Here at Manchester Libraries we’re working as hard as ever (but from our kitchen tables!) to keep our wonderful book loving borrowers happy and fulfilled. We know how popular author sessions are so we’ve racked our brains about how we can maintain these virtually.

Welcome to the next edition of ‘Library Locals’. An occasional chat with our favourite Manchester based authors about their writing process, which books they have turned to during lockdown and what they love about Manchester!

Today we caught up with the the multi talented Manchester based crime writer Caroline England.

Hi Caroline, it’s great to catch up with you. How has Lockdown been for you?

Apart from having a houseful, I have to confess that not a lot has changed for me writing-wise. I’m usually home-alone during the day, so suddenly having four other people making demands (how very dare they!) can be disruptive, but I’m still wearing joggers and a hoodie and scribbling away at my desk. At this time of the year I usually venture outside for the Newcastle Noir, CrimeFest and Theakston Old Peculiar’s crime writing festivals, so I have missed appearing on panels, chatting to readers, seeing writer friends and stalking celebs! See the pics below, how many can you name?

How has Greater Manchester influenced your writing?

Although I was born over the border (shh, don’t tell anyone it’s Yorkshire!) I came here for university and stayed, so I’m very much an adopted Mancunian. My Caroline England psychological thrillers Beneath the Skin, My Husband’s Lies and Betray Her are all set in Manchester. I’m also writing a legal drama series under the pen name Caro Land. My feisty protagonist solicitor is called Natalie Bach and her fictional offices are in Didsbury. The first book called Convictions was out in January. The follow up Confessions is just hot off the press!

What are you reading during lockdown….any recommendations?

I have lost my reading mojo a little, but I’ve just started T M Logan’s latest thriller The Catch, which had indeed caught me!

What can our readers look forward to from you?

My Husband’s Lies audio book will be out on the 23rd June. I’m really looking forward to listening and finding out how the narrator deals with the different characters.

Betray Her has been out in ebook for a while but the UK standard paperback will be launched on the 16th July! Here’s a quote by the author Sheryl Browne to give you a flavour of the story:

“Betray Her is exquisitely written. I identified with the narrator so profoundly through her grief at one point, I literally stopped breathing. Alternating between present and past, this is a cleverly woven story, full of passion and intrigue, sexual tension and desperate longing. Two girls, poles apart in their early upbringing, are drawn together at boarding school to form an unlikely friendship that endures into adulthood. But as we examine the friendship, going back to the musty halls of the boarding school, forward into the girls’ teenage years, on to the present, it’s clear that the friendship is not all that it seems. There are secrets under the surface, secrets that shaped who the women now are. There is jealousy and manipulation, co-dependency to a degree. Their relationship is tumultuous and, with a man in the mix who is married to one friend, but has a history with the other, there is a tinderbox of emotion simply waiting for a spark to ignite it, bringing us the final explosive conclusion. I was fascinated by this book, in awe of the writing. Mesmerising storytelling. A taut, tantalising thriller and one I would highly recommend.”

What do libraries mean to you?

A lot! There are books and other arts in libraries, of course – always a great thing – but there’s also a brilliant community spirit. They are open to everyone and are free! My local librarians have been wonderfully supportive of me personally too.

Any pearls of lockdown wisdom to share with our borrowers?

I can’t imagine how tough lockdown has been for so many people on so many levels, and it’s really hard to keep positive at times, but it is a wonderful thing to inhale fresh air and hear the birds sing.

What’s your preference – eBook or paperback?

I’m very much a paperback person. I enjoy turning an actual page and I love seeing my own physical books on a shelf. However, when they invent an all-singing-all-dancing kindle that can prepare a nifty gin and tonic, I might be tempted to invest in one!

Most importantly! Lockdown hair! Are you growing, colouring or cropping?

Colouring (but of course!) and (badly) trimming my own fringe as usual.

Thanks so much Caroline for taking the time to be interviewed and supporting Manchester Libraries.

If you are yet to discover Caroline’s novels you are in for a treat! You can click and collect them from your local library, or download a digital copy here.