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March 28th, 2017
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 ...
March 30th, 2017
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!
March 30th, 2017
Featured Reader – Beth Moist
Thank you all so much for responding to my request for featured readers – now I have a library of you! I’m going to start off with Beth Moist from Phenix City, Alabama, USA who has some very interesting memories to share. My love for psychological thrillers comes from my childhood. My father was a police officer and he used to ride me around in his patrol car and he would take me in the back of the jail with him. It was so exciting. My father also used to take me on his adventures into ancient Native American burial grounds where we would search for old pottery, arrow or spear heads. The mystery of looking and what I might find was a great thrill for me. My big brother Tom and I would often play and explore in the woods, looking for a secret cave or hide out, pretending ...
March 30th, 2017
Dying to write – the opening line challenge
This month I’ve picked out some great opening lines from psychological crime thrillers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with one sentence that could start off a book that cannot be put down. My latest book The Sixth Window starts like this: “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 she finally admitted that she couldn’t take any more.” So get your thinking caps on – you need ONE sentence that will hook the reader who’s desperate to walk down the dark path, the one who will go into the basement with a faulty torch when they hear something scratching to get in… The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. SJ Watson, Before I go to Sleep An hour before her shift started, an hour before ...
March 30th, 2017
The new novel is underway!
I am so happy to have started work on my next novel! As a writer, it’s such an exciting time as the characters and story begin to take shape in my imagination. Not all writers work in the same way, of course, but for me character definition is a critical part of the writing process. As soon as the overall plot is clear in my mind I begin defining the detail of each of the individuals that the reader will meet along the way. I already have a clear idea in my head of what each of them will look like, but I also like to find a photograph of somebody that is close in looks to my idea. That way I can refer back to it whenever I need a visual reminder. I search Google with a broad description and sometimes find an actor that fits the bill, or ...
March 30th, 2017
Forthcoming events – April 2017
This month I’m going to be out and about, and it would be great to meet up with some of my readers. I’m off to Denmark first to speak at Krimimessen in Horsens on April 1 but I don’t suppose I will catch up with many of you there. http://krimimessen.dk/ And later in the month I will be travelling to the North West of England, visiting Oldham, Bolton, Warrington, Denton and Wallasey. Do let me know if you’re likely to attend any of them so that I can say hello.   Moving on a month, I will be speaking at the Guernsey Festival on 11th May http://www.guernseyliteraryfestival.com/ and at New Writing North on 20th http://newwritingnorth.com/   Later in the year, I’m looking forward to being a judge for the Kindle Storyteller Award, a new literary prize recognising newly published work in the English language across any genre. The prize is ...

Recent Posts

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A Writer Writes

The highs and lows of being a writer This month has been great fun in more ways than one. I live on the tiny island of Alderney in the Channel Islands, and August is total madness. Never have I lived anywhere like it, with parties, dinners, lunches and all kinds of other silliness going on. It’s exhausting, but fun. It would be possible to be out every night of the week, but the reality is that I need to work, and I want to work. That period is over now, and things are calming down. But it becomes the start of another silly season – this time the season of travel. As you will see from the News and Events, there are a number of writing festivals coming up, and I’m really looking forward to them. What it means, though, is that time spent writing becomes more limited, and that’s

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Interesting Links

We’ve got some great links for you this month, and hopefully you’ll get lots of ideas of books to read as the nights draw in. Among others on the Telegraph’s list of crime and thriller novels of 2016, discover Jill Dawson’s The Crime Writer a book that places the whisky-soaked genius and celebrated psychological thriller writer Patricia Highsmith inside a novel even more lurid and unlikely than the ones she wrote herself… Telegraph Books – Best Crime and Thriller Novels of 2016 One of the UK’s most popular thriller writers, Mark Edwards, is offering three short sharp shockers when you sign up to his newsletter. Learn more here. Tartan noir queen Val McDermid talks about her extraordinary start in life. Click here to read that fascinating interview.      

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Featured Reader

I’ve often said how much I love living on Alderney! I’ve also chatted about having a book group here – something which I enjoy enormously. This month, much to my surprise and delight, my Book Group decided to transform themselves into my Featured Readers! So, they all live on The Rock and they all had something to say about one of my books. What could I do but allow them the limelight they so richly deserve! Please note the damning evidence of chocolates and Prosecco in the foreground – I find that all our highly literary meetings go very smoothly by their inclusion! Jacqueline: I try to save my Rachel Abbotts for my holidays. Sleep Tight is my favourite because it ends up in Alderney so I never feel far from home. Pauline: I’ve read all of Rachel’s books, usually when the grandchildren are asleep. I pick them up as

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In conversation with Angela Marsons

I was recently fortunate enough to be asked to take part in a conversation with the wonderful Angela Marsons on the Liz Loves Books Blog. We had great fun sharing our experiences, and if you want to know about the ups and downs of becoming a writer – read on! Angela’s book Silent Scream took the Amazon charts by storm, as have all her following books, and she’s a lovely lady! Angie: Rachel, thank you so much for agreeing to answer some of my questions. I read your story at a particularly low point in my writing journey and found it incredibly inspirational. I know you faced rejection with your first book Only The Innocent but you managed to keep the faith and keep going. How did you do that? Was there someone in particular who consistently urged you to carry on? Rachel: To be honest, I only approached a small

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Interesting Links

There’s a great article here: The best reason for reading? Book lovers live longer, scientists say And another: Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience I’m also delighted to share with you links to some of my favourite writers’ newsletters, and this month here is a link to Clare Mackintosh’s newsletter. More next month, and let me know of any you particularly enjoy so that we can share with others.

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A Writer Writes

It’s easy to think that a writer’s life is at the very least a romantic one. Perhaps we all sit in our plush leather chairs behind our grand desks and wile away the hours tapping effortlessly on our Macs? Sadly, the reality is much closer to TOO MUCH reality! I work from 8am until 8pm every day of the week, breaking only when I travel for literary events and festivals where I am also working. It’s hard and frustrating and tiring and like most writers I wouldn’t change a thing! In this new-look newsletter I am going to note some of my highs and lows to let you see how tough being a self-employed scribe is. For example, this month I have had endless technical problems with my email and I have wasted hundreds of lost hours trying to solve them. Sometimes it’s soul-destroying and I have to remind myself that

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Featured Reader

This month’s featured reader* is Niki Hadden from Chelmsley Wood, Solihull. “I’m reading Sleep Tight at home right now and it’s 20 minutes past midnight and I’ve had to creep downstairs to make sure all my doors and windows are locked. I would have liked to take something sharp and pointy to bed with me – once I’ve switched the landing light on – but my husband is on nights so I wouldn’t want him to think his wife is losing her marbles! Although he’s used to my reading material before bed – women who snap and husbands in jeopardy, that sort of thing! “Sleep Tight is the first book I have read by Rachel Abbott and I have already downloaded Only The Innocent. Tom Douglas is a very intriguing character and I would certainly like to know more about him and the mystery surrounding his brother Jack!” *If you would

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News and Events

Bloody Scotland : This will be my first time at Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on September 9-11. I’ll be in conversation with fellow author Melanie Raabe on September 10 discussing the title “Can you trust the narrator or your favourite crime novel?” – you’ll have to attend to find out! While you’re there you can go to panels with Val McDermid, Martina Cole and Ben McPherson to name but a few. Find out more at www.BloodyScotland.com Jersey Festival of Words : This is the second JFOW, a five-day literary festival featuring visiting and local writers, poets and events, writing workshops, competitions and more. This year’s festival will take place between September 28th and October 2nd, and will see us welcoming internationally renowned writers including Michael Morpurgo, Victoria Hislop, Louis de Bernières, Louise Doughty and Alison Weir to the island. My presentation is on October 1 – Crime Fiction and Publishing versus Self-Publishing and for once I won’t

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Dying to Write

So many of you have asked me over the years how I started to write. In a nutshell, I had an idea in my head for a while, but as soon as I got the chance I sat down and just started! And you can, too. In this newsletter I’m going  to give you a starter paragraph (see below). Pick it up and run with it. Write the next paragraph of the story for yourself or for me. If you send it to me at newsletter@rachel-abbott.com I will publish the best two or three follow-on paragraphs (in my opinion) to build up a short story over the next six months. Use your imagination, create a world, people it and colour it. That’s what every writer does. Good luck, all you need is a blank screen or piece of paper and an open mind. *** Friday the 13th was the day that

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A Writer Reads

My summer reading picks Over the last few weeks I have read some really great books. If you’re still thinking what to read over the summer – whether at home or on holiday – here are a few of my favourites. Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes I have loved Elizabeth Haynes’ books since the amazing Into the Darkest Corner – and although I have read and enjoyed her more recent police procedurals (which are also clever and well-written) this book is back to the familiar sense of suspense for which she is famous. As the blurb says “nothing is as it seems, but everything is at stake.” Whether you have read this brilliant writer’s work before or not, I would seriously recommend it. Click here to learn more about this book.   I See You by Clare Macintosh I was sent a preview copy of this book, and I couldn’t wait.