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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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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Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott: Prologue reveal

My new novel, STRANGER CHILD, is due for release in Kindle format on 24th February – just nine days away. I thought you might like a sneak preview of the prologue. Stranger Child – Prologue   Another ten minutes, and she would be safely home. Caroline Joseph gave a shudder of relief that the long journey would soon be over. She never enjoyed driving at night and always felt slightly out of control. Each pair of approaching headlights seemed to draw her towards them, their white light illuminating the car’s interior as she gripped the steering wheel, struggling to point the car straight ahead.

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The Burma Experience – Day Twelve

It was a cold start to the morning, but at least it wasn’t raining. I can confess to slight disappointment – I was hoping that it would rain for ten minutes so I could wear my purple poncho – the waterproof version – bought especially for the trip, and up to now unworn. I nearly wore it anyway, to keep me warm.

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The Burma Experience – Days Ten and Eleven

There’s not much to say about the next two days – they were almost exclusively spent travelling. After leaving the ship, we took the coach and had a tour of the some of the highlights of Mandalay. It’s an interesting city and seemed to me to be cleaner that Yangon – but that could be because I am just more used to Burma. They have a huge problem with rubbish here – plastic bags have entered their world without any thought of how they are going to get rid of them all. As many of the villages don’t even have sewers or running water, I think the idea of garbage collection is quite far down the list. My guide today told me that she volunteers once a month to collect plastic bags from the streets, as do many of the other people who are concerned about keeping their area beautiful.

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The Burma Experience – Day Nine

Today was a funny day, really. It was our last day on the boat, and so I decided to spend the morning trying to pack. The problem I have is that I have a 20 Kg limit on an internal flight to Lake Inle, and I have at least double that! I’m just hoping they charge me money rather than throw me off the plane! The international flights are far more generous, but it’s just these two internal flights that had me worried, so I thought I should do a bit of creative packing while the other trippers went to explore the local town. We leave the boat in the morning at 8 am, and our cases have to be outside our bedroom doors by 6 am. One thing about this trip, there’s no option to laze around in bed! The latest that breakfast is EVER served is 7 –

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The Burma Experience – Day Eight

I was particularly looking forward to today, because I was told we were going into the jungle, and I thought it would give me a very real feel of the places that my dad must have visited. However, disappointingly it wasn’t the jungle at all. It was a fairly sparse forest with quite a lot of monkeys! If it hadn’t been for the disappointment of the jungle, which is apparently much further north, it would have been a good day. Although we had quite a long coach ride, we visited a place high up in the hills where niches have been carved in the rocks, and every niche contains some kind of Buddha (I have more photos of Buddhas than you would believe possible). It was quite extraordinary, because the Buddhas were actually carved out of the rock too – not just built externally and then added into the niches.

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The Burma Experience – Day Seven

Today we visited another village, alongside the river. Here, the local people make clay pots. All their materials are free – they gather clay from the river and mix it with sand from the river bank. This forms the basis of their pots.

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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.

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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.

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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.