10 Questions With Steve Cavanagh

Good evening folks, and I’m delighted to welcome Crime writer Steve Cavanagh to my blog.

Steve is a practicing lawyer in Belfast and is the author of The Defence, The Liar, The Plea and Thirteen, all featuring con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn. Here, Steve discusses his road to publication, how he created Eddie Flynn and his favourite music during the drafting process.

Over to you, Steve.

1) As a child, did you have a favourite author?

Several. I loved Spike Milligan, Road Dahl, Tolkien, and Conan Doyle.

2) Did you enjoy English at school?

No. I hated school. Occasionally, I would enjoy something that we read, like Steinbeck, but for the most part I hated everything about it.

3) How did you find your experience at university studying Law?
I don’t remember too much about it. It was also at this age that I found the pub. I remember nights out, getting a grant cheque and I have a vague memory of an Equity and Trusts lecture in which I learned that the law recognises the possible existence of precocious toddlers and fertile octogenarians. That’s about it.

4) What was your route to publication? How long did it take you to get your agent?

Probably about six to nine months to find an agent. It was a real slog. I amassed at least forty rejections (even some rejections from agents who have appeared on your blog). I was trying the middle and small sized agencies. Eventually I tried some of the larger UK agencies. I remember on a Monday night receiving a particularly harsh rejection which said the book would never be published and that I should write something else. On the Wednesday I signed with one of the best literary agencies in the world. I am very lucky. Once I had worked on the book with the agent it went smoothly – there were multiple auctions for publications rights.

5) Do you find balancing your writing and your day job difficult?

Yes. It’s very difficult and I don’t think I balance it particularly well. In the end, I don’t sleep much and my health is beginning to suffer.

6) How do you feel when your first draft of your manuscript goes to your editor?

Nervous as all hell.

7) How did you go about creating Eddie Flynn as a character?

The character evolved over a period of months – but once I decided he was a lawyer who used to be a con artist the character simply leapt to life.

8) When writing, do you need music or silence? Do you have a favourite band you listen to?

I change this up regularly. I do listen to music sometimes, especially when I’m doing a first draft. I have a playlist on Spotify. The Black Keys are my go to for getting me in that zone. Their early stuff like Stack Shot Billy, Ten Cent Pistol and The Flame are great mood enhancers.

9) Do you have a favourite all time book?

No, there are just too many that I love and have re-read.

10) Do you like Rod Stewart and do you have a favourite song of his?

I have no view on Mr Stewart or his musical repartee.

Thanks for your time, Steve.

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