The Dockland Murders

Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! Blog Tour, I have indie author Alan Place in the house, to talk about his new book, Pat Canella – The Dockland Murders.

Pat Canella Book Cover

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Middlesborough, North Yorkshire and moved to Bristol in 1963. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. I went to college, then joined the Royal Air Force. After leaving when my six year contract was finished, I joined the Bristol museum service for fourteen years before being laid off. I am married with five children, love cats and dogs. After a recent injury, I now find myself almost housebound.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.

My book Pat Canella (the dockland murders) tells the story of a young female PI, trying to prove herself in a male world, in her first cold case, she uncovers a cop killer.The story is set in a mid-US city, in the early 1940′s.

Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

I enjoyed the feeling of mixing Dark noir with a supernatural theme, I wanted to do a story about a female PI, that was different from the usual, Nancy Drew image, hence Patti kicks ass and swears, when she feels it is called for.

Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?

It took about five months to do, mainly because I put it down from June to October 2011, as I felt it was not going right. As I explain in the foreword.

Q. What aspect of writing the book did you find particularly challenging?

It is challenging to have to remember the weaponry used, and how people’s reactions were back then.

Q. Did you seek the support of a writer’s group or class?

The only help I had was from my former editor Valerie Byron, other than that I was going on the feedback from friends on & Facebook.

Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

I find it surprising that I can write many genres so easily, and that all my work is accepted and well liked. Also, I found it surprising how easy it is for me to write a follow up story.

Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

I was totally blown away by the vast amount of people who have loved the story, I guess I am just not used to being read as far away as Australia and Alaska.

Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I just hope the audience gets enjoyment from reading my work and hopefully look forward to the next book.

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

For now, I have a Medieval series called “From Mordhiem to Marienberg”, the “Chronicles” series now in story 20. Also I have a tie-in series called “Fight or flight.” And I have just started a Sci-Fi series “Towers of Enlightenment.” I find having many genres to write, helps in some  way to combat “Writer’s block.”

Q. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

Being disabled, this is my work. I wouldn’t say it is a career yet, as I am not making money from it, I do it because I like to write and I like to giv enjoyment to my friends that love to read my stories.

Q. What tips would you offer to anyone writing fiction for the first time?

If you wish to be known, be yourself. For my sake, I would rather have a few fans that like my work, rather than masses that like my work as an imitation of someone else. If you read “Holding Richmond,” you will see it is a vampire story, yet as far from Twilight as I can go.

Q. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

I had to do some research for the weapons used, but the area involved is totally fictional. The lake mentioned in the double shooting is taken from a lake near Lac La Biche, in Alberta, Canada.

Q. How did you come up with your title?

I was working on a series called “The P A Canella chase”, the main character being an elderly writer, who is a recluse. And thought “How about a series, where the name Pat Canella leads people to a misconception.” I have a thing for word games as P A Canella is an anagram of my name.

Q. What books have influenced you the most?

For this work, I cannot say as I have not read many of this type of story. For my other works, the horror stories are most definitely influenced by Poe, Le Fanu and the late Victorian writers.

Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?

“Ghosts of your past,” as the title suggests has a lot more ghostly action, gun fights and some romance for Patti.  As she gains respect from her colleagues, as my fans know there are some nice twists to come as well.

Q. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like to include?

No, I think we covered all the bases. I would just like to thank three very special ladies. Ruth Slattery, Hazel Jackson and Jane Houlding who have been my rock, mostly back in October 2011, when in the middle of a really bad time. I almost gave up.

And that’s all the time we have.  You can find out more about Alan and his work via the links below:

Alan Place Author Photo

Book Links:




Author links:



Arshad Ahsanuddin

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