New York Times, USA Today and Amazon No.1 bestselling author, Caroline Mitchell, originated from Ireland and now lives with her family in Sudbrooke. A former police detective constable, Caroline writes full time, with over 1.8 million books sold worldwide.
From twisty psychological thrillers to dark crime series with gritty storylines, her books are infused with personal experiences from her time with the police. “I worked in Essex Police for 9 years, starting in uniform and working in various roles until becoming a detective constable” Caroline explains. “I really did enjoy it, but I had 4 kids at home, and the hours were so long. As a detective you could start at 8am and not finish until 1am, so I wasn’t home much and knew I couldn’t keep going on like that.”
Caroline loved writing crime by drawing on her own experiences, so decided to start writing whilst still working with the police. As her writing career started to take flight with obtaining a book deal and an agent, balancing both resulted in her feeling burnt out, leaving her with a big choice to make; leave the police and take the leap of faith to write full time, or give up writing completely. “It was a big decision, but also the best thing I ever did” she recalls.
After 10 years of writing, 20 books published and just under 2 million books sold, Caroline continues to be grateful to her readers for their support. “When I started, I thought if I’d sell a few thousand books I’d do well!” Caroline chuckles. “I didn’t expect this at all but my readers have been brilliant, and I speak to them regularly on social media and emails, it’s so lovely to hear from them.”
In 2018 Caroline officially became a New York Best Seller for her book Truth and Lies, which has also been optioned for TV; this is when an author agrees to let a producer/production company/screenwriter/director use their material to pitch a TV series. In the meantime, no one else can try and adapt the book for the time period agreed.
One of her biggest career highlights was meeting George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones author, at an awards ceremony in New York. “I thought I was dreaming because I come from a very small village in Ireland where not a lot happens, and now I’m sitting next to George R. R. Martin!” Caroline fondly recalls.
“There have been lots of lovely moments but there have been hard times as well; you must work hard and long hours and it’s not just about becoming a successful author, it is keeping that and retaining it, so you have to consistently publish, or it does fall away. I’ve been publishing two books a year pretty much every year which is a lot. It means I will be writing anywhere from the hairdressers to on the train – you’ve got to put the hours in.”
Her next book released in November, The Islanders, is a stand-alone thriller based just off the coast of Cork in Ireland. “I loved the characters so much; I had the biggest hangover from finishing that book because I couldn’t get the characters out of my head! It’s funny because you get so invested in them, and when you start writing it is like a blind date – you don’t know the characters, everyone’s quiet and awkward and no one is speaking, then after a while they start talking and surprising you and twists appear and you get to know them, so you go back and rewrite it all.”
Caroline hopes to set her books in Lincoln from now on due to the diversity of landscapes and the history it holds. “There’s just so much I can put into my books. I did a ghost walk tour recently and it’s fascinating to learn the history and discover new things about Lincoln.”
To find out more about Caroline and her books, including The Islanders, visit caroline-writes.com