THEY say watching too much TV is bad for you.

But being an avid viewer of British dramas like Broadchurch and The Missing turned Emily Chriscoli into a crime author.

The former Priestley College student has just released her first mystery novel and thriller, The Girl in the Mustard Coat,which is Emily’s fourth book after her Victory trilogy.

The 80,000-word fictional story is set 13 years after the murder of a schoolgirl called Beth Maguire when new evidence arises and sets her older sister Sophie on a path to find answers.

Emily started The Girl in the Mustard Coat two years ago when she was off sick from work and wanted something to occupy her time.

She continued to work on it when she had two months off between jobs then took three weeks off work earlier this year to finish it off.

Emily said: “I love what my mum and I call ‘original British drama’.

“It’s our favourite genre of TV and it’s really anything that’s on ITV or BBC at 9pm.

“It never really occurred to me to write about it but I found myself with this image of a girl and her mustard coloured coat in my mind about five years ago.

“I knew she was missing and I knew she’d been murdered but I had to work out the rest of the story and it was only when I had that time off that I was able to let it nourish a little bit more.

“I don’t know where the image came from. I assume probably just from years of consuming British drama.”

Emily was also influenced by her favourite writers Clare Mackintosh and Lisa Jewell.

Knutsford Guardian:

And she faced a big learning curve in how to structure a whodunnit which involved doing research into serious crimes and being disciplined in how to set out the story, particularly towards the end when all the plot threads were coming together.

Lucky then that the St Mary’s Street resident’s mum Angela Farrell is a teacher and was eager to help.

Emily added: “My mum’s a teacher so I’d print out the story for her as I went along and she’d just attack it with a red pen. It’d be things like little plot holes or things to do with the timescale that might not quite add up.

“So I got regular feedback from her which was really nice as writing can be quite a solitary process.

“Then when we got the copies of the book she read it through to the end and she cried and said: ‘That was really good’.

“It was brilliant to get that praise as I knew she was being genuine. She said it would work on ITV as a four-part drama. That would be the dream.

“I’m already thinking about number two. I’m absolutely overwhelmed with how it’s been received.

“I walked into work the other day and all of them had a copy of the book in their hand and they started clapping. I was trying not to cry.

“It’s done really well and it’s only been out a week.”

The story is set in the fictional village of Arlington Heath but Warrington readers might get a sense of déjà vu.

Emily, who attended Our Lady’s Primary School, said: “I think the readers can draw a lot of parallels with Warrington and there are few things that only people in the town will pick up on.

“For example my doctors’ surgery is called Helsby Street Medical Centre and there’s a doctor in the book called Dr Helsby.

“One of my teachers in primary school was called Mrs Daniels so I threw Mrs Daniels in there.

“So it’s little things like that. Location wise, it never really touches upon where exactly this village is but it establishes that it’s near to Liverpool and it’s not too far from Manchester so I’ll leave that down to the readers’ interpretation.”

Despite how busy she is, Emily has found writing to be a way to unwind since she was a kid.

The 29-year-old added: “It just something from when I was a lot younger and I think I just find comfort in it. It’s like my happy place.

“When I was little I had a ‘reading and writing corner’ and that’s where I would go while my sisters watched TV.

“I’d be quite happy with a book or a notebook and pen and that has followed me into my adult life.”

The Girl in the Mustard Coat is available at