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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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

“The epublishing sensation of 2012”

Last week the London Book Fair took place at Earls Court, and I was fortunate enough to be invited along by KDP Amazon to speak at a seminar and sign some copies of Only the Innocent on their stand. As a new author, everybody assumed that this was the first time I had visited the book fair. They were wrong. When I first visited the fair – probably at least twenty-five if not thirty years ago – people didn’t know what to make of me. And guess what – it’s 2012 and they’re still not sure what to make of me!

Review: I Was in Love with a Short Man Once by Kim Dalferes

The Art of Storytelling is Alive and Well… This ‘Crazy Southern Irish Gal’ has definitely got the ‘gift of the gab’! Having been brought up in Florida during the seventies, she tells us about her life through a wonderful series of colourful characters, mishaps, confessions and events. I found myself completely drawn into her stories from the first page, recalling some of the personalities from my own childhood along the way. You feel privileged to have been part of her journey down memory lane. Her true gift of storytelling conjures up cleverly selected images from the seventies right through to present day. This book is well written, funny and covers the complete spectrum of topics and challenges we all come across in our daily lives, but we often take their significance or importance for granted. It handles sensitive issues with great openness, honesty and humour and will leave you with

The Only Thing You Need to Know about Marketing Online

GUEST POST BY NICK THACKER I am delighted to be able to welcome author Nick Thacker to add his thoughts on marketing. The more information and suggestions we glean from a wide variety of people, the more we are able to decide which approach to marketing works for us. The Only Thing You Need to Know about Marketing Online In the 1950s and before, “marketing” was a term that more accurately described bringing a product to a market, rather than bringing people to a product. The distinction is subtle, but it’s everything. As Seth Godin wrote in Permission Marketing and Purple Cow, it’s now “pull,” not “push.”  

Hitting the Amazon #1 Spot : The Marketing Plan

Killer Plan or Lady Luck Part III – The Marketing Plan The next post in this series was supposed to be on formatting. However, I have been persuaded to skip that bit for now, because there are lots of books and bits of advice out there that are probably much more detailed. What people want to know, I guess, is how I got to number one – not how I formatted the book! However, I will say this. The formatting of your book is seriously important. You need to look like a professional. A badly formatted book automatically shouts INDIE, and not in a good way. If you don’t know how to do this, I have already written a couple of posts here and here that will get you to the point where you are almost ready for Amazon, and you will at least have tidied your book in preparation

Review: Letters to my Mother by Rebecca Heath

A TOUCHING STORY, AND BEAUTIFULLY TOLD I have to say that I thought this book was wonderful. It is the gentle tale of two people who shouldn’t be together by the normal rules of morality and the times. Kate is a young, extremely bright college student who has never had much time for boys. David is a professor at the college she attends. Brilliant but somewhat aloof, he is trapped in a loveless marriage where nobody – not even his children – can see any worth in him.  But this is Seattle in the 1950s, and nineteen year olds don’t have affairs with married men in their late forties. Nobody would find that acceptable. And yet, these two find a rare love for each other.

Authors : how to get the right reviews

Reviews – the good, the bad and the scams! I recently wrote a guest post called Indie Authors—Getting Those All-Important Reviews for Mystery Writing is Murder. Reviews are important for both readers and authors, but it is so very important that they are genuine – which is why I devoted a whole post to how to get those all important real ones and I’ve decided to bring it forward in my schedule on this blog, as it is a topic that is quite hot at the moment due to the number of scams that are sadly around. If you’ve read it on Mystery Writing is Murder this is a similar post, but with maybe a few extra angles.

Guest post : A Free Tool for Writers—the Writer’s Knowledge Base

I came across this amazing resource for writers a couple of weeks ago, and I contacted Elizabeth S Craig to see if she would be kind enough to pay a visit and tell us all about the Writer’s Knowledge Base. If you don’t know about this, you need to visit the site and bookmark it, because it is crammed with really useful information. We agreed to swap posts this week. I have written one on her site for Indie Authors : Getting those All-Important Reviews and you might want to check that out too. Here’s what Elizabeth has to tell us. A Free Tool for Writers—the Writer’s Knowledge Base—by Elizabeth S. Craig The Writer’s Knowledge Base, or WKB, is a free search engine that’s specifically for writers. For years, I got frustrated with Google when I was trying to find articles on the writing craft. There were tons of writing

Guest post : Scott Hunter on Marketing your eBook

As promised when I started the series of “Killer Plan or Lady Luck?” I have asked other authors for their input and to let us know what they did to become a best seller. Today’s guest is Scott Hunter who writes thrillers – historical and contemporary. His eBook, ‘The Trespass’ is an Amazon bestseller. His website is at http://www.scott-hunter.net It’s very interesting to me to check out the commonality between his comments and mine. And, of course, where we differ. Both are important, and I hope you pick up some good tips reading his thoughts. Bear in mind that some of Scott’s comments refer to a printed version of the book, not an ebook, and he is clearly British – so some of the store references relate to the UK only. But the vast majority of his thoughts are appropriate to any format and any country. So, you want to

Review: The Viper Contract by Chris Broyhill

EXCELLENT STORY WITH FAST PACED ACTION Overview The Viper Contract tells the story of an ex US Air  Force fighter pilot, Colin Pearce, who has been forced to take up a career as a contract pilot, ferrying businessmen and the like around. The money’s good, but it doesn’t excite him the way his former profession did. And then something happens to change all that. He is approached by the CIA to act as an undercover agent in a daring and deadly airstrike which could have disastrous consequences reverberating around the world.

A Killer Plan or Lady Luck? Part II – It’s all about the book!

This post is the second in the series Hitting the Amazon #1 spot – A Killer Plan or Lady Luck? It goes without saying that the most important aspect of getting to #1 on any best seller list is having a book that people actually want to read. If you choose to write in a genre that is less popular, you have to set your expectations accordingly. Choosing to write a thriller – a very popular genre – wasn’t part of my Killer Plan. It really is simply Lady Luck that I love thrillers. Taking advice on some aspects of my writing and trying to do better, however, was definitely part of my plan, and so this section aims to share some of the hints that were passed on to me.  Once again, I am definitely not trying to set myself up as any sort of expert. I still have