Meet the Author Monday: Helen Golden

Helen Golden

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Helen Golden, author of Spruced Up For Murder.

About Helen Golden:

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my stepdaughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my stepson, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end, I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far, I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes.

About Spruced Up For Murder

Death at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!

Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.

Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…

Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him. And then they’ll see who’ll look like a fool. Because it won’t be Lady Beatrice, will it?

A cozy British Whodunnit with a hint of humour from new author Helen Golden.

Author Interview with Helen Golden:

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  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! When you’re up against a deadline and working all the hours, then it can become draining and emotionally exhausting, but once you’ve typed The End, then it’s exhilarating to have created something unique that (hopefully) others will enjoy. The editing process can be laborious but when you hold that first printed copy of your book in your hand, then it’s a real high and it all seems worth it.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

I’m easily distracted (not a good thing for an author!) and the biggest distraction by far for me are our dogs. Alfie (a long-haired chihuahua) and Margot (a chorkie) spend a lot of time with me when I write, and it’s easy to glance over at them looking cute asleep and feel the need to get up and snuggle them (they are much more cuddly when they’re sleepy). On the other extreme, when they suddenly start barking and/or want to be let out, I have to leave what I’m doing to comply. Either way, I’m disturbed, and it takes me a while to get back into what I was doing. Of course, I wouldn’t be without them!

  1. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Readers have genre expectations and it’s a very brave author who ignores that. So in terms of giving your readers what they want, you need to be mindful of that. For example — cozies are clean, swearing free and not too graphic. If you ignore this then your readers are going to be disappointed, will probably leave you a bad review and will not want to read any more of your books. That not good for them or you. However, you still have a chance to be original with your settings, your characters, and your theme. But, at the end of the day, the reason I write is to make my readers happy by giving them what they want.

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Each book in my series A Right Royal Cozy Investigation can be read as a standalone as there are no spoilers for the previous books in the series. However, the same characters of Lady Beatrice, her dog Daisy, her friends Perry and Simon, and Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam, are featured throughout the series along with a number of minor characters. So you can read each book and enjoy solving the murder as well as see your favourite character(s) develop during the series. 

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Go for it! I’m in my late fifties now and just publishing my first novel. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but life got in the way and a career in business became my focus. Once you have successfully established yourself, making a move away from that seems so daunting that it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone than to take that leap into the unknown. So, although I enjoyed my business life, I wish I had been brave enough to take that leap and start this a long time ago.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

On my editor – she simply makes my books better.

  1. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

I’m a super-planner. I spend weeks and weeks doing overview outlines, background settings, character profiles, detailed outlines (by chapter, then by scene) and I have a 8,000 to 10,000 document for each book called ‘All about the Murder’ where I have a detailed murder timeline, suspect lists, chart of what everyone was doing before, during and after the murder, a list of everyone’s alibis (if they have one), details of the clues and where they will appear, and a section called ‘The Murder from the Murderer’s Point of View’ where I write why the murder was committed, how it was done and what happened after, as if I’m the murderer. That section alone is often in excess of 6,000 words but it helps me pick up any inconsistencies or plot holes. By the time I have finished planning, the actual writing of the book is the fun part!

  1. Where can readers purchase your books?

Spruced Up For Murder is available on Amazon and is FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. Book 2 — For Richer, For Deader — is released on 16 November and Book 3 — Not Mushroom For Death — is released on 14 December. Both are available for preorder in Amazon now.

  1. What are you reading now?

The Curious Case of The Templeton-Swifts by Benedict Brown. It’s the sixth book in the Lord Edgington Investigates series which is a delightful series featuring 75-year-old former superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Lord Edgington, and his teenage grandson Chrissy.  The books are full of twists and laughs, which is the perfect combination for me. I was lucky enough to meet Ben at a recent author’s conference. He was lovely and gave me some great advice about starting out.

  1. What is the best part of your day?

I love the start of the day best. I go through my list of things to do, and I have the whole day ahead of me to get it completed. Of course, it never goes to plan, and I rarely complete the day’s list, but like a goldfish I wake up the next day with the same enthusiasm to get things done!   

To learn more about Helen Golden, here’s where you can find her:

Facebook: helengoldenauthor
Instagram: helengolden_author
TikTok: @helengoldenauthor

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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