Farah Damji

Martina Cole – the crime writer who “tells it like it really is” – was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London’s gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina’s novels stand at over eight million copies. Here she speaks to theRecord about her work for the women’s special issue.

How does your environment affect you?

I think that your environment always affects an author’s writing, its what you know.

How do you research your female protagonists?

I research in lots of ways. I often look through books on psychology etc.  Mostly I just create the women, flaws and all!!


What’s your interest in women in the Criminal Justice System?

I do as much as I can for women’s plight, from one parent families – women in prison to women in refuges – it’s amazing how often these things go hand in hand.

What do you think are the first steps to reform?

I think the first step to reform is WANTING to change your life for the better.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a film at the moment. I’m finishing my new book, called Payback. A story of revenge. I’ve also been putting the finishing touches to Dangerous Lady, which has been adapted for the stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

How do you relate to your female protagonists?

I think I understand my women because I come from a similar background, of course that will influence my work.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What normally gets me out of bed in the morning is work.  It’s a hectic life these days but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What makes you smile?

My children and my grandchildren make me smile, corny but true!

Taken from Issue 17

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