Accuracy, accuracy and accuracy are keys to success

STEPHEN Booth prides himself on getting details right.

Wednesday, 26th September 2007, 8:04 am
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2007, 10:42 am

The stories and characters in his books are straight from his imagination but the description of police procedures, time and place are thoroughly researched.

"One of the most important aspects is the location research, said Stephen, a meticulous sub-editor during his newspaper days.

"When I'm describing a place, I want it to be a real place, so I take a lot of trouble finding the right locations for the scenes in my books.

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He has also spent a lot of time with Derbyshire police and freely acknowledges their help in his work.

"I have spent time with Derbyshire police and they come to me with ideas now. I like to know what a policeman might do or think in a certain situation.

"I asked one detective what would be the first thing on his mind when he got to a murder scene

"How much overtime is this going to make me," was his response.

"It's good to get that side of police work, the routine of the job is different and probably not what people might think."

His attention to detail and descriptive abilities are also noticed by his fans and admirers.

"In one scene I wrote about a murder and I could feel the blood trickling down my wrists," said Stephen. "It made me tingle all over.

"I read the description to an audience at a Canadian University. It went very quiet and the first question I was asked is how many murderers did I interview to be able to get inside someone's emotions like that.

"Actually I didn't interview any murderers. The readers' imagination is the most powerful tool a writer has. Often I suggest things and readers fill in the gaps and then think that I described a gory murder scene when actually they have imagined the details from what I suggested.

"Women are better at this than men and the majority of my readers are women."