About Tania Carver

Q & A

So who’s Tania Carver?

Well, the first thing you should know, is that Tania Carver doesn’t actually exist. Let me explain. Tania Carver is actually the pseudonym of husband and wife writing team Martyn and Linda Waites.

Why a pseudonym?

Well…it happened like this. Martyn was having coffee with his old editor one day. And his old editor said the one thing he was lacking on his list was ‘a real high concept female thriller writer. Like a British Karin Slaughter or Tess Gerristsen. That kind of writer.’ And without thinking, Martyn replied, ‘I can do that.’ The editor didn’t believe him (to put it mildly) so asked him what it would be about.

Now, this is the bit that shows you just how far from normality crime writers—or those married to crime writers—are. If you read something horrible in the paper, your usual response is one of horror. Not so if you’re a crime writer. Or the wife of one. Your usual response is ‘there’s a novel in that’. As was the case when a few nights prior to this meeting, Linda had found an article an article in the paper about a serial killer targeting pregnant women and cutting out their unborn babies. ‘That’s disgusting. But there’s a novel in that…’

‘So what would this novel be about?’ the editor asked. ‘A serial killer who targets pregnant women and cuts out their unborn children.’ Now instead of being appalled, as most people would, he responded with, ‘That’s exactly what I’m looking for.’ Which also shows that crime fiction editors are a long way from normality too. ‘Give me a synopsis and fifty pages.’

So Martyn went off to write a synopsis and fifty pages. But soon found something out. Despite what he had told the editor, he couldn’t do it. Or at least he couldn’t do it without a lot of help. Linda—the one who had been most pregnant out of the two of them—was called in to help. Then give more help. Then more. Then… eventually the novel was co-written by the pair of them. And Tania Carver was born.

So who are Martyn and Linda Waites, then?

Martyn is an ex-actor turned writer with nine previous novels under his own name. You can read about them here. He’s still continuing as such. Linda is a critically acclaimed theatre costume designer.

Do they always appear at events together?

Not usually. Martyn does most of the public appearances because, as Linda says, ‘Once a luvvie always a luvvie’. As befits a designer, she prefers to be backstage rather than onstage.

Why Colchester?

Why not? It’s a large town in the north of Essex, almost in Suffolk. It was once the capital of Britain but was destroyed by Boudica and the Iceni in revolt against the Romans. It was a settlement for Roman soldiers and now houses a garrison. There are ghosts of crimes and the echoes of ghosts of crimes down the centuries. It feels like a modern, well-connected, rational city occupying the same space as an old, isolated, superstitious town. It’s surrounded by open landscape as bleak as it is beautiful. Things might be happening there. Things that might never be discovered. There has never been a crime series set there. And it’s where Martyn and Linda met.

So what next for Tania Carver?

Tania Carver is now an internationally bestselling author. The first novel, The Surrogate, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The third novel, Cage of Bones, has just been released in the UK. The fourth one, Choked, will be released in 2012.

And there’s plenty more where they came from . . .