Meet Noelle Holten author of Dead Perfect

Happy New Year! Our first Thriller Woman of 2021 is Noelle Holten whose most recent novel in the Maggie Jamieson series Dead Perfect was published in October 2020. Download the ebook of Dead Perfect from Amazon or buy the paperback from Thriller Women's list at Bookshop.orgNB: if you buy books through this link we may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops.

Not only is Holten an author but she also works full-time as a social media manager in the publishing industry. Where on earth does she find the time? We had to ask ...

Book cover of Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten

TW: Noelle, you are a blogger, a reviewer, a Social Media Manager AND an author of four going on five books! How do you fit it all in?

NH: I have to be and am (for the most part) very disciplined ... and I’ve had insomnia for over 30 years so probably get a few more hours a day than most!

TW:  It’s hard to remember life without social media. As a social media manager, in your view, can the modern day author get by without having social media accounts?

NH: I think that it depends on quite a few things - you have to come across as authentic on social media, so if it’s not something you are comfortable with, this will come across. Also if you have a good publicity team/publicist behind you they can do all the hard work for you. I’ve seen many people who have little to no social media presence do extremely well while others do not. If you have the money for marketing and know how to target the right audiences you can do very well too. For me personally, social media is very important to get my books out there, to get to know my readers, to share my thoughts on the books I’ve read and to engage with fellow readers, bloggers and authors.

TW: How challenging do you find it coming up with new ideas for your books, and what is your approach to planning a new novel?

NH: I don’t struggle at all with new ideas - having a background in probation and spending a number if years working in a police station I know a lot of things!  I also have quite a twisted imagination. I generally write down an idea and let it sit for a while. When I come back to it, I figure out the first and last chapter - type it out and go from there. I always have a notebook to hand or use NOTES on my phone to jot down ideas or thoughts that jump into my head during those odd times when I am working or trying to sleep!

TW: What was your inspiration behind the character of Maggie Jamieson?

NH: Maggie was named after a friend and his cat! The friend is a police officer and I loved his cat’s name (Maggie) and that was that! Maggie has a few of my traits but very much developed as I wrote. I’m still learning new things about her!

TW: You’ve had a cover quote from Ian Rankin. Who are the authors you admire?

NH: This is hard because I admire so many and don’t want to leave anyone out. Ian Rankin is one for sure. I was gobsmacked when I got that quote! I admire authors like Angela Marsons, Martina Cole, MW Craven, Mel Sherratt, Caroline Mitchell, Lisa Regan, David Jackson, MA Comley, LJ Ross, Robert Parker, Steph Broadribb, Louise Voss, DK Hood, Kathy Reichs - I literally could list hundreds (and for those of you I haven’t named, you know who you are because I shout out about your books every moment I can!)

TW: What are your bad habits when it comes to your writing?

NH: I don’t write chronologically so editing can be fun.  I tend not to describe dates, time of year etc., as I am awful with timelines. I need to keep better track of characters too. I’m not making myself sound very good am I?

TW: Does an author need an agent in 2021 in order to land a publishing deal?

NH: I don’t have an agent. I suppose it depends on what your expectations are. If you want an advance and/or to be published by one of the big five (well now four) then you will need an agent. However they have amazing imprints who accept submissions direct from the author so I don’t think it is necessary unless your goal is to be under one of the large publishers.

TW: What are your tips for aspiring authors?

NH: Read as much as you can in the genre you want to write in. Seek out and take as much advice as you can, then find out and use what works best for you. Develop a thick skin - you’ll need it for rejections, reviews etc. Get your butt in the chair and write!

TW: Describe a typical working day in the life of Noelle Holten.

NH: 6am-9am: scheduling social media posts for my books, reading, drafting reviews. 
9am-5pm: (sometimes a little longer depending on my workload) my day job as PR & social media manager for Bookouture. 
6pm- 7pm: Writing (usually hit 1K per day). 
7pm - 1 or 2 or 3am: research, catching up on my own social media, reading books I am publicising for work, reading books for my TBR, drafting reviews, watching crime-related shows or films. 

Quick Fire Questions:

TW: Best and worst things about Twitter? 

NH: You can reach a lot of people but it also can be quite toxic.

TW: Best film to watch to unwind? 

NH: For me Silence of the Lambs is my go to film.

TW: Slushy romance or serial killers? 

NH: Serial Killers. 

TW: Desert Island book? 

NH: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevski.

TW: City chic or beach ready? 

NH: Can I add an option? I am a country gal all the way.

Thanks Noelle, we're in awe of your work ethic!

Photograph of author Noelle Holten

More about Dead Perfect:

A murdered woman...

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she's dealing with no ordinary killer. The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else. Someone Maggie knows all too well - her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective...

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate's life is in real danger. Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas - his living dolls?

Can Maggie find the depraved killer? Or will Kate become his next living doll?


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