Acclaimed author Kate Ellis chatted to us ahead of her event as part of Crossing the Tees

Ahead of Death at the Dig Murder Mystery with Kate Ellis, part of Crossing the Tees literary festival 2016, we chatted to Kate to find out a little more about her latest book, and what inspired her to start writing.

Can you tell us what your favourite book was as a child?

When I was small I used to love the Enid Blyton Mystery stories (Fatty and the Five Findouters!) then, when I became a teenager, I graduated onto Agatha Christie and the historical novels of Jean Plaidy and Anya Seton.

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Although I think my taste for crime and mystery originally came from my mother. She was never without a detective story on her bedside table.

Can you tell us what your favourite book is currently?

My all time favourite crime novel is The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (which satisfies my love for history as well as detection). Recently I’ve read A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson and I was blown away by the brilliance of her writing.

Please tell us what your latest book is about.

My latest Wesley Peterson mystery, THE HOUSE OF EYES, begins with the disappearance of an aspiring model. She works at Eyecliffe Castle, once home to the wealthy D’Arles family, now converted into a luxury hotel, and when her father’s body is found in the castle grounds, the police fear his daughter has met a similar fate.

Meanwhile archaeologist Neil Watson, recently returned from a thrilling Sicilian excavation, makes a disturbing discovery near Eyecliffe Castle. And when the castle becomes the scene of another violent death, Wesley suspects a connection between the recent crimes, the disappearance of two young women back in the 1950s and a mysterious Sicilian ruin called the House of Eyes – a place feared by superstitious locals.

What advice would you give to anybody who is wanting to pursue a career in writing?

Read a lot so you can learn how established authors structure their stories. Then keep on writing and be determined to make your work as good as it possibly can be. Don’t be put off by rejection, just carry on.

Why do you think Crossing the Tees Book Festival is important and why should people visit?

It’s the perfect opportunity to meet authors and hear about books. Reading takes you into new worlds – it’s one of the great pleasures of life!

Join Kate on Thursday 16 June from 7pm – 9pm for Death at the Dig Murder Mystery with Kate Ellis, tickets cost £5.

Travel back to the 1920s and the Golden Age of crime with Death at the Dig, a fiendish archaeological murder mystery hosted by Kate Ellis. Kate is the best-selling author of two crime series featuring DI Joe Plantaganet and DS Wesley Peterson and will give a short talk about the golden age of crime fiction during the evening.

*Please note – this event will take place at Middlesbrough Central Library

Book here