 hours, depending how well it’s going, and then log off with a celebratory glass of vino or a cheeky gin and tonic.

Favourite Book.

That’s easy. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Series. I adore Reacher, such a wonderful character.

If I was a bloke I’d love to live his simple lifestyle. No baggage, traveling with just a toothbrush and credit card, great intelligence, people skills and the strength of an ox – awesome!

I can’t quite forgive Child for selling out to Tom Cruise – Mr Cruise is lovely am sure, but he’s no Jack Reacher.

I also love the works of Agatha Christie, Martina Cole, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Harlan Coben, John Grisham,  Nora Roberts, Karin Slaughter, David Baldacci.

Thank you for joining us.

Siobhan x

S C Cunningham


The David Trilogy – The Penance List, Unfinished Business, For My Sins (in progress).

The Fallen Angel Series – The Deal, Karma (in progress).


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