Time flies when you’re having fun, so the saying goes. Well, I’m not sure I’ve been having that much fun, but it was a real shock to realise it’s been nearly 5 months since I last posted on my blog.
That’s right – five months!!
So much has happened, it’s going to need a lot of self-restraint to keep this post to a readable length – but here are the highlights…
July -Crime Bites made it into the world and feedback has been fantastic – all five-star reviews – woo hoo!! Filled with a mixture of short and super-short stories Crime Bites is perfect for when you find yourself with time to spare. It’s still available on Amazon for only 99p and would make a great stocking filler – ideal for reading while waiting for the sprouts to cook on Christmas day.
August – My first author event! I was lucky enough to take part in UK Crime Book Club’s member auction. The UK Crime Book Club is a Facebook group has some of the UK’s best-selling crime authors amongst its members, many of whom put something forward for auction. Amongst some of the items offered up were signed copies of books, goody bags and character naming opportunities. I offered up the chance for one lucky bidder to become a character in a future book. In total, the auction raised a fantastic £2,201.88 which was split between the charities Lighthouse School and Dyslexia Sparks, both of which do great work to help people with reading difficulties.
I’d like to thank Karen Small, from Swansea, for her generous winning bid to feature as a character in one of my future books. Look out for Karen’s alter-ego, who will make an appearance in the third DC Cat McKenzie book in the series, due out at the end of next year.
September – Despite the upheaval of trying to work from home in the middle of the upheaval caused by the house renovation, it was a case of bum up, head down as I spent September working through the final drafting of Feather and Claw.
October – I survived Murderous Medway – the first Rochester Literary Festival, given over to the celebration of crime fiction, was a total success. The small, but intimate venue made it easy to get up close and personal to some of my favourite authors. I managed to shake the hand of Hugh Fraser – you may recognise him as Captain Hastings from the long-running ITV Poirot series, but Hugh is a crime fiction writer in his own right – penning a fast-paced crime series set in the 1960s, which follows the antics of assassin for hire, Rina Walker. Patron of the festival, Lisa Cutts, took the time to chat to me about her experience as police detective by day and crime-writer by night. She also did a fantastic job joining Mark Billingham in conversation about his success as a crime writer, following on from his TV and comedy roots. Mark made sure everyone ended the day with a smile on his face, and me with the promise to buy more of his books!
November – At last, I finally type ‘The End’ on Feather and Claw: the second in the DC Cat McKenzie series. After much deliberation (how many times exactly can you re-write one sentence?) I was able to release my death grip on it and sent it on its merry way for the final proof reading and turned my attention to the cover art and another first for me when I turned to the wonderful folk of Facebook and asked my page followers and the members of the group, Crime Fiction Addict, for their views on a couple of different covers. And wow, what a response. Over 70 people went to the trouble to tell me their favourite and gave me lots of great advice. The positive reaction was so encouraging, I took it all on board, and have come up with what is hopefully a winning cover that matches the mood of the book. Sadly, there are no lone ladies in the final version, either in silhouette or donning red coats (Once again, I am bucking the trend and no doubt will spend many months wondering if I’ve done the right thing).
December – Christmas comes early as I prepare to launch my latest flight of fancy, Feather and Claw, upon an unsuspecting public, and what can I say, but early feedback exceeds my every expectation:
“Another great story… thanks for letting me read it” said one advance reader.
And from another: “Thanks for the sleepless nights. It was unputdownable!”
This Christmas, let yourself be transported away from the cold winter weather. Pick up your copy of Feather and Claw, an unputdownable Mediterranean murder mystery, coming soon on Amazon.
They say choice, not chance, determines human destiny,
but away from home, on sunnier shores, people aren’t always what they seem
and choices can be ill informed
Feather and Claw – coming soon!