‘Follow the characters, follow each thread as it arises – edit later.’  She adds: ‘If you don’t like a character, you can kill ‘em off.’

With over 14 million novels sold, and several adapted for TV, Martina found a winning formula with her first novel DANGEROUS LADY. Back in 1992 when DANGEROUS LADY was published, Martina innovated the crime genre by writing from the woman’s perspective. She showed her readers the family life of her criminals.

When asked the inevitable question writers are always asked: ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ Martina replied: ‘When Stephen King was asked that at a conference I was at in the States, he replied, “I have the brain of a 4 year-old boy … on my desk!”‘ We all laugh at the joke. But her point is sound: to write is to play.

Martina writes through the night, no emails to cause distraction, entering the minds of serial killers and rapists

Martina is hot on research. ‘I did a lot of research into sociopaths and psychopaths. I actually felt really sorry for them. They know from a young age – as young as four or five – that they are unable to feel like other people. They have no empathy. So they imitate. Imagine how lonely that must be, knowing you aren’t like other people.’

For an author of the sort of crime fiction Martina writes, sympathising with the criminal is essential. She shows the other side of the murderer. As one fan notes, ‘I’m always so shocked at how you move so swiftly from a killer performing heinous acts of violence, to domestic scenes of him cuddling his new baby.’