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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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

links

Interesting links

Here are a few interesting links that I thought you might enjoy. Is it way past time you finished that novel you’ve been carrying around in your head? Try this article for inspiration! https://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2017/mar/20/how-to-finish-a-novel-tracking-book-progress-wyl-menmuir Peter Swanson, author of The Kind Worth Killing describes his perfect reader perfectly! ‘They have no gender or age, but they are in for the night, and looking to get lost in, and maybe a little scared by, a book.’ Sounds good to me! https://www.ft.com/content/e9c39ac4-f529-11e6-95ee-f14e55513608 An interesting and timely read? I think so: Margaret Atwood on what The Handmaid’s Tale means in the Age of Trump http://nyti.ms/2mo9wkr If you have any interesting links you would like to share, just let me know!

Writerreads

A Writer Reads

I have read some wonderful books recently, but there are three which stand out for me. Dead Woman Walking – I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this excellent novel by Sharon Bolton, and as many of you know she is one of my favourite authors. It begins with a dramatic hot-air balloon ride and a view from above of a killer. With a twist that I genuinely didn’t see coming, the tension never drops until the last page. Although not published yet, Dead Woman Walking is available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Woman-Walking-Sharon-Bolton-ebook/dp/B01KL65GTM/         Wrong Place – Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Davies’ first novel, Gone Astray, I was keen to read the next story in the DC Maggie Neville series. Neville is a Family Liaison Officer, and this gives a unique spin to a police procedural. Wrong Place is the story of a woman

The Sixth Window Blog Tour

Every year around publication of my new book I am always so awed by the wonderful book blogging community for their support and this year is certainly no exception! This year, for our #SixthWindow blog tour, we wanted to try something a bit different and thought it would be fun to play a writing game of literary consequences. I have started a thriller and my blogger friends have then each written the next part challenging me to finish each (very) short story. It was a brilliant challenge and I’ve loved reading these very talented bloggers work. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I’ve liked collaborating on them. There’s six micro-thrillers in total, plus some stops at brilliant blogs to share the books that changed my life, handy writing tips and what books I am looking forward to this year.

Chapter Two reveal

The Sixth Window – Chapter Two

(Have you read the Prologue and Chapter One yet?  Click here for the Prologue.    Click here for Chapter One.)   It seemed remarkably quiet in the office for a Monday morning, and DCI Tom Douglas couldn’t help wondering what particular set of circumstances had deterred the underworld of Greater Manchester from causing the usual weekend chaos. His thoughts were interrupted as footsteps approached his office, and he struggled to hide his pleasure as he studiously pretended to focus on the spreadsheet of crime figures in front of him. The footsteps stopped, and still he didn’t look up. ‘Ta-dah!’ Tom slowly raised his eyes to the figure standing in the doorway, posed with arms spread out from her body as if taking a curtain call on stage. Tom said nothing. ‘Glad to see me back?’ Becky Robinson grinned at him expectantly. Tom was struck by how much thinner she was

Chapter One reveal

The Sixth Window – Chapter One

(Have you read The Prologue yet? Read it here first.) Eighteen Months Later The sound of a door closing upstairs should have given Natalie Gray sufficient warning that she wasn’t going to be alone for much longer, but her eyes were locked on to the computer screen and her heart was pounding. ‘Oh God,’ she whispered as she stared at the images in front of her. ‘Please tell me this is work-related.’ Her words were barely audible, but finally Ed’s cheerful whistling penetrated her consciousness as it grew ever closer and she quickly and silently closed the lid of his laptop and hurried across to the kettle, snatching it off its base and thrusting it under the cold tap, as if she had been standing by the sink all the time. She shouldn’t have been looking at Ed’s computer, but she had wanted to check the weather for the day.

The Sixth Weekend prologue reveal

The Sixth Window – Prologue

It had been a night like so many others over the past few weeks, and as the woman looked down on the narrow street below her second-floor window, still dark at this pre-dawn hour, she finally admitted that she couldn’t take any more. She raised her eyes to seek out the stars in the gaps between the buildings, but the sky was never completely black in central Manchester, the heavens polluted with endless street lights and overly bright shop windows. The incessant rumble of traffic created nothing more than background music that she had long ago learned to filter out, but sleep had eluded her once again because she never knew when the cries of the dead would pierce the silence and shatter any semblance of calm. As the first resident in the north wing of this newly converted building, she had relished the isolation and was almost resentful of

blogheader2

Come to the party!!

Let’s lift the curtain on this party! Come along to the launch of my latest book – THE SIXTH WINDOW – and the seventh outing for everyone’s favourite detective, DCI Tom Douglas. In an exciting new twist, I will be coming to you LIVE by video – technology permitting – so get your questions ready! **** I’m so happy to invite you to the launch of THE SIXTH WINDOW, which will be available on Amazon from 21st February. Please join me for an online party on Facebook to celebrate its release. Throughout the afternoon and early evening (GMT) there will be competitions and prizes. You will be able to display your knowledge of Hitchcock in Dial M for Murderously Good Fun; my hometown of Manchester gets its very own music scene quiz and in addition there will be a hitlist of killer songs to get us all up and dancing!

feature

Christmas with bestselling author Sharon Bolton

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when Sharon Bolton agreed to be interviewed for my newsletter and blog. I have been a fan since I read Sacrifice about eight years ago. Since then, I have devoured every single book she has written and enjoyed them all. Read on to find out more about this wonderful author and her views on Christmas.     What do you think is the best thing about Christmas? The way it turns the darkest of seasons beautiful. I just love the look of Christmas: twinkling lights in the black sky, sumptuously wrapped presents, wreathes on cottage doors, exquisitely decorated trees and tables groaning under piles of delicious food. One of the great joys of Christmas for me is making my home beautiful for the holiday, and seeing my neighbours do the same. What will you be eating for Christmas lunch, and are you

specialprice

Special Book Offers

This month there are some great special offers on some of my books, one in the UK and two in the US. UK offer The Back Road – my second novel – has over 1300 FIVE STAR reviews in the UK and for this month only it is on offer at 99p – which is over 70% off! A girl lies close to death in a dark, deserted lane. A driver drags her body to the side of the road. A shadowy figure hides in the trees, watching and waiting. The quietest places hide the darkest secrets. Click here to learn more.     US offers The Back Road is also available to US readers too (although as you see, the cover is a bit different!) Just $2. Click here to learn more.       Only the Innocent – the book which introduces readers to DCI Tom Douglas is

writerwrites

A Writer Writes – December 2016

In October’s post about writing, I talked about the editing process, and mentioned that I read my whole manuscript out loud when I get near to the final version. I have always done this, and highly recommend it. But it was only when I was going through my new book that I was reminded why it’s so effective. The eye skims over words, and so it helps with spotting errors, but the most important benefit, as I discovered this time, was finding repeat words. It may be that the same word or phrase is used several pages apart, but when reading out loud I find that I ‘hear’ it, much more accurately than I ‘see’ it. It’s not the wrong word, so it wouldn’t stand out normally. But if you listen to your own voice (or maybe even record yourself) your book will be all the better for it. If