About Heleyne Hammersley
Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.
Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool.
How does your writing approach differ between psychological suspense thriller and crime?
One of the main differences between writing psychological suspense and crime is the amount of research. I find that, now I’m writing a crime series, I need to try to keep the police procedures as accurate as possible. I also research postmortem techniques and I’ve spent quite a bit of time finding out about how dead bodies decompose in different environments.
For both of my psychological suspense novels much of the plot and the setting was based on my own travel experiences.
Do you still write poetry?
I haven’t written poetry for many years. I used to write as a teenager but it was all angst-ridden nonsense really. I feel most comfortable writing longer works now.
Who is DI Kate Fletcher?
Kate is a British police detective from South Yorkshire. She is dedicated to her career and is extremely good at her job. She was shaped by a difficult childhood during a time of social unrest in the UK. After a divorce and a promotion she has returned to her old ‘stomping ground’ after living in the north of England for many years. She inspires loyalty in her team and she has a strong sense of justice.
What things have you learned in order to write police procedurals?
So much! UK police ranks, UK police procedures, forensics, the symptoms of a range of medical conditions, how CCTV and ANPR work, how to dispose of a dead body (and how not to)…the list is endless.
In the third book of the Kate Fletcher series Bad Seed, who is the first victim?
Melissa Buckley. She’s in her twenties and works for a train company. Melissa and her husband have been trying for a baby for some time and her death may be linked to their struggles with IVF.
Who are the members of Kate’s team working the case?
Other than Kate, there’s DC Dan Hollis who’s having some family issues of his own in Bad Seed. He’s Kate’s trusted ‘side kick’ but she’s starting to doubt him a little in this book. DC Sam Cooper is a computer geek and Kate’s go-to team member for all things technology related. She ends up in serious danger towards the end of the novel. DC Matt Barrett is the ‘straight arrow’ of the team. He’s extremely reliable and methodical. The final team member is DS Steve O’Connor who has links with the seedier side of Doncaster life. They’re all supervised by DCI Bill Raymond who’s working his final cases before retirement in Bad Seed.
What do you enjoy most about writing crime fiction?
I love the plotting stage – figuring out what will and what won’t work and how a real police team would deal with my fictional crimes. I also quite enjoy the gorier elements of the research – some of the science stuff is fascinating.
Who are your favorite authors?
Val McDermid, Karin Slaughter, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Patricia Cornwell….how many am I allowed?
What are you working on next?
I’m currently writing the fourth in the Kate Fletcher series. After that…who knows?