Interview with Sean Campbell

Author of My Hands Are Tied

Sean is the accidental author of the DCI Morton series. He's now written close to a million published words and he's still going.

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Why did you become an author?
  • A bet. I'm a stubborn fool so when someone said I couldn't do it, I had to prove them wrong. That was eight years and seven books ago now.
Why did you write My Hands Are Tied?
  • I wanted to look at what happens in tiny, closed communities, and how they can pop up even in busy, densely populated cities like London. If you take vulnerable, lonely, and disenfranchised people, put them on an isolated farm, introduce a charismatic, manipulative villain, then add a policeman's son and three murder attempts into the mix, you get an elaborate, twisty story with a lot of interesting characters.
Which authors do you admire and why?
  • Writing is difficult so I admire anyone who finishes a book. But I particularly admire those who then keep writing, even when success is nowhere to be seen.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
  • London, baby. Except for Terra Farm which obviously doesn't exist. I love London, and I like to show off parts of it I know and love.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  • Write, write some more, and then edit. Be bold. Try something new. Find your people.
What's your writing process?
  • It's unromantic but my approach is very much butt-in-chair, all day, most days. Keeping office hours keeps me working when I'd love to swan off and do something else. In non-pandemic times, I love to do site visits, meet experts, eavesdrop on random snippets of conversation, and just watch the world go by.
Which character in the Morotn series has had the greatest impact on readers?
  • The one I keep getting emails about is Tina from Cleaver Square. Shan't say more. Spoilers and all that.
Who would play Morton on TV?
  • Jeremy Irons would be epic.
How have readers responded to My Hands Are Tied?
  • It's not out (yet) but I've sent out a hundred-odd review copies and I've had a handful of lovely emails already from people that made the mistake of starting it late at night and weren't able to stop until they were finished.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • Next up is The Grifter, the ultimate story of revenge. I'm co-authoring this one with the delightful Ali which has been lovely so far.
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A last-minute wedding invite drags DCI Morton and his wife to the grounds of Terra Farm to watch his son marry the fiancée they’ve never met.

Nerves about meeting the bride prove to be the least of their worries when they’re awoken by gunshots and one of the guests – the bride’s ex – is found dead.

When Morton’s son becomes the prime suspect, the choice is simple: sit back and let another detective work to imprison his son, or work outside the rules to clear the family name.

As if he had any choice.