Interview with T.G. Campbell, Author of Bow Street Society – The Case of The Toxic Tonic

Hello,

Today’s interview is with T.G. Campbell, author of Bow Street Society – The Case of the Toxic Tonic.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

I write under T.G. Campbell and I live in the United Kingdom.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My newest book is The Case of the Toxic Tonic and it’s predominantly crime fiction with historical fiction elements.
3) What is the book about?
When the Bow Street Society is called upon to assist the Women’s International Maybrick Association, it’s assumed the commission will be a short-lived one. Yet, a visit to the Walmsley Hotel in London’s prestigious west end only serves to deepen the Society’s involvement. In an establishment that offers exquisite surroundings, comfortable suites, and death, the Bow Street Society must work alongside Scotland Yard to expose a cold-blooded murderer. Meanwhile, two inspectors secretly work to solve the mystery of not only Miss Rebecca Trent’s past but the creation of the Society itself…
The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives operating in Victorian London. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field derived from their usual occupation. Members are assigned to cases by the Society’s clerk, Miss Trent, based upon these skills and fields of knowledge. This ensures the Society may work on the behalf of clients regardless of their social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an artist to a doctor, from a solicitor to a journalist, the Bow Street Society’s aim is to provide justice by all and for all.
The Case of The Toxic Tonic is the fourth instalment in the Bow Street Society Mystery series of novels.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I think I was at work when I decided to use a hotel for the mystery’s setting. I work part-time as a receptionist. I like to ponder new ideas and iron out plot kinks etc. on rare, quiet days to keep my mind occupied.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took me approximately 4 months to plan the plot and research the historical context. The actual writing took me approximately 6 months. Following this, it was beta read for a month and then edited before finally being released on the 31st August 2019.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I’m keen to make the historical elements of my fiction as accurate as possible. This often includes the scientific knowledge and expertise which the fictional police surgeon possesses in my Bow Street Society books. In The Case of the Toxic Tonic, the surgeon (Dr Percy Weeks) and a member of the Bow Street Society, Dr Lynette Locke, must determine the victim’s cause of death. They suspect aconite poisoning but the scientific tests for detecting poisons—which would’ve been available to them at the time—were unreliable when trying to identify this substance. Thus, Dr Weeks is forced to resort to the only test available to him; a taste test. This surprising ‘technique’ for detecting aconite poisoning was one I discovered while doing research into the real-life scientific techniques of the time, and something I was unaware of prior.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
Website:
Rather than an author website, I have one dedicated to the Bow Street Society: www.bowstreetsociety.com It’s where readers may find out more about the Society’s members, sign-up to the free, monthly newsletter, the Gaslight Gazette, and read blurbs and reader reviews for the first 3 books in the series (The Case of the Curious Client, The Case of the Lonesome Lushington, and The Case of the Spectral Shot. Details of the Bow Street Society Casebook collections, The Case of the Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories and The Case of the Peculiar Portrait & Other Stories may also be found there.
Blogs:
There’s also two blogs on the website. The first is my monthly blog that covers a wide range of topics from the Victorian origins of the word “copper” to my reviews of crime-based television dramas. The second is called The Writers’ Wing where I interview crime fiction, thriller fiction, suspense fiction, horror fiction, and true crime nonfiction writers within the setting of an imaginary prison wing. Inspired by the long-running BBC radio show, Desert Island Discs, my blog asks each guest (or ‘inmate’ the same three questions: Who is your cellmate and why? Which four books would you choose to pass the time with and why? And Which of your literary creations would you choose to visit you and why? Guests are featured for free on my blog and I’m always on the look-out for more to interview.
Book video:
Last year, I wrote, produced and directed a live action book trailer for the first Bow Street Society Mystery, The Case of the Curious Client. It also explains what the Bow Street Society is and how it’s perceived by the police.
The Case of the Curious Client book trailer: https://youtu.be/UVvXKqSFRZo
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
The two most important tips I could give my fellow authors are: always have your work edited and proofread by a professional editor, and never be afraid to be different.
Susan Soares is an Editor at SJS Editorial Services who has edited every Bow Street Society book and short story to date. She’s thorough, great value for money, and highly professional. I’d recommend her services to any of my fellow authors.
SJS Editorial Services: www.facebook.com/SJSEditorialServices
Heather Curtis designed the Bow Street Society logo that has featured on all Bow Street Society books and short story collections to date.
Freelance artist Peter Spells has created the illustrations which have been featured in the centre of the covers on all Bow Street Society books and short story collections to date.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I enjoy reading crime fiction, historical nonfiction, and true crime nonfiction books. I’m certainly open to discovering new authors but I don’t usually review authors’ works on either of my blogs. If any crime fiction, thriller fiction, suspense fiction, horror fiction, or true crime nonfiction authors would like to be featured on my Writers’ Wing blog they may either complete the form linked on the Writers’ Wing page (see previous answer) or email me at info@bowstreetsociety.com.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! My favourite series at the moment is the William Quest books by John Bainbridge. My favourite nonfiction book currently is The Queen’s London, printed in 1896. Depicting photographs and paintings of London from this time, it helps me to describe real-life places when I feature them in my writing.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I currently have no pets. I did have a canary called ‘Tweeps’ but he sadly passed away last year.
Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
Yes, I own an Amazon Kindle Fire. I find reading on the Kindle a great deal easier than a paper book. This is due to the fact I have a degenerative eye condition. I therefore tend to read books in an enlarged, white font on a black background. This allows me to read comfortably without straining my eyes. I have reference books which are in paper form but I often have to use a magnifying glass in addition to my reading glasses in order to see the print in these. Font size is something few publishers consider when formatting a manuscript for release but it’s one of the most important elements in my opinion.
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