Saturday 30 April 2011

Why do we call hindsight a benefit?

I just logged onto my blog as it’s about time for another post, with no idea what I was going to write about, and stumbled across a list of recent posts on blogs I follow, with links. How did I never discover it before now?
That happens to me so often with technology, which I make no claims to have mastered, and – even more galling – with life. It’s always struck me as a devastating stroke of irony that we learn from experience, because there are situations in life where we need to acquire knowledge before the experience and, once the experience is over the knowledge becomes superfluous. If only I’d known something – anything – about parenting before my children arrived. Yes, I learned a lot about parenting through being a mother and, with the uncomfortable 'benefit' of hindsight could do it all so much better now…
Writing encapsulates the sting of hindsight because once a book is published you can reread it – and it’s too late to change anything! As a rule I’m not one for looking back with regrets, but I wonder if other people’s stories turn out exactly how they want them to be.
Would you change anything about your writing if you could turn the clock back?

Saturday 23 April 2011

Standing out from the Crowd

Great review of Dead End in Bookgeeks - "the critical acclaim heaped on Russell thus far in her literary career is well deserved. Dead End strays neatly away from several of the norms of crime fiction; this allows her to stand out in a crowded marketplace"

Links to more early reviews posted on 4th April. Here's the link to the Bookgeeks review, and watch out for an interview coming soon!

Monday 18 April 2011

Amazon promotes Road Closed

Amazon are promoting Road Closed on Kindle - £1.20 until 2nd May.

Here's the link if you'd like to check it out -

ROAD CLOSED made it to the TOP 100 TITLES on Amazon kindle!

Check out this blog- thanks, Helen!

Friday 15 April 2011

Society of Authors Workshop

Thank you to the authors who attended my workshop hosted by The Society of Authors this week. It was a privilege to share your combination of creativity and craft; thank you for contributing with such enthusiasm and good humour. What an eclectic and interesting group! The Society organiser was all set to take photos of the event but the discussion was so lively I completely forgot to ask her. Good luck with your writing!
To anyone on the waiting list - hopefully The Society will be contacting you soon with dates of further workshops so I hope to have an opportunity to meet you before too long!

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Snapping the paparazzi

The Windsor Observer sent a photographer to snap me in action signing at Waterstones in Windsor. We snapped her in return! I'm the glamorous young blonde one...
I really enjoyed my first book signing of the year and am looking forward to signing at Waterstones in St Albans next Saturday. And before that I'll be running my first workshop at The Society of Authors on Thursday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Writers, Festivals & Reviews - An author's life

Some Watford Writers after my talk on submissions. In other news, I received details from Harrogate Crime Festival today. And reviews are starting to come in for Dead End (out in May) - see below.

Monday 4 April 2011

Dead End Reviews

Great review of Dead End by Barry Forshaw in Crimetime - "an encounter that will take them into the darkest recesses of the human psyche" !
And here's the link to the review by Marie Muldoon in New Books Magazine - "I am really impressed and am now Leigh Russell's number one fan!"
Graham Smith of Crimesquad has also reviewed Dead End and here's a preview he sent me - "A macabre read, full of enthralling characters and gruesome details which kept me glued from first page to last." Dead End is published in May.

Sunday 3 April 2011

Good News

I've been invited to participate at HARROGATE FESTIVAL. This is a huge honour for any author of crime fiction and I'm absolutely thrilled.

Friday 1 April 2011

The Goal Posts are Moving Again

The goal posts are moving again…

Once I would have grabbed at the chance of having a third novel published. With my first two titles still selling, am I becoming an established author, successful at last in my own small way? Dead End will soon be going to print, ready to hit the shelves next month. (What happened to the past six months? Publication date has been so far off for so long and now, suddenly, it’s almost here – How did that happen?)

When Cut Short was due for publication I remember being wildly excited. The whole episode felt like one huge party. It was such fun being a published author! To my surprise, the publication of Road Closed was, if anything, even more exciting. Now I was a real author with not one but two books to my name. (Is that the laughter of authors with multiple titles to their names?)

But with Dead End about to hit the shelves, everything feels different. It could be the after effects of pneumonia, but suddenly this author lark doesn’t seem like so much fun any more. Is it because third time around I know how much hard work lies ahead, with the publication of a new title? The promotion, book signings, talks, panels, interviews, and endless phone calls and emails… and the reviews! There have been 3 so far, all good, but that’s just the beginning…

I’m reminded of the Neil Sedaka song about missing the hungry years. The publication of Cut Short was such a thrill, but how can we measure success when the goal posts keep moving?

What has been your experience of publishing second and subsequent books? Did your excitement heighten or fade with each new title?