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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Star interview: Clare Mackintosh

Star interview: Clare Mackintosh

Her instinct for observation and investigation inform former police officer Clare Mackintosh’s bestselling psychological thrillers, she tells Tina Jackson

Psychological thriller author Clare Mackintosh bears out the creative writing student’s maxim that you should write what you know. Clare is the author of grip-lit blockbuster I Let You Go and now its compelling follow-up I See You. Until recently, she was a regular WM columnist whose Excuse Me Officer column drew, like her fiction, on the knowledge gleaned during her former career as a police inspector. Clare’s thrillers offer a standout sense of authenticity that has reaped dividends: I Let You Go has sold more than half a million copies, been translated into almost thirty languages, been a Sunday Times bestseller, and was the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015.

Clare’s twelve-year police career included time on CID and as a public order commander. ‘I did always want to be a writer, but I don’t think I considered it was something I could do as an actual job,’ she says. ‘When I was in the police, I was one of the few police officers who enjoyed paperwork – I actually enjoyed taking victim and witness statements. Doing that, I felt as if we were storytellers – getting the accounts from victims and putting them into a file was a way of uncovering the truth. I didn’t realise it at the time, but victim statements and witness statements were a way into storytelling. Later, I saw that was what I was doing.’

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About Writing Magazine

Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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