Neil Holden is a Detective Senior Sergeant with New Zealand Police. With a long career as an investigator, focusing on sexual crimes, he relaxes with writing fiction and bike riding, or writing about biking. With three adult children, he and his wife are home-alone in Porirua, with British Bulldog ‘Bert’ and Cook Strait views.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
I struggled with romantic, sentimental novels, anything with too much emotion. After raising children, I’ve softened to that side and enjoy an inner turmoil in the human spirit
Do you try more to be original, or to deliver to readers what they want?
I have never thought anyone could deliver something all readers want – the spectrum is too vast. I try to be original to write what I like, thinking there are people like me.
How do you select the names of your characters?
The first book has a collections of names from my past and friends. More recently I walk the dog in our local cemetery and respectfully jot down interesting names I see.
What was the first book that made you cry?
Cannot recall, something family based no doubt.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Pay more attention to the stories my grandparents would tell. That generation, and our parents, had extraordinary lives.
Have you Googled yourself? Did you find out anything interesting?
Only work or sport stuff – nothing interesting.
Are there any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? Can you tell us one? Or give us any hints?
I’ve put codes or subtle personality traits that certain people will recognise. Other aspects may become obvious to those with sporting knowledge or from law enforcement.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Why?
Yes, as am still a serving police member, but decided against this as may retire soon and I’d like to be a writer longer than I’m to go as a policeman.
How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
Definitely. I now try to not over complicate a story, paint a simple but informative picture which explains enough without bogging down.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two others in various stages, both with a sporting thread. A big(ish) collection of short stories.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Keeping a personality and traits consistent is a work-on. I practice a bit in short stories – another work-on.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Not yet had the privilege, although acknowledge everyone has an opinion.