Thursday 30 September 2010

Being Busy

It’s been a while since I posted here, not because I forgot about my blog, but because I’ve been very busy, as usual, with book signings, interviews and, of course, writing! First, and most important of all, is the writing news.
CUT SHORT has been reprinted (again!) since it was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award for Best First Novel (yes, I still get a kick out of typing that.) Next year it is going to reprinted in a larger format complete with inside covers and everything.
ROAD CLOSED – which has been receiving absolutely fantastic reviews! - is currently having its first reprint (yes, already!)
DEAD END is on my publisher’s website with a publication date next June and discussion is ongoing about the cover. A decision has to be made urgently as my publisher is off to the Frankfurt Book Fair next week and wants to take the details of DEAD END with him.
Book 4 – no, I’m not revealing the title yet, although I do have one – is almost finished. I’ve written 80,000 words and have 2 chapters and some polishing to do.
And after that? I’ll be going through edits for DEAD END, and hoping lots of people will like my books and t his crazy brilliant experience will keep on keeping on. I’m loving it!
Here are a few recent photos of what I’ve been up to.
Giving a talk at Watford Writers Circle

An interview for a local paper
And while I’ve been busy travelling around the UK book signing over the past few weeks – York, Newcastle, Guildford, Chichester, Hemel Hempstead - and selling out everywhere I’ve been, my books have been out and about too. Here’s a lovely photo of CUT SHORT in
South Africa!
This week I've been invited to go along to a book club that have been reading CUT SHORT (I hope they liked it!) approached for another interview by a national paper, given my views on the design ideas for DEAD END (which is ultimately a sales decision not an artistic one) and written a few more chapters of my fourth book.
And on top of all that, I’m back at school. It’s certainly a busy life!

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Books and Booker

‘I know it sounds pompous,’ I often hear myself say, ‘but I think writers have a duty to at least try to write well.’
Why do I feel I have to apologise for holding that view? If it implies criticism of some of my fellow writers, where does the blame lie?
Just the other day my dentist apologised for extracting the wrong tooth. ‘Sorry’, he said as he wiped my blood from his grubby fingers, ‘I’ve done a shocking job for you. Now I must be off, I’m up for an award as Dentist of the Year.’
Once my gums had stopped bleeding I arranged to meet some friends for supper. I ordered fish. It arrived promptly, quite well cooked on the outside and only slightly frozen in the middle. When I tried to return my dish I learned that the chef was no longer on the premises. ‘He had to dash,’ the waiter explained. ‘He’s off to hear if he’s won Chef of the Year.’
‘The food must be good,’ one of my friends said. ‘The chef’s up for an award!’ The others were too busy chewing to speak.
‘Some of the seasoning could do with severe cutting,’ I muttered. ‘Didn’t the chef taste this before serving it up?’ The only response was the sound of someone choking.

Sir Andrew Motion commented recently that some of the books put forward for the Booker Prize were ‘pretty shocking’ and ‘quite shockingly in want of a decent edit.’ Does the author take no responsibility for the quality of the writing?
My own books have been described as ‘well-written’ (The Times, Marcel Berlins) ‘refreshingly compelling and original’ (The New York Journal of Books, Michael Lipkin) ‘intelligently written’ (Bookersatz, Helen M Hunt) ‘well-written’ (Eurocrime, Amanda Gillies) ‘accomplished’ (Watford Observer, Melanie Dakin). I could go on.

So why do books like mine, well-written though they are, never appear on a long list for a literary prize? Because my books are also described – to quote just a few of many similar reviews - as ‘gritty and addictive… gripping, fast-paced read, pulling you in from the very first tense page and keeping you captivated right to the end ..’ (New York Journal of Books, Sam Millar) ‘a gritty page-turner from the start’ (Star magazine,) ‘tense… fast-paced twisty narrative’ (US Publishers Weekly starred review)

Yes – well-written they may be, but I write crime fiction.
Sorry about the door slamming. That was just my credibility as a writer leaving the room.

Saturday 11 September 2010


ROAD CLOSED is being reprinted - selling as fast as CUT SHORT!

Thursday 2 September 2010

Northern Tour

Back home after my trip up North. CUT SHORT and ROAD CLOSED sold out sold out at my first signing at WH Smith's in York. We spent a lovely few days in York before going to BBC Radio York in Scarborough for a live interview with presenter Russell Walker.Russell Walker made us feel very welcome. We met him last year and it was great seeing him again. His friendly personality comes across in his voice on the radio.
We spent a few days in Scarborough, visiting Robin Hood's Bay and walking from there along the cliff top to Whitby where we fell exhausted into the first tea shop we passed. It turned out to be dedicated to Sherlock Holmes and full of fascinating memorabilia, not to mention the fabulous homemade scones. From there we continued on our journey to Newcastle for an interview with Simon Logan on BBC Radio Newcastle. He's a great guy, and was really interested in my writing. With our Southern stereotypical misconceptions about Newcastle, we were thrilled to discover what a great place it is and had a great time walking across the fantastic bridges. Sadly we didn't see the swing bridge or the millenium bridge open! We spent a lovely day in Durham exploring along the river and round the cathedral. After selling out both CUT SHORT and ROAD CLOSED at Waterstones in Newcastle, it was back home to sort out washing, emails and to type up the 20,000 or so words I'd written while we were away.

Too busy to post

Note to self: Must post soon. I've been so busy...