I love the research phase of writing my books. It is always a shock to me how easy it is to find out how to kill somebody on the internet – or even how to find somebody to do it for you!
Not all of my research is online, of course. There are certain things that need to be understood from experts – in particular any elements of police procedure. I don’t base my writing on the approaches witnessed in television programmes. I go straight to somebody who knows what really happens – a real, experienced, ex-detective chief inspector. And that too surprises me, though I always expect a significant difference between what we see on the television and reality.
Most recently, though, I have been researching the plight of homeless children, or children that go missing, for my novel Stranger Child and the sequel Nowhere Child. The figures shocked me. According to the Daily Mail in 2014, over 100,000 children under 16 go missing each year in the UK. Many of the children who run away overnight are found and returned home quickly. But not all of them.
Many of them become street children – a problem that most people associate with Africa and Asia – but it isn’t limited to those places. Not many of these children are seen ‘on the street’, because most of them choose to sleep in dangerous places and are at huge risk from predators.
Together with some of my writing friends, all of whom have had best-sellers in their category, we decided to donate signed books to charity to help support children, and chose The Children’s Society – http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/
The writers who have agreed to donate signed books are:
Tracy Bloom – No-one Ever Has Sex in the Suburbs
Mark Edwards – What you Wish For
Anya Lipska – Where the Devil Can’t Go
Paul Pilkington – Someone to Save You
Mel Sherratt – Taunting the Dead
Louise Voss – Venus Trap
Kerry Wilkinson – Down Among the Dead Men (hardback – unsigned as Kerry is currently in Canada).
If you would like to help these children AND get yourself some excellent signed books (perfect presents), please go to our page on eBay to place your bid.
If you could spread the word by clicking any of the Click To Tweet messages below, it would be a fantastic help.
Help us to help a child to a better present this Christmas. #NowhereChildren http://ebay.eu/1jtjMS6 @ChildrenSociety Click to tweet
Signed copies from bestselling authors. Auction in aid of @ChildrenSociety http://ebay.eu/1jtjMS6 #NowhereChildren Click to tweet