M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .
M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.
Tell me about your book and why we should read it?
The Botanist is the fifth in the award-winning (The Puppet Show won the CAW Gold Dagger in 2019 and Dead Ground won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger last month), Sunday Times bestselling Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw series. You should read it because it’s funny and has lots of interesting facts (and some gross ones) about goats. Also Poe accidentally puts breast milk in his tea.
If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?
Well, I thought it was funny.
What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?
At the northern launch of The Botanist, which over 300 people attended, one well-refreshed person wanted me to write ‘Trainers’ in her book. Not to dedicate it to ‘Trainers’, just to write that and nothing else. Not even my signature. No idea why.
If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?
Terry Pratchett. No question
Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).
I used to have a pet crocodile.
Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.
All I Said Was True by Imran Mahmood. Another sensational book from one of the best writers in the UK.
Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby. The best book I’ve read this year.
The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North. High-concept book about Hope, a woman who for some reason cannot be remembered. Superbly written, unusual and a genuine page-turner.