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.)

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.

New work in progress… (plus a free audio short story for you.)

I’ve been really busy lately with; a) the blog tour for Where the Snow Bleeds (book 2 in the Dean Matheson crime series), b) writing a short story for my publisher to coincide with the book’s recent release, plus c) I’ve just finished writing and editing the third book in the Dean Matheson series and submitted it to my publisher!

The blog tour for Where the Snow Bleeds went unbelievably well, with all bloggers rating it 4 or 5 stars, along with some amazing feedback that I couldn’t have anticipated in my wildest dreams. Whilst writing this book I scrapped the first 30k words twice, as it wasn’t working for me and I wanted it to be the best it possibly could be for readers. It looks like the hard work and difficult decisions paid off as the final version is a book I’m really happy with and the readers have agreed! I feel as if my writing has grown a lot between the first book in the series – Who Cares If They Die – and this one. When I wrote that first book, I didn’t have a publisher and never knew if it would ever see the light of day, but now I’m writing for actual readers, it pushes me to write and refine better than ever!

With that in mind I’ve tried to make book 3 even better. I can’t reveal the title yet and I’m hopeful it will be released in 2020, but I feel like I’ve made it the best it can be until it goes through the official editing process with my lovely publisher (Ruby Fiction). Working with an editor really does make any book better because they spot things we can’t possibly see after so many read-throughs and re-writes. I’m looking forward to making the final changes before publication.

I’ve also written a crime short story called Room 12b that my publisher released as one of their ‘Treats’. They surprised me by also having it narrated into an audio story! You can listen to it (it’s only 7 mins long – perfect for a tea break!) on their website by clicking on ‘Free Audio Story’ at the bottom of the page, under Where the Snow Bleeds here. I hope you enjoy it!

So, am I taking a breather now I’ve finished book 3 in the series?

No! I’ve already started work on some new projects but I can’t give anything away about them yet as they’re so new. Just be assured that I have plenty more books in the pipeline and my enthusiasm for writing hasn’t waned at all – I have stories in my head that are demanding to be written, which is why I haven’t been able to take a break between books. I’m genuinely interested to see what happens with all of them, as well as what happens with Dean Matheson next. Dean is one of my favourite characters and I want to see him do well. And he will… if only he’d stop getting into trouble! Readers of Where the Snow Bleeds have told me Detective Eva Valdez is a great addition to the series and I love writing her story as she’s got a lot to say and isn’t afraid of saying it, especially to Dean! I think she can help him become the great detective he’s always wanted to be.

If you prefer to read paperbacks over eBooks, you might like to know that Who Cares If They Die is currently available to pre-order as a paperback on most book shop websites as well as Amazon. It’s officially released on 5th November 2019 in all good book stores and libraries (if they don’t have it in – just ask them to order it!).

I’m hoping that, by Christmas 2019, I’ll have lots of new writing updates for you and I’ll be able to tell you more about book 3 in the series as well as my other projects…

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who’s ever read and reviewed one of my books. Your feedback really does help to shape the next book and it boosts my confidence when I most need it – during those cold, lonely writing days when I’m questioning whether anyone’s ever going to read what I’m writing.

Thank you!

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The final two cupcakes leftover from publication day!