Debut author Lisa Cutts takes inspiration from fellow police colleague and best-seller Elizabeth Haynes.

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When Lisa Cutts got stuck into reading her latest book little did she realise the author sat for years on the floor above her at work, and that it would spark her own writing career.

The detective constable at Kent Police is about to launch her debut crime novel Never Forget, inspired by her years of working on the force, and a meeting with fellow police officer and best-selling author Elizabeth Haynes.

Utilising her years of experience from the force she has written a very real account of a murder investigation.

The main character, DC Nina Foster, attempts to unravel a series of brutal murders while battling her own demons which put her life in danger.

Having enjoyed books her whole life without attempting to write, Cutts began reading Hayne’s best-selling Into The Darkest Corner, and slowly realised she must know the author from the many credits in the book.

It led to the pair meeting and Cutts being inspired to pick up the pen by Haynes, who used to sit on the floor above her in their office before embarking on her career as an author.

“I didn’t realise who she was until I got to the end of the book as she had named a lot of people I knew and had worked with,” she said. “It became obvious she worked for Kent Police.

“What was quite ridiculous was she sat in the office above me and we never knew each other. She has become a friend now, and her books are doing phenomenally well.

“I started to write and just loved it,” said the 42-year-old from Maidstone. “After a couple of months it began to take shape. I certainly didn’t think anyone would want to read and publish it. I thought it was one of the best things I had ever done and I was surprised about it.”

She had originally set out for a career in law, but was swayed into law enforcement by her father, who used to work with the Metropolitan Police.

“Law wasn’t quite practical enough,” she said. “My dad said I would really enjoy [the police]. It’s a job where you like to think you’re helping people and doing something good.”

Being a serving police officer with Kent’s Major Crime Department, based in Maidstone, has certainly given her a great insight into the workings behind solving a crime, but putting the book together has not felt like taking her work home.

“Everything I’ve written about regarding characters and situations are fictional, but I’ve kept the facts of law procedures,” she said.

“It was a case of letting my imagination run away with me. I made sure it wasn’t based on anything I had dealt with.

“I wanted to write the story along the lines of police investigating and slowly chipping away and realising who could and couldn’t be responsible, rather than writing about the perfect crime, it’s about how it would happen and how it would be investigated.

“It was a case of picturing if I walk into the incident room tomorrow how would I investigate it, being a character.

“It is all team work, it’s never one person. It’s not about the spoof detective who does everything. You would be superhuman if you were the only detective working on an investigation.

“It didn’t feel like work, but a hobby really. It was never something I thought oh no I’ve got to do the writing. I just launched myself into it, which worked out fine.”

“I think really if you spend 30 years of reading thousands of books you have an idea of what you like, and you know what would make you happy to pick up a book.”

She has already started work on her second book, Remember Remember, which is not a sequel but retains the main character DC Nina Foster and is due for release next summer by Myriad Editions.

● Cutts will be signing copies of her book on Saturday, July 6, from 10am-2pm at Sainsbury’s in Kingsmead Road, Canterbury.



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