Judith Cutler

About the author

There are seven series to read. The first two featured amateur sleuth Sophie Rivers and Detective Sergeant Kate Power respectively. All of these novels, apart from Hidden Power, are set in present day Birmingham or nearby (that's Birmingham UK, not Birmingham Alabama). I hope you'll enjoy them.

Judith Cutler's Brum-based crime novels are a hit. Crime Time

Although they're both fictional characters, both Sophie and Kate share parts of their lives with me. Like Sophie, I was born in the Black Country, just outside Birmingham, later moving to the Birmingham suburb of Harborne, which is where Sophie still lives.

I started writing while I was at the then Oldbury Grammar School, actually winning the Critical Quarterly Short Story prize with the second story I wrote. After that - nothing. I read English at university and got thoroughly blocked until I was in my thirties. Then an attack of chickenpox caught from my son laid me low. One way of dealing with the itch was to hold a pencil in one hand, a block of paper in the other - and to start writing my first novel. This eventually appeared in a much revised version as Coming Alive, published by Severn House.

Power Shift cover

In addition to writing rejected novels, I was also teaching full-time at an inner-city further education college and producing short stories. These soon started to be broadcast on BBC Radio Four or appear in magazines such as 'Bella'.

And then - at long last! - came the magic moment in May 1995, the first novel, Dying Fall, was published.

Eventually I left the college where I'd worked for nearly thirty years. I also left Harborne and moved to Kings Heath, another Birmingham suburb. By some strange coincidence, Kate Power, fresh from the Metropolitan Police, moved there too.

My characters and I also have certain interests in common. Like Sophie, I love classical music. For many years I was a trustee of the City of Birmingham Chamber Music Society. We both also support West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

I have recently left the Midlands after living there all my life. Though they may be able to take me away from the Midlands, they'll never be able to take the Midlands away from me. Even the heroine of Scar Tissue (Allison and Busby, 2004) is an ex-Brummie living in Kent - though there, I hasten to say, the resemblance ends!