Jacqueline Ward
Interviews with Writers

Gripping Crime Fiction Thriller | Q&A Jacqueline Ward

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I’m delighted to be chatting with Jacqueline Ward today about the second novel in the DS Jan Pearce Crime Series, Playlist for a Paper Angel.  Find out her inspiration for this story, her research and what’s in the future for the series.

KINDLE SCOUT AWARD WINNER Jacqueline Ward is the author of #1 bestseller Random Acts of Unkindness and its sequel Playlist for a Paper Angel, both crime novels in the DS Jan Pearce series published by Kindle Press, selected for publication in 2016.

Jacqueline WardShe is also the author of SmartYellowTM, in the pen name of J A Christy, and this novel has been nominated for the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016.

Jacqueline has also written several short stories, both standalone and published in anthologies. She also writes screenplays.

She has worked with victims of domestic violence and families of missing people and has received an MBE for services to vulnerable people.

Jacqueline was born in Oldham in the North West of England and has travelled the world with her career in high hazard safety. After training as a psychologist, Jacqueline undertook a doctorate that looked at how storytelling impacts on the way that people construct their identity.

Jacqueline still lives in Oldham with her partner and their dog, near her three grown-up children.

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Hi Jacqueline,

Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.

What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?

I was inspired to write Playlist for a Paper Angel through reading stories about Amelia Dyer and baby farming. I had heard the term ‘farmed out’ many times and wondered what it really meant. When I dug deeper the meaning was chilling. Victorian mothers were forced by circumstances to give up their babies and I wanted to bring that concept into modern day. I was also inspired by a story in a newspaper about a small child found wandering the streets at 2am in the morning. How could that happen? That’s where the central concept came from.


What scene did you enjoy writing the most?

I enjoyed writing the scene where Jan and Damien are at her house. In the first book, Jan was alone in her home and this is the first time she lets anyone into her world. I felt genuinely pleased for Jan as she has had so much sorrow. But we will have to wait and see if they get together or not.


… and the hardest?

The hardest scene to write was when Elise heard Lisa’s phone and Jan and Lorraine start to realise what has happened and how she has been left alone. It’s always difficult to write about children. It’s a balance between not wanting to write it, but it’s part of the story and how the story presents itself to me. I try very hard to address things that happen and how they are dealt with without being gratuitous. I know that some authors avoid some subjects, but I think that it is possible to write about difficult issues with sensitivity and give them a voice.


So Playlist for a Paper Angel tackles a social barrier Jacqueline.  

How have you incorporated it into the story? 

Playlist for a Paper Angel has mothering as an underlying theme. One of the characters is a teenage single parent and the story deals with what happened to her and the choices she made, not always willingly. In turn, this puts the spotlight on what a good mother is and what a bad mother is. My previous book, Random Acts of Unkindness, dealt with missing people and as people have different views about the issues in the book there was a debate about it. I expect the same with this book.


Did you do any research?  What resources did you use? 

I do a lot of research for all my books. I always visit the locations to get a feel for them. For Playlist for a Paper Angel I did research into how women progress from working in bars to prostitution and interviewed some women who had this experience. I also spoke to someone from the police force to check procedural details. I like to talk to people about their experiences, but for Playlist I read a lot of books about Amelia Dyer and other baby farmers. I also listened to a lot of playlists about love and loss, and a looked into what music means in relationship, by both interviewing people and by reading academic studies.


Playlist for a Paper Angel is part of a series, what is in the future Jacqueline?

This book is book #2 of the DS Jan Pearce series. There will be more books in the series, I’ve started to write the third and a prequel is nearly finished where readers will find out how Jan came to be in the North West of England.


Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?

I would love to see Suranne Jones cast as DS Jan Pearce. Mike would definitely be Martin Freeman. We can all dream can’t we?


Do you have a most creative time of day?

I love to write early in the morning or late at night. During the day I tend to write notes and do planning mainly at lunchtime but the writing gets done at home with a cup of coffee and the fire on!


Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?

I always get my best ideas when I’m travelling. I don’t drive, so I travel a lot on public transport. I think it is something to do with watching the world and being distracted, I can have an idea half form and then I have to ring my answerphone to get it down before I forget.


Finally Jacqueline, what are you currently working on?

Apart from the series, my current WIP is a crime thriller standalone on the subject of revenge – with a twist! I have really enjoyed writing it as I have interviewed people about what the worst thing their ex could have done to betray them, and what they consider is cheating in a relationship. I’m at the exciting stage where I send it out to beta readers now.

Wishing you success with all your creative projects Jacqueline.

Thank you for being my guest today.

Jacqueline Ward

One child lost, one child found – what’s the connection?
DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.

Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.

Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

Playlist for a Paper Angel is the second in the DS Jan Pearce series of novels and is the sequel to Random Acts of Unkindness.

This gripping crime fiction thriller is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Val McDermid and Rachel Abbott.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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