Owen Mullen Interview

Owen Mullen is a Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist. His latest novel And So It Began is a Sunday Times Crime Club ⭐Star Pick.

What inspired you to write?
As a boy I read Somerset Maugham... I imagined myself on a hill in the Mediterranean writing a great novel... I do write on a hill overlooking the Med!

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
After those early dreams music came into my life and all thoughts of writing were forgotten for decades... When my wife and I started spending a lot of time at our villa in Crete I simply announced one day that I was going to write a book.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I always have the beginning and ending... then it's just that pesky bit in the middle... that's where plotting comes in.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
My wife Christine works very closely with me... she has a wonderful imagination.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
By far the most difficult part for me was to secure a publishing deal... the rejections are hard to deal with. The other difficulty was launching myself on social media... not a comfort zone for me.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I absolutely love to see the completed manuscript printed out.

Did you experience any personal transformation after the book was published?
Yes definitely... I think it's impossible not to be once your head is above the parapet!

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Life... the grass still needs cutting!

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
If it's helpful I'm very comfortable with it... If it's negative I simply move on.

Are you working on another book? How do you spend your time now-days?
I am currently working on a stand alone psychological thriller.

Have you received any accolades for your books?
I was long-listed for the McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year alongside Ian Rankin and Val McDermid among others.

Do you have any author appearances coming up and/or are you doing any books giveaways or contests?
I will be appearing at the wonderful Aye Write Book Festival in Glasgow Scotland.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Knickerbocker Glories in Nardini's in Largs with my sister and parents.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Two really... 'Don't let the basta### get you down' and Ian Rankin's advice to struggling writers 'Be lucky'.

What is your favorite show on TV?
Homeland was great,  The Sopranos,  West Wing and I really enjoyed Borgen and Peaky Blinders.

Favorite movie?
As Good As It Gets and Heat.

Favorite book?
Sherlock Holmes.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Stevie Wonder... an exceptional talent.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
Some days I wouldn't mind being able to write!

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I'm a great cook and I can yodel Yes you read that right!

Describe yourself in 3 words!
I asked my wife she said 'witty, funny and generous'... Who am I to disagree with a lady!