Sunday 31 October 2010


I feel it's time to explain my gripe with the review of Road Closed that has appeared on To begin with, I can't help but wonder why this reviewer didn't post a review of Cut Short - which he admits he liked - but only felt moved to write a review of Road Closed because he enjoyed it less. Are there genuinely reviewers out there who feel they should only review books they don't enjoy ? How is that helpful - or is this just an individual venting his own feelings about life's inevitable disappointments? Well, here's my venting in return!
The second issue I have with all this is that I know I have many fans - including quite a lot in Canada who have contacted me via twitter and facebook. Canadian fans have even complained on facebook and twitter that they were unable to post positive reviews of Road Closed on amazon because they hadn't purchased from there. So the one poor review continues to stand there alone.
Road Closed has received glowing reviews from critics writing for The Times ('confirms her promise as a writer') The New York Journal of Books ('refreshingly compelling and original') even some reviews which prefer Road Closed to Cut Short ('an even better read than Cut Short' to quote The Secret Writer). I could go on, but you can see a host of good reviews for Road Closed on my publisher's website
Of course not everyone is going to enjoy my books and a lot of people may well dismiss them for any number of justified reasons, and that's fair enough.
What I find unfair is that when I wanted to post a list of quotes from reviews in The Times, The New York Journal of Books, etc, on to point out that Road Closed has received some positive reviews, blocked it. As the author it seems I am not allowed to post reviews from journals like The Times - even though the reviews aren't mine. I can't even comment on the review that someone else has posted.
I don't expect everyone to like my books and I'm quite happy to accept some inevitable 2 star reviews among the 5 star ones, but what is happening on does seem to be a complete misrepresentation of how Road Closed has been received.
Is it coincidence that out of Cut Short and Road Closed sales on, and the sales rating of Road Closed on has been consistently poor compared to all the others since that one negative review was posted?
So thanks a lot,, for not allowing me to post anyone else's reviews about my book. Maybe it's time you reviewed your policies.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Reaching the End

How do other writers manage to finish a book? How do you?
The first in my series, CUT SHORT, wasn't planned in advance - I simply ran with an idea. Before writing the second in my series, ROAD CLOSED, I did a detailed plan and went further with DEAD END which is coming out in 2011, and wrote a ten page synopsis before I wrote the first draft. I have done the same for the fourth in my series.
Now, with 63 of the 64 chapters written, the first draft of my fourth book is almost complete. I know what to do and could easily finish the first draft in an hour at the most. So what's stopping me? It can't be described as 'writer's block' (whatever that is) because I know exactly what to do. The words are already there in my head just waiting to appear on the page.
But once they're typed - that's it.
Then, of course, the next stage begins, going over what I've written and checking details - names, dates, etc - editing expression, polishing the wording, thinking about the structure - there will be lots of work to do.
But the first draft will be finished.
So what is stopping me from finishing? Why is it so hard to let go? I'm enjoying writing my current MS so much I just don't want this to stop. If I wasn't writing a series I don't think I would ever reach the end of this book... at least until an idea for what is going to happen to Geraldine in the fifth book starts buzzing about in my brain... and I already have an inkling!

Tuesday 12 October 2010

New York Journal of Books

Check out the new look New York Journal of Books on

"Road Closed is the second crime novel by Leigh Russell, featuring Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel. We were first introduced to Steel in the gritty and totally addictive debut novel, Cut Short, and once again Russell is in top form with this new crime thriller...
Like all good crime and thriller writers, Russell gives us just enough morsels of information in each page-turning chapter to whet our appetites for the bigger banquet at the end of the book. Road Closed is a gripping, fast-paced read, pulling you in from the very first tense page and keeping you captivated right to the end with its refreshingly compelling and original narrative. The rapidly building fan base of Russell and Steel will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the next installment, tentatively titled Dead End."