Tell us about Jill Garvin—where she comes from, what she looks like, what moves her.
She’s college educated and born in North London. She is slim (has to pass for a boy in two of my books) mid-thirties, blonde and attractive. She thought of herself as an ordinary wife and mother until she found out that her married life was a lie and even her memories couldn’t be trusted. She became very depressed then angry and has stayed angry.
What is her essential truth?
She had to give up her preconceptions and basically reinvent herself. Her truth is that she won’t be duped again.
Can you give us a quick synopsis of the book?
Jill’s memories are slowly returning, often as part of dreams. She also suffers from occasional hallucinations. Her partner Creel is there to support her but she knows she has to combat this on her own terms. We discover that someone out there knows the memories are going to return and badly wants this not to happen.
In the first book she is still recovering from the trauma of losing her husband and daughter in a car wreck, made worse because she believes it was her fault. She is living with her sister and her niece and nephew and is joined by their step-niece Sarah who becomes a major part of the family and the stories. Jill has to deal with a murderous stalker in the first book and a murder in the second. All these problems serve to strength her self-belief and her will to survive.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process? I guess I’m asking, do you do a lot of plotting before you write your novels?
I often have only the vaguest idea where I want to go with a story when I sit down to write. I spend a good deal of time thinking about the next event when I have written something and more or less invite my characters to audition for a part in the action.
How long did it take you to write The Memory Plot?
About three months.
When I won a prize in a competition at age eleven and then, I suppose when I always got top marks at school for essays.
Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Coben. At the moment I am reading ‘Below Zero’ by C.J. Box.
Where can we find you online?
My website is http://www.dwcarver.com
Where can readers buy your books?
They seem to be in a lot of places but the main one is Amazon and the Musa home site.
Back in the day I was a mental health community counsellor and most of my books have aspects that come from those years. I also wrote self-help books for my employers and field tested them with clients – a great apprenticeship for novel writing.
More about D. W. Carver (liberated from his website):
I have been writing virtually since I learnt to read. The ‘Jill Garvin’ books described on my opening page draw heavily on my experiences as a mental health community counsellor working in West Essex and East London, England in the eighties and nineties. I specialized in OCD. My organization dealt mainly with ‘the resistant wounded’ – people who, for one reason or another were not receiving support or treatment from the UK National Health Service. This has given me a slightly different outlook on mental health and a belief that there are vast numbers of people out there who would benefit from a small amount of skilled, practical help if only they could find it.
I recall one client whose persistence while I ran a weekly support group was daunting. She didn’t want to sit down in the group but stood behind my chair and asked questions every time there was a moment’s silence and sometimes when there wasn’t. I didn’t want to be rude as I was aware how hard it could be for some people to enter a group situation, so I gave her very quick, very short answers about an exposure programme for excessive washing. A few weeks later she returned to the group and declared to those present that I had cured her when everyone else for years had failed. Of course, it wasn’t true, she had done it herself, simply by committing to a recovery attempt that she had chosen to undertake when all previous treatment had been imposed upon her.
An anecdote – people who know me will tell you that is very much my style of ‘treatment’: that and laughing over the vagaries of life that present sometimes as insurmountable problems when in reality they are not.
D.W. Carver’s Website:
D.W. Carver’s books:
Tomorrow, an excerpt from The Memory Plot