I am delighted to have been asked to take part in the DI Helen Grace, 7 books in 7 days Blog Tour. For my stop we are concentrating on the fabulous Little Boy Blue, the fifth book in the series, which is one of my personal favourites.
Below the author tells us a bits more about Little Boy Blue and I have a quick Q&A with him also so make sure to check it out.
Little Boy Blue.
So, my ambition has always been to make every Helen Grace book different and distinctive. Whilst Eeny Meeny was intense and psychologically twisted, Pop Goes the Weasel was an out and out gore fest. Whilst Dolls’ House was tense and claustrophobic, Liar Liar was epic, spectacular and pyrotechnic. Each one has to bring something new to the party, which is why with Little Boy Blue I decided to change direction again and write a novel that really opened up Helen and exposed the dark corners of her personal life. It is a novel I’m really fond of because it really deepens our understanding Helen – plus there’s an epic chase at the end too!
Q1: I’ve noticed a bit of a theme with the titles of your books. The majority of them seem to be from nursery rhymes. Was this intentional?
Yes, totally! The combination of nursery rhyme titles and childish games with dark, sinister thriller content really seems to work! It came about because the original title for Eeny Meeny was Nemesis. A terrible title, I think you’ll agree. My agent came up with Eeny Meeny, because of the awful choice the victims have to make, and things just took off from there. Obviously there are so many sinister nursery rhyme titles – we’ll be on to “I had a little nut tree” soon – hence why we have branched out into children’s games!
Q2: ‘There are some fates worse than death..’ is the opening for the book description for Little Boy Blue. What would your worst fate be?
Barring something awful happening to my nearest and dearest, I think it would be losing my mind. My brain is fizzing with ideas for new Helen Grace novels, standalone novels, film and TV projects – if I ever started losing my memory or losing my mind, I would be very tempted to head to Switzerland. Using and exploring your imagination is so wonderful and intoxicating – I’m not sure I can live without it.
Q3: Little Boy Blue is probably my favourite out of the series. Why did you decide to kill off a character that was quite paramount to Helen’s personal life?
Whilst watching Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander series, I learned one thing. Throw as many rocks at your protagonist as you can, as often as possible. You always want to make each story as difficult, challenging and traumatic as you can. I did that in Eeny Meeny – with bells on – but Little Boy Blue takes it to a whole new level. Poor Helen doesn’t have many confidants in her life, so to kill one off right at the start of LBB was a great way of wounding her. The fact she has to investigate the murder and risk exposing the dark side of her private life in the process only complicates things further. I wanted to lay her low in this novel, open her up and then see where the pieces fell. I loved writing LBB and I’m so pleased it’s one of your favourites.
My thanks to the author for answering my questions and was an honour to have been asked to take part in this. You can find out more about M J Arlidge and his brilliant books over on his Amazon page by clicking here.