Latest Newsletter

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

2015-01-12 11.53.04

The Burma Experience – Day Six

This has been my favourite day up to now, in spite of having to get up at 5 am! Not the best time of the day for me, it has to be said. The reason for the early rise was a sunrise balloon trip over the wonderful Bagan area – an area with over 2000 pagodas and it is truly extraordinary. We arrived at the launch site at about 6 am, and were served coffee and croissants while we had our safety briefing. To my surprise there were several balloons. The company we were with had six, and there were two other companies. We were the green balloons, and there were eight of us per basket.

2015-01-11 04.44.41

The Burma Experience – Day Five

Today was the BIG DAY – the day that we visited Bagan, one of the major sites of Myanmar. Bagan has over 2000 pagodas, many of them dating back to the 11th century, and the vast majority are stupas, not temples. If you remember from an earlier post, a stupa is a solid building that you can’t go inside. A temple is a pagoda that you can enter.

2015-01-08 06.56.43

The Burma Experience – Day Three

Today we went on some trishaws – a bike attached to a kind of sidecar with a seat. As I mentioned before, it has to be said that the seats have been designed for very skinny Burmese bottoms, and not European (or Australian) rears. I watched the people in front of me, and could see their difficulty – but we all made it safely to the pagoda that was the central attraction to the trip.

Children smiled and waved wherever we went.

The Burma Experience – Day Two

The second day of the tour was interesting for so many reasons. We set off from the boat in the morning, travelling on horse and cart – two people to a cart. The travel company likes to use local transport, but the seats are made for rather smaller Burmese bottoms on the whole. I didn’t even take a photo when we went out on a trishaw – too many bits of overflowing flesh for the most part! But it was quite a sight seeing twenty five horse and carts trot off with British and Australian (more Aussies than Brits) hanging on for dear life.

The Irrawaddy Explorer

The Burma Experience – Day One

Today was the first day of my exciting trip up the Irrawaddy River in Burma – or more accurately the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar (pronounced Mee-an-mar, and not My-an-mar as I had always assumed). We had spent the night of our arrival at a Sheraton hotel in Yangon – the largest city in Myanmar and previous known as Rangoon. I also believed it to be the capital, but that was wrong too! It used to be, until the military government officially relocated the capital to Naypjidaw in 2006, much of the city being built from scratch and at considerable expense. This appeared to be a bone of contention with our guide, understandably considering the way in which most of the people of the country appear to live. What we hadn’t been warned about was that the trip from Yangon to Prome, where we were to board our ship, was a

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Stranger Child – what’s it all about?

So, last week we had the cover reveal – and now we have the blurb reveal. Don’t forget – it’s out on 24th February! STRANGER CHILD – BY RACHEL ABBOTT One dark secret. One act of revenge. When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident. Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie. Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis. Emma¹s life no longer feels secure. What really happened to David¹s family all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?

2015-01-10-12.01.05

Burma Update

Hi Everyone, Since Alexandra kindly updated this blog to let you know that I couldn’t post anything from Burma (Myanmar) I have since arrived home – so we’re going to pretend that I went two weeks later! The posts will start in a couple of days, and take you right through the trip. I do hope you enjoy. Alexandra’s message while I was away: This is Alexandra – Rachel’s assistant. Rachel asked me to apologise for the silence on the blog. There is no internet access on her trip. She is writing the blog daily, but can’t upload it, so is going to wait until she has a decent signal. Then the posts will begin. Sorry about this – Burma isn’t quite up to speed on the internet!

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The Burma Experience – The Adventure Begins

The first stage of my trip to Burma began today with a very unexciting flight from Manchester to London. Now’s the time to wonder whether I’ve actually done everything that I needed to for this trip. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before – especially on my own, so now I have lists to check and tablets to take!