When asked who is the typical reader of my marine mystery crime novels I liken it to trying to catch the wind. Firstly, my crime novels will appeal to lovers of crime fiction. So far so good but crime fiction is such a broad genre that what one person will love in a crime novel another will hate.
Crime fiction ranges from the cozy to the hard-boiled, from contemporary to historical, from private eye to police procedural and all sorts in between. And where do my novels slot into this? Well they are certainly not hard-boiled and gruesome - I can't read that sort of book myself let alone write it. OK, so there are gory bits in them, dead bodies and autopsies, but then they are crime novels. But this certainly doesn't dominate the novels. I am not out to shock readers but to entertain them so no gratuitous violence and definitely no torture or anything along those lines. There is a crime/or crimes to solve, a puzzle or two to fathom, a killer or killers to be brought to justice amid the trials and tribulations of my hero and the jealousies, ambitions, problems, quirks and demands of the characters.
My crime thriller novels are classed as fast-paced action tales with heroes on a quest, and my marine mystery crime series featuring my detective hero, Inspector Andy Horton, are classed both in America and the UK as police procedurals, although I certainly didn't set out to write this type of novel and still privately class them as detective novels.
So having defined what my crime novels are not and what they are - entertaining, police procedurals, fast paced with a quest or crimes to solve - what makes them different? Or in sales and marketing parlance what is their unique selling point (USP).
I like to think (and have been told by readers) that their setting, which is against the backdrop of the sea, in my case the Solent, is what makes them different, along with the heroes: Inspector Andy Horton in the series and Adam Greene and Alex Albury in the thrillers, In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill. They would therefore appeal, and do appeal, to readers who enjoy a sense of place, wherever that might be: abroad, sea, country, mountains or moors.
And so finally who reads them?
I know that they are popular with library readers in the UK and the USA as well as in the Commonwealth, the majority of whom would probably be classed as 50 + and both men and women. But they are also popular with the 35 + busy mothers who try and grab some time to read at night in bed, or when soaking in the bath. They are read on holiday by both men and women aged 35 + and I have been told also make good commuter and airport reading.
That doesn't mean to say that there aren't others who would enjoy my novels and do read them, I know they are read in families from teenagers to grandparents, which is particularly gratifying, but if I had to spend my money on attracting new readers where would it be? I'll leave that to the publisher, meanwhile I continue to write.
Causes Pauline Rowson Supports
Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund, http://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/text.asp?PageID=2 Motor Neurone's Disease Association...