Veronica Nash Murder Mystery Novel Series

In this edition of The Scribe, we interviewed an accomplished author who goes by the name A.J. Matthews. A.J. has published 15 novels, but is mainly focused on the murder mystery novel series following the character Veronica Nash. Just a heads up for those looking to get started in the series, there is some graphic romance!

How do you approach creating characters and developing their relationships in your stories?

All characters have a voice. The best thing an author can do is to write and ‘listen’ to what they say. Most times a character will surprise you as hidden sides to their personality emerge during the writing process. Quite often a minor character will turn out to be much more interesting than the one you have in mind for the primary role.

Can you share any memorable reviews or interactions you’ve had regarding your books?

One of my favorite reviews for the first Veronica Nash murder-mystery novel A Dangerous Quality came from a favorite author, which gave me a real squee! moment. She wrote… An absolutely gorgeous book – and more to the point, it’s FUN. Beautifully written, entertaining, and fun. ~ M J Logue, author of the Red Horse series of historical novels.

Could you share some tips for aspiring writers who are interested in exploring the murder-mystery genre?

The old adage ‘butt on chair, fingers on keyboard’ is the best advice I can give. Most authors I know are terrible procrastinators, but really, nothing will get done without actually making time to write.

It doesn’t have to be a set routine, or a target of X number of words written per day. Just write something. Another tip would be to never edit as you go. It kills momentum and that leads to frustration which leads to abandoning the work.

How do you balance writing novels with other aspects of your life?

I’m lucky as I write full time, and can pretty much tailor my day around my writing.

Can you describe your typical writing process, from idea generation to final manuscript?

Much of what I write is based on historical incidents, particularly my Veronica Nash murder-mystery series set in the 1920s. Ideas spring from something I read or a photo or other image from the

time. Once the manuscript is done—or at least reaches the point when I say ‘Enough! Out the door with you!’ — I send it to my publisher for approval. My editor and me then go through the manuscript, correct any errors, and then it goes to the chief editor for the final okay before publishing.

Are there any particular authors or books that have influenced your writing style or approach?

There are many authors I admire, but murder-mystery authors Deborah Crombie and Lindsey Davis, and historical novelist M J Logue are my favorites.

Can you share any details about your current or upcoming projects that your readers can look forward to?

My current work-in-progress is the ninth Veronica Nash novel, set during the British General Strike of 1926. It was a strange time in the country, with all kinds of upsets, actions and reactions from government, public and unions alike. My sleuths have to negotiate the maze of unrest to find a killer and unmask a conspiracy.

We thank A.J. Matthews for reaching out! To grab the first Veronica Nash book, click the link here!

Interview and article by Jeffrey Darah