Wednesday, 19 June 2019

It's been a busy year

I've been terrible at blogging, mostly because I've been so busy. A Shroud of Leaves has been edited (several times) and many, many thanks to Cath Trechman at Titan for never saying 'do the whole thing again!'. Definitely a lot of work but I'm thrilled with the way it's turned out. 


It comes out on the 9th July 2019, which amazingly is just around the corner, and you can pre-order it here if you're so inclined. Where did spring go? 

Oh, yes, in a frenzy of packing and moving. We have sold the house in Northam and are now in the middle of selling the cottage in Appledore to buy (don't want to jinx it so I'll say it quietly) a lovely Georgian double fronted house up the road. With a proper study and spare room to park the youngest child when she's not having adventures at university and a 60ft walled garden which is literally my fantasy garden. It even has my most wishes for feature of enough room in the kitchen for a table and chairs.



Our two year old granddaughter will have something to say about the garden, no doubt, although the play house isn't safe to use. It may need to be replaced, Grandy... or Mangee as she calls him.

As a writer, things have changed quite subtly. After the sadness of Christmas with the loss of my father-in-law, I parted company with my lovely, kind agent. I think I felt too stretched and stressed to even care about writing at the time. Of course, when you take the pressure off the creativity flows back, I haven't stopped writing, but have had time to think what do I actually want to write? I love crime, I read loads of crime, but I'm not sure I want to stick to the formula of traditional crime books with red herrings and suspects. I'm more interested in solving the psychological mysteries around people's lives. I also write the historical stories in a quarter of the time so I think I might stretch into purely historical at some point. Meanwhile I have a stack of books ready to edit to hopefully find a publisher. Finding Noah is nearly complete, Sage 3 needs a better ending but is nearly there and The Asylum Sisters is finished and looking for a home. Meanwhile we're living in a cottage 8 feet wide with one bookcase. Hopefully, not for long! 

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Fresh start, new book

It's been a difficult couple of months. My father-in-law died in December and we organised his funeral. It was a privilege to arrange another creative's funeral, his coffin was decorated with some of his favourite cartoon characters. He drew some of them for a dozen years for children's comics in this country. I left a pile of pens on top of the coffin, people wrote messages of love and farewell, coloured in the drawings, even drew their own. A strange but lovely moment of remembrance and celebration. 

Meanwhile, I've been working on A Shroud of Leaves, trying to get the new edit to the same standard as A Baby's Bones and keep it in the same style. Not easy, I think writing evolves and moves on, it makes writing a series more complicated. It's getting there, but it;s been much harder work than I expected. My editor has had to work very hard too! I hope the next book I have to edit won't be so much work (for either me or an editor). 

It feels like a proper book now. I like the cover, it's got a similar creepiness to the other one without giving too much away. I imagined a brick house in the book though so I've changed it to stone in the text!


After running a novel in a  year course, I'm now working on an course looking at editing (very timely), at Barnstaple library. It should be fun, and great to be working on a few books that were written in that year.