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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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

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Interesting Links – October 2016

Meet the author of the Worst Witch series of children’s books, Jill Murphy. She sensibly advocates the need to read to children rather than just turning them loose with an iPad. Click here to read more. Shirley Jackson – featured as one my spooky reads this month – comes under the spotlight in this review of her biography by Ruth Franklin. This is a writer who deserves much more attention than she got in her lifetime, both from a literary and personal perspective. Click here to learn more. Two powerful and simple antidotes to the vices of our digital media culture: read old books and have good friends. Click here to learn more. Feast of horror! Thirty reads from An American Psycho to Dracula via The Exorcist and on until The Silence of the Lambs – delicious! Click here for more about these scary reads.

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Featured Spooktail

This month, I thought I would give you a featured cocktail instead of a featured reader, although any of you keen to appear next month holding up any one of my books with a few words on why you enjoyed it can write to me at newsletter@rachel-abbott.com – the chosen reader will get a signed copy. Now on to more liquid delights… ‘Tis the season to drink in the ghoulish! Enjoy this grisly cocktail – just the thing for Hallowe’en. There are hundreds of devilish cocktails out there, a Bloody Mary, Death in the Afternoon (yes, it does contain both Absinthe and Champagne!) or even a Zombie? But this one is a winner in the sinner stakes – but please remember to imbibe responsibly! Satan’s Whiskers Ingredients Cracked ice 1 ounce gin 1 ounce dry vermouth 1 ounce sweet vermouth 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice 4 teaspoons orange curaçao or Grand Marnier

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Killer Women: Rachel Abbott & Louise Voss

In this article Rachel Abbott and Louise Voss talk about the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Voss is what’s known as a ‘hybrid author’, with a publisher for some of her books whilst others are self-published. All of Abbott’s novels are self-published in the UK. In 2015 she was named as the No.1 self-published author on Amazon Kindle UK and the fourteenth best-selling author overall. Louise Voss: Hi Rachel! Many writers these days are asking themselves whether they should self-publish or try to get a traditional deal. So, let’s kick off with why you chose to self-publish. Rachel Abbott: Some people believe that writers only self-publish because they can’t get a publishing deal. But that’s not always true. I self-publish out of choice. I like being my own boss and making the decisions, and for now I am prepared to put in the extremely long hours I

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How To Get Away With Murder

This article was originally published at NovelKicks. In the very first of my novels, Only the Innocent, I wanted a man to be murdered and I wanted his killer to get away with it. I didn’t mind that people might guess who the killer was – the book wasn’t really about that. It was about why he had to die. The most important part for me, though, was creating an unbreakable alibi for his murderer, and that took some thinking about. If you want to be credible, it takes a lot of research – checking out train timetables, flight routes, maybe even tide tables. You might also want to check details like the time of sunset according to the month and location of your murder, if that’s relevant. Every detail has to be considered, or readers will see straight through it. So, alibi is top of my list of techniques

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Dying to Write

In my monthly newsletter we are running a writing competition – and it’s a bit like a game of consequences. I wrote the first paragraph of the story, and then asked newsletter readers (or blog readers!) to submit the next paragraph. I am so pleased that so many of you took the time to turn in your rogue paragraph! I am also delighted that so many of them were so good. It has been difficult to choose just one for you all to carry on with but the writer at the front of the field on this occasion is Ryan Kaminski. Close runners up were Karen Turner and Jess Perry. We’re now waiting for your inspiration for the next part of the story – so do send us your idea of how the story might continue, but please only use Ryan’s entry to take your story forward! Good luck! I’m

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News and Events

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 have to travel very far – Jersey is only 30 minutes from my home on Alderney. Learn more at www.JerseyFestivalofWords.org Good Housekeeping Self-publishing Masterclass: Always dreamed of publishing your book but don’t know where to start? Come and meet three of who have made a success of self-publishing and learn how we did it. On the panel with me are Tracy Bloom, author of No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday, an ebook number 1 best-seller in the UK in

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A Writer Reads

This month I have, as always, read voraciously and three of the books absolutely stand out in my mind. I wish it was more, but I can only recommend the best books to you! This book isn’t available until next February, but it’s already up for pre-order on Amazon and I was lucky enough to get a pre-publication copy. It is SO good – and it’s impossible to believe that this is a debut author. My quote on Amazon says it all, and I mean every word of it. It’s a brilliant thriller, tense, exciting, but also with masterly strokes of humour in the writing. I think it’s going to be the thriller of the year. Click here to learn more.       Paul Finch never fails to deliver a good book. This was just released earlier this week (22 September 2016). I loved his Heck character in previous

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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