Phoebe Locke, author of summer hit 'The July Girls' - Thriller writer talks strict timing, getting to know your killer, and pseudonyms

After achieving great success with her debut novel, 'The Tall Man', Phoebe Locke is back with a new summer-hit, 'The July Girls'. It tells the story of murders that happen every year on exactly the same day, and the quest to track down who is doing it, and why. Originally it was a short story that never saw escaped the top drawer, and Phoebe explains why she's happy about that, and why the characters stuck with her enough to revisit their story.

Phoebe has a very strict method of writing - the Pomodoro Technique. 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off. When she writes throughout the day is flexible though and she chats about why she'll write early sometimes, and late on others. We talk a lot about characterisation, and how she wants that to set her apart from other genre-writers, and you can hear why she thinks that gimmicks sometimes really help to tell a story.

She is also known by Nicci Cloke, and has written many books under that - her actual name. We find out why she's taken Phoebe Locke for these stories, and why pseudonyms can be really useful.


For information regarding your data privacy, visit

More from Writer's Routine

  1. 43:43Chris Hammer, author of award-winning 'Scrublands' - Winner of 'New Blood Dagger Award' talks writing anywhere, nuanced characters and learning from journalism.Dec 06, 2019
  2. 38:01Jeffrey Archer, author of 'Nothing Ventured' - Internationally successful author talks escaping to write, his exacting daily routine and what selling over 275 million books is really like.Nov 29, 2019
  3. 49:18Harriet Evans, author of 'The Garden of Lost and Found' - The luxury of two places to write, why editing is the most important part of the process, and how to be flexible when the story takes over.Nov 15, 2019
  4. 46:15James Wallman, author of 'Time and How to Spend It - Journalist talks making non-fiction read like the classics, the experience economy, and why you need to get outside and be offline.Nov 01, 2019
  5. 45:08Ruth Hogan, author of 'The Keeper of Lost Things' - How to plan your writing year, what to do with the first sentence, and how do you get new ideas?Oct 17, 2019
  6. 43:33Owen Nicholls, author of 'Love, Unscripted' - Debut novelist talks pop culture, movie journalism and writing romance.Sep 26, 2019
  7. 47:06Tom MacRae, co-writer of 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' - On hit West End musicals, writing for stage, and discipline.Sep 13, 2019
  8. 49:44Tim Smedley, author of 'Clearing the Air' - Sustainability writer on making non-fiction accessible, plotting travels and the perfect first chapter.Sep 06, 2019
  9. 43:43Sheila O'Flanagan, author of 'Her Husband's Mistake' - Prolific award-winner talks first sentences, becoming characters and finding new ideas.Aug 31, 2019
  10. 47:18Rob Hart, author of 'The Warehouse' - Critically acclaimed author talks dystopian fiction, standalone novels and editing backwards.Aug 19, 2019