# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Rhiannon D’Averc. I’m an author based in the UK, near London, and I currently write a crime series called Serial Investigations. I’ve also written two standalone books: Mira’s War, with City Limits Publishing, and a narrative non-fiction book called Boy Under Water – Dennis Nilsen: The Story of a Serial Killer.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I’m obviously very much inspired by true crime! I draw inspiration from the things I see around me – such as the political climate or personal interactions – and I use real places in all of my books. Most of the killers in Serial Investigations are based on real-life killers, but I often add a twist or a new ending that will keep the reader on their toes.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Everything and anything! I’m not just a writer, but also a photographer, embroidery artist, bujo lover… when I look at the world, I see it through the eyes of a creative. With that lens, anything can be inspiring.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t actually struggle with writer’s block at all. In other types of art, I can find a creative block often, and in that case I just try to push through or explore it in a different way that can get my creativity flowing. But I believe I don’t have writer’s block because I outline the whole plot before starting to work, and because I have the set habit of sitting down to write for hours every day, so the routine and the forward planning takes care of it.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Continuity is the big one for me. I’m quite a stickler for this when reading other books, too. This is why I really focus on trying hard to avoid continuity errors in my own books. But I have really bad short term memory, so I’m always scrolling up and down trying to check things! Even so, in the final draft edit after so many rounds of checks, I often spot something small, like the protagonist suddenly has an item that I never explained them getting hold of earlier, that I have to fix.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Look at your niche on Amazon, or on other booksellers, and see what the bestsellers are doing. There’s a kind of visual language in covers which helps the reader to know what kind of book to expect. The same with titles – your choices should fit in amongst the kind of titles that do well in your niche, as this gives the reader the hint that your book will be right for them.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I often take them very badly at first. I get really upset if someone makes a criticism of something that seems unfair or just isn’t true (an example – someone once said in a review that they didn’t like the third person narration, but I was writing in first person, so I was annoyed that they would say something factually incorrect). After a time I can come back to them with the emotion removed, analyse them and see if there is something I can use to improve my books in future. I am always looking for opportunities to improve.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve become more streamlined and worked out an exact system that works for me. I also balance myself now with daily wordcount goals that I can comfortably reach, so I don’t overstrain myself any particular day – which can work out badly for the day after!
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
I think that the answer to all three is when the characters begin to take over and do things for themselves. Sometimes I might have written in the plot outline that they’ll have a small disagreement and carry on, but when I get there, they just start really arguing about it! It’s the best because you realise it’s going to make the plot better and more true to the characters; the worst because you had a carefully constructed plot which now needs to be changed; and the most surprising because it’s like the characters become real and start writing the story for themselves.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Towards both. I think that, at least when I write my own books, I am the archetypal reader that I’m aiming towards. If I like to read it, I know someone else will. If I write the perfect scene, I think I’m more happy with that than anything else. But it’s also very nice to know that the readers are enjoying it too!
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
A huge role. Try writing a scene just after having a big, world-ending fight with someone you love and see what I mean! But you can also try to foster the right emotions to write a scene that is sad, happy, romantic, or so on. If you don’t feel the emotion when writing it, your readers won’t either.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
I don’t know if it’s a trick, but: read. Watch films and TV. Listen to music. Look at art. All not just from your own culture, but from others. The more you consume, the more you can fuel your creativity – think of it like firewood. The more firewood you gather, the bigger fire you can create.
# What are your plans for future books?
I am currently (and perhaps always!) working on the Serial Investigations series, with book ten coming out in early 2022. After that I have the next ten books planned out as well! I release three or four in that series a year, so it’s going to probably be 2025 at the latest when I get through my current plans. I also have a number of projects waiting to find a home with a publisher, and somewhere along the line I’m working on a series of short stories to be published as a collection as well. I’m always keeping busy!
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have a black belt in karate – no one tends to believe this when I tell them at first, probably because I have fibromyalgia and I’m not too active anymore! It was something I pursued with dedication when I was a teenager. I’ve also worked in motorsports as both a volunteer and later as a member of staff at a circuit in the UK, so I have some connections in that world which would also be surprising to people who only know me from my writing. And finally, I’m also a fashion photographer and Chief Editor and founder of a fashion magazine (London Runway). Did I mention that I like to keep busy?