Write about what you are enthusiastic about and what you like to read says crime author Pauline Rowson

It is often said that you should write what you know about, but I don't entirely agree with this. I believe that you should write what you are enthusiastic about because it will show through in your writing and even if you don't have first hand experience of it you will want to research it, live it, breathe it.

I find researching for my DI Horton crime novels and thrillers fascinating including all the forensic bits!

I also believe in writing the kind of novel you like to read because not only will you enjoy the experience but again it will be apparent in your writing.

When you embark on a writing career it is not always obvious what you should write. Some people begin with short stories, others throw themselves into a novel. But just as in painting where it takes you a while to find your style, in writing it takes a while to find your voice. This only happens by trial, error and experimentation.

When I first starting writing I began with writing historical sagas. Over time I found that a criminal element kept creeping into these sagas and I also discovered that I preferred to write from the male point of view. It was a while before it dawned on me that I should be writing crime novels with a male protagonist. It should have been pretty obvious because I have devoured crime and thriller novels for years and am a great crime fiction fan. But that time and writing wasn't wasted. I learnt a lot along the way. When I was shortlisted for a prize for the first chapters of Tide of Death introducing my DI Andy Horton I knew that I had at last begun to find my voice.

That first novel was published in 2006 and I now have published seven DI Horton marine mystery crime novels and two thrillers.

The seventh DI Horton, A Killing Coast, was published by Severn House in the UK on 26 January and will be published in the USA on 1 May 2012.

I have just finished writing the eighth in the DI Horton series and hope to continue writing both crime and thriller fiction for some time to come.