My year in words

Well, 2019 seems to have flown by and what a year it’s been! With everything that’s been happening in the world of politics we’ve needed fiction more than ever so let’s concentrate on the fictional worlds that have helped us survive such a year! According to Goodreads I’ve read 47 books so far, which is less than usual but probably because I’ve written more this year than ever before.

Looking back at my New Year post from January I was hoping to achieve the following:

  • Publication of book 2 in the Dean Matheson series.
  • Write book 3 in the series.
  • Publication of a short story that was accepted for an American anthology.

Did I achieve these things? Well…

So, yes! I achieved everything I set out to do this year, plus more:

  • Paperback publication of Who Cares if They Die (book 1 in the series). This means that, as well as the ebook and audiobook versions which were released in 2018, it’s now available in paperback from all good book shops and in libraries (ask them to order it in if your local library doesn’t yet have a copy!).
  • Having written Won’t You Save Me this year, I have also just finished writing the first draft of a brand-new novel that isn’t part of the Dean Matheson series! I can’t tell you any more than that at the moment! I’ve learned a lot from writing a three-book series and I can see how my writing is improving with each book so I’m going to make this new book my best yet. That doesn’t mean the end of Dean Matheson though – just wait until you read how book 3 ends. OMG it even surprised me. It’s so shocking that I have no choice but to write book 4, just to see what happens next! I’ve actually started writing it already…
  • I also wrote various articles, short stories and blog posts this year as well as probably thousands of tweets! Hey, it’s words so it all counts!
  • And I had my first radio interview on the BBC which was so much fun.

This has definitely been my most successful and prolific year as a writer so far. And I have BIG plans for 2020:

  • Publication of Won’t You Save Me on 29th January in ebook and audiobook by Ruby Fiction.
  • Editing and finishing that new novel. Starting the sequel to the new novel (already plotted out).
  • Writing short stories as and when the ideas take me.
  • Perhaps a surprise here and there too…

If you’re reading this post it might mean you’ve read one of my books, in which case I want to end with a thank you. Without people supporting me by buying/borrowing/reading/reviewing my books, I couldn’t keep doing this. I get a lot of feedback from readers in a variety of different ways and I love it. My books are shaped by your feedback (it’s your fault book 3 has cats in it!) so it’s always worth letting me know what you think of them. And every review on Amazon helps the books find more exposure due to the way Amazon works, so thank you to everyone who has left an Amazon review. Even just a star rating with one sentence helps. It really doesn’t have to be an essay to be a worthwhile review!

In January 2020 I’ll be offering a paperback giveaway for Who Cares if They Die. If you’d like to enter make sure you keep an eye on my Twitter/Facebook accounts.

In the meantime, have a fabulous Christmas and New Year. I hope it’s filled with lots of books and plenty of time to read them. 📚❤️🎄

(p.s. That’s Joey & Teddy in the Christmas photo.)

Coroner’s assistant to crime writer

It’s not surprising that I became a crime writer. After all, crime has always played a part in my work life. I’ve worked as a university adviser for prisoners who were seeking rehabilitation through education and I’ve worked in a coroner’s office, where we sought justice for those who may have passed away through medical negligence or even murder. So perhaps I feel compelled to write about crime in order to seek justice for those unable to seek it for themselves. Those who have been murdered, or those with no family to care about them.

Who Cares If They Die is the first book in my Dean Matheson crime series and it explores exactly that: what happens when women who are living on the margins of society are killed in suspicious circumstances. Does anyone care if a drug addict overdoses? What about if a prisoner commits suicide? The killer in this book hopes not. But these women are still someone’s mother, daughter, sister, despite what they’ve done.  Don’t they deserve as much justice as anyone else? Officer Dean Matheson thinks so and he makes it his business to find out the truth, because he’s unwilling to accept their deaths were suicides.

In the sequel – Where the Snow Bleeds – Dean is called in to investigate a police department that is happy to write-off two missing teenage girls from a remote ski town in Colorado as runaways, when all the evidence clearly points to the opposite. With the popularity of true crime documentaries rising, we are becoming more aware of corruption in law enforcement and just how big a problem it is, how many wrongful convictions take place each year. This book explores how far people will go to turn a blind eye in order to protect their own interests.

I think we’d all like a Dean Matheson in our lives, someone who will dig a little deeper in order to seek justice for those who can’t seek it for themselves.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Just as I have cats who keep me company while I write, Dean has his rescue dog, Rocky, helping him in his investigations. Rocky is a gentle rottweiler and wannabe police dog and he’s the character I get the most emails about! I often laugh at how crime fiction lovers (me included) can read about the most horrific crimes to humans but I’ve been told on no uncertain terms that I can never, ever, allow anything bad to happen to Rocky. Quite right too.

This is a short article I wrote for Female First to celebrate the release of the paperback version of Who Cares if They Die on 5th Nov 2019. It is now available in all good book shops (and on their websites) and in UK libraries as well as on all digital platforms as an ebook and audiobook. Book 3 in the series is out in Jan 2020.

Watch the one minute teaser trailer to see if you’re interested!

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Paperback publication day!

Today is a special day as my debut crime thriller is released as a paperback!

This is especially exciting for me because it’s the first time I have a paperback version of one of my books. I’ve had short stories published in paperback edition anthologies but this is different; this release is all my own work! This is a day all writers dream of when they first start writing stories and sometimes it seems like an impossible dream.

Who Cares if They Die was released as an ebook and audiobook last year but this is the goal most writers work towards – being able to hold their book in their hands and smell the pages… (yes, we’re a bit weird).

It’s now available to purchase in all good book shops (and their websites) but if your favourite shop doesn’t appear to stock it, just ask them to order it in for you. The same goes for your library – if you’d like to be able to borrow a copy, just ask your local library to order a copy in if they don’t already have it. I’m a big supporter of libraries and please don’t think that if you’re not buying a copy you’re not supporting the author – our books actually accrue small royalty payments per loan so it’s still supportive.

Here’s a reminder of what Who Cares if They Die is about (and don’t forget the sequel – Where the Snow Bleeds – is out now as ebook and audiobook on all digital platforms. Book 3 is coming early 2020.):

A series of suspicious suicides may be the work of a serial killer in this debut thriller novel featuring Officer Dean Matheson.

When the body of an unidentified woman is found hanging from a tree in the woods of Maple Valley, it looks like a clear case of suicide. But Officer Dean Matheson is unconvinced. Maybe he’s just looking for that big case that will help him make detective. Maybe he’s just trying to avoid his rocky marriage. Or maybe he’s really on to something. Because the closer Matheson looks at the facts of the case, the less they add up.

Then more apparent suicides start cropping up. The victims are all women living on the fringes of society—addicts and criminals nobody would miss. Does anyone really care if they die? Matheson is making it his business to care, and that’s about to make him a target . . .

Watch the short trailer:

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Click here for Who Cares if They Die on Amazon.