Latest Newsletter

May 26th, 2017
Featured reader – Tracy Edley
This month’s featured reader is Tracy Edley from Dronfield in North East Derbyshire – thanks so much for submitting your thoughts on The Back Road. I have chosen The Back Road as it is the first book I read of Rachel Abbott’s and it’s still one of my favourites. It was my introduction to the very gorgeous DCI Tom Douglas. He’s such a fabulous character. It really kept me guessing right to the very end with its many twists and turns. I kept thinking I knew where this book was going then suddenly it went off in a totally different direction! Rachel is such a clever writer, and the end is always such a complete shock!
May 29th, 2017
Interesting Links
Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead. The two accusations are among explosive claims in unseen correspondence written in the bitter aftermath of one of literature’s most famous and destructive marriages. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/11/unseen-sylvia-plath-letters-claim-domestic-abuse-by-ted-hughes Lena Dunham on ‘Girls’, gender politics and growing up One of the world’s most famous — and outspoken — millennials talks about Trump’s America and life beyond the show that made her famous https://www.ft.com/content/aeef5ada-1eb6-11e7-b7d3-163f5a7f229c It’s that time of year again – time to plan a much-needed holiday – but why not try a holiday with literary benefits? http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/itineraries/the-best-learning-holidays/page/writing-holidays
June 14th, 2017
In conversation with author Clare Mackintosh
This month I’m in conversation with Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go and I See You, who I recently bumped into at The Crime Fair in Denmark and we agreed to have a chat about our publishing journeys. It was great to see you in Denmark, Clare. Was it a good event for you? It was my second time there, and it was really amazing. I’m still fairly new at this with only two books to my name and last time I was there only about two people – my editor and somebody sitting down because they had a bad back – were interested in listening to me speak! Coming back this year after I Let You Go, suddenly I had queues and a massive audience because the book did so well there. It’s a reminder of how much has happened in such a short time. I remember ...
June 14th, 2017
99p Special Offer on Only the Innocent
Only the Innocent was my first novel, introducing DCI Tom Douglas, and has now sold over 600,000 copies worldwide, with over 2,200 reviews and an average rating of 4.3. It was top of the Amazon bestseller list for four weeks. What set of circumstances could be SO BAD that a woman has no choice but to murder a man? Find out now. Read Only the Innocent for just 99p So what’s it all about? A man is dead. The killer is a woman. But what secrets lie beneath the surface – so dark that a man has to die? Women are rarely cold blooded killers. But when famous philanthropist Hugo Fletcher is found dead, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the killer is a woman. And it is clear from the precision of the planning that this was no crime of passion. It was an execution. The victim was revered the world over ...
June 15th, 2017
Take time out to reflect on your writing
What a month it has been, and so exciting! I finished the first draft of a new book, and I enjoyed writing it so much it was hard to let it go. I’m now just waiting to get feedback which is bound to be full of heart-sinking moments when I realise that a paragraph that I thought was brilliant isn’t at all, and it needs to be rewritten. It’s all part of the process, though, and I wouldn’t change it. I learned a couple of new lessons with this book – ones that I’ve been subconsciously aware of, but have failed to really take note of in the past. I know that all writers have their own way of doing things so my quirks won’t apply to everybody, but maybe if you’re a writer too, they will give you pause for thought. And that’s the key. Pause for thought. When ...
June 18th, 2017
Pen the perfect postcard and post it to Rachel Abbott
I’ve been on a lot of book tours this year in all kinds of weather! But now it’s Summer and while I was at the Guernsey Literary Festival I found myself writing a postcard to a friend. It’s not something I’ve done for years and I was reminded how pleasing it is to jot down a couple of paragraphs, sticking to the point and recording a moment or two in time. So, what could be better than dashing off a fictional postcard? In keeping with our dark theme, you’ll need to tell someone why you won’t be coming home! It’s all part of my desire to get you writing. If you’ve never written before it can be scary but so many of you jumped aboard the First Line competition in April that I believe reading your Perfect Postcards will be just that – perfect! I’m looking forward to reading them ...

Recent Posts

Interesting Links

Discover the dish that hijacked Queen Victoria!

I put this literary misquotations quiz on my Facebook page and got a lot of fun comments so here it is again. Can you get the wrong lines right? https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/19/literary-misquotations-quiz-can-you-get-the-wrong-lines-right As a big fan of Game of Thrones, I found this really interesting: Drama Queens – why it’s all about women and power on screen right now https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/22/game-of-thrones-handmaids-tale-wonder-woman-female-power We have all bad eating days – even Queen Victoria fell foul of Chicken Curry! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/chicken-curry-much-booze-everything-need-know-queen-victorias/

A Writer Writes

Feeling ‘drafty’: the highs and lows of editing!

What I love about editing As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the first draft of my book was sent off and I was awaiting the response. When it came, it was largely good – at least my agent and editor loved the story, the twists and the structure. But as is often the case (with me, if not with any other writer) there were parts of the novel that seemed as clear as day to me, but not to those reading it! Back came the comments, some so good I wanted to do a little jig around the room, others less favourable. And that’s when it becomes important that, as a writer, I love my job – because each of the comments should be seen as an opportunity to make the book better, to improve the narrative or strengthen the personality of a character. I want readers to have

A Writer Reads

A Writer Reads for August

I only have a couple of books to talk about this month, mainly because I’ve been moving house and haven’t had as much time to read as I would like. But the two I have read have been amazing! The book club of which I am a member comprises a group of women with very different tastes in reading. Some prefer literary novels, some more commercial fiction and it does end up providing opportunities to read a wide variety of novels. This month, the selection was commercial fiction in the form of the wonderful Marian Keyes. I thought I had read all of her books, but this one seems to have passed me by. The second book that I thoroughly enjoyed was by Erin Kelly, who writes so well. This book has done well in the charts recently and has some amazing reviews. These are books that I’ve enjoyed – but

Festival of Writing 2017

Festival of Writing 2017

I am delighted to be a keynote speaker at this Writers’ Workshop event on Saturday 9th September, along with Mark Edwards, talking about our routes to publishing success and lessons learned along the way Friday 8th September, Saturday 9th September, Sunday 10th September University of York http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/events.html

Dying to Write

The shopping list to die for!

Once again I have been inundated with entries for The Perfect Postcard competition! It’s great that so many of you are putting pen to paper and letting your imagination take you to all the weird and wonderful places outlined in your two-sentence trips! As always it was hard to choose an outright winner but I’ve opted for Barbara Lawther with this intriguing scenario: Exhausted, chilled to my bones. Heavy bags now empty. Dreams fulfilled for another year. Sorry to say I won’t see you again – now that you don’t believe. Love, Santa Well done Barbara – I wonder will you and all the other hopefuls write more? To that end, this month’s challenge is to write a deadly shopping list with no more than FOUR items under your catchy title. Follow this example and ENJOY: Example shopping list. Pete’s surprise birthday party Sausages Cyanide Bedroom Slippers Dog biscuits. Send

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight for iBooks and Kobo

For some time now, my books have been available exclusively on Amazon – but I’ve had many requests for other versions so I have now made Sleep Tight – my third novel – available on other formats. I’m excited to see what happens, so if you have friends that don’t read on paperback or Kindle, please do spread the word. To buy on Kobo or iBooks, click here  

Stranger Child

Stranger Child – The Perfect Summer Read

If any of you haven’t already read my fourth novel, now is the chance to buy it on special offer for just 99p in the UK. With over 1800 five star reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, it’s been a tremendous success for me. One dark secret. One act of revenge. They say you should never trust a stranger. Perhaps they’re right! Click here to find out more.

Laura Marshall

An Interview with Laura Marshall

This month I posed a few questions to Laura Marshall author of Friend Request. You may remember that she was featured in my May newsletter? I had just read Friend Request and loved it. It’s about a woman who receives a friend request on Facebook, but the person who it appears to be from has been dead for over twenty years. The intrigue and confusion ramps up throughout the book until you have no idea who to trust. Wonderful stuff! It was interesting to catch up with her again to hear what she relies on in terms of comfort and space and how she finds and sets aside the time to get her words on the page. Laura, what is the first book you remember as a child? The first books I remember really loving were the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books. My Mum read them to me first

Interesting Links

Read FIFTY books in a year

Have you always wanted to read more, a LOT more? Get on track to get through more than fifty books a year with these wonderful tips. https://hbr.org/2017/02/8-ways-to-read-a-lot-more-books-this-year An interesting and timely review of a Generation of Sociopaths by Jane Smiley – a top read if you want to know why Donald Trump might ruin the world! https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/17/generation-sociopaths-review-trump-baby-boomers-ruined-world Books to read now as selected by the Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/582f7ed6-36fe-11e7-bce4-9023f8c0fd2e

Featured Reader

Why my readers make me smile

This month I’ve picked Lacey Eder because of the delightful Kindle screenshot she submitted to let me know how much she was enjoying my book Stranger Child! We had a funny little exchange about the dictionary translating balaclavas into ‘a warm hat’ but then I noticed the classic definition of cemetery as ‘a place to bury dead people’. Well, all I have to say about that is it’s not always the only place to bury dead people if you’re writing psychological thrillers! This is why I love hearing from readers, I always get such a boost knowing the books are being picked up and enjoyed, so thank Lacey, you made my week or if you’d prefer, you made my ‘period of seven successive days, usually understood as beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday’.