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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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

Come a Little Closer

Come a Little Closer – Chapter 1

Chapter 1 ‘Night, everyone,’ Sharon shouted over her shoulder. ‘You going already, Shaz?’ she heard. She didn’t know which of her friends it was, and she didn’t respond. With her back to them all she raised her hand in the air and waved as she reached the exit. She didn’t want them to see her face – to see the guilt in her eyes and the hot flush of her cheeks. Sharon was looking forward to being married to Jez – he was the best – but somehow the pressure of it all, the finality, maybe even the predictability, had got to her, and she had persuaded her friends to meet at the club in town. Jez had gone out too, staying with his brother for the night, so there was no one to rush home to. She had expected to be dancing until dawn with her friends, but when

CALC-blog-header-window

Come a Little Closer – the Prologue

My latest novel, Come a Little Closer, is available on Amazon right now. Click here to find out more. And here’s the (very short) prologue! Prologue I don’t know myself any more. My life is unrecognisable – severed into two distinct periods: before – when I could feel the wind on my skin, watch the sky turn from blue to black, hear the birds singing in the morning, smell the earth, damp with rain; and after – the life I am in now, where I cannot tell if it is night or day and the only sound I hear is the slap, slap of bare feet on a linoleum floor. I sit on my narrow bed, staring at the bare wall opposite, wondering how I came to be here. But I can find no answers. All I know for certain is that they are coming. They come every night. I didn’t understand

Interesting Links

Interesting Links

See in 2018 in the best way possible – as a family! If you’re fed up of trying to find a babysitter AND paying out for one to work on New Year’s Eve, don’t panic! This list has nailed the best events for adults and kids alike! https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/things-to-do/places-to-go-guide/places-to-go-this-new-years-eve New Year, new blank canvas, new writer! This is the most EXOTIC list of writing courses I have ever read! From the Aegean to Zanzibar, pick one of a host of amazing destinations to unleash your inner scribe in 2018! https://thewritelife.com/writing-retreats/ Ten books to treasure in 2018 There’s never enough time to read all the books we want so best earmark some of these beauties right now for that much-deserved summer break http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/g13787875/best-new-books-2018/

A Writer Writes

A Writer Writes

As those of you who read my last newsletter will know, I finished a book – currently called And So It Begins – that is going to be published by Wildfire (an imprint of Headline) in 2019. Although the writing is complete, as with every novel it still has to go through various stages of editing, and I’m enjoying tweaking and crafting every sentence so it becomes the best I am able to make it. As those of you who are writers will know, getting the story down is only the first stage. It’s already had a structural edit or two, and over the next few months it will be line-edited, copy-edited and proof read. I’ll keep telling you more as it develops. I’m looking forward to revealing what it’s about, but I think it will be a while until I’m allowed to do that! My Tom Douglas books go through the same editing

A Writer Reads

A Writer Reads for December

I had a chance to do a bit more reading than usual in the last few months – mainly because of a holiday, and there is nothing like a long flight to provide an opportunity to dive into a good book. The three below were my favourites, and if you’re looking for something to read over Christmas (and you’ve read all of mine, of course!), you might want to try one of these. The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton I was lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of The Craftsman by one of my favourite authors. What a brilliant read! I was gripped from the very first page and loved the characters and the weird and wonderful story. It’s available for pre-order right now. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell What I love about this book is the cleverness of the plot and the way all the strands slowly but

Come a Liitle Closer

Exciting News – Exclusive Sneak Preview

I like to make sure that my most loyal readers are given advance information of what’s coming, so you are the very first to see the cover of my next book – Come A Little Closer. Please feel free to share the cover on Facebook and Twitter when you see it there in the next week or so! What do you think of the cover? I really love it, and I’ll be excited to tell you more about it in my next newsletter in the new year. For now, though, the plot is still under wraps – more will be revealed very soon. Keep a look out for it, though. We’re expecting to publish mid-February, if all goes to plan!

DIY Penguin Recipe

DIY Penguin Recipe

I was looking out for something to make for a party I’m having before Christmas Day and I found this gem on www.allrecipes.com I just love the look of these little penguins – being something of a penguin fancier after my trip to Antarctica last January – and it would be so much fun to make these with the kids and grandkids too. HOURS of fun on a rainy day! Ingredients for 18 penguin lovers 18 jumbo black olives, pitted 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 18 small black olives 1 carrot Directions Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into centre of small

Killer Women

Killer Women

Your hot ticket to crime writing’s coolest weekend: Unmissable masterclasses, sharp-shooting workshops, hard-hitting pitching sessions, all with the very best in the business. Book now and be the Next Big Thing Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October, 2017 Browns, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4AG http://killerwomen.org/events/28-29-october-2017-killer-weekend/

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/