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’.

Kindle Storyteller Prize

Self-publishing gets a well-deserved award of its own

This month is only going to get busier! I am thrilled to have been invited to be one of the judges in the Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award, a new literary prize recognising recently self-published work in the English language across any genre on the KDP platform. The Kindle Storyteller prize was open to submissions from all authors and genres (except me, as a judge, of course!). Sadly the deadline for entries has past, but if this competition is as successful as Amazon believes it will be, I’m sure there will be another one – so it’s definitely worth looking out for. There’s an amazing prize too – £20,000!  Plus (and this is where it gets interesting) marketing support from Amazon for the winning title, which in my mind is worth more than the £20,000 because Amazon can make your book fly. About the competition, Kindle content director at Amazon, Alessio

A Writer Reads

Meet Clare Balding’s four-legged family friends

This month’s pickings are slim, I’m afraid as a result of all the travelling. I’ve been in the midst of writing and I sometimes find it difficult to read without being influenced by the tone of another writers’ work. I decided not to read thrillers when I was deep into the plot of my latest novel, and so moved to women’s fiction. Sadly, even that had an impact – as I read a particularly hilarious novel I found I was introducing jokes into my thriller! Not a good idea. However, having sat next to the lovely Clare Balding at dinner I felt compelled to read one of her books, so this one is a bit outside the norm in terms of my usual reading. The other choice for this month from Erin Kelly has been heaped with praise and is bang on my kind of reading. My Animals and Other


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