Meeting Friends – Old and New…

Over the last few weeks I have been visiting nearby Waterstones shops to sign books and promote The Truth Will Out. I love book signings. It’s like somebody giving you a license to hover in a bookstore for several hours, browse the books and talk to engaging and interesting people.

These events have become a family affair for us. Hubby usually drives us there, chats to any friends who call in and keeps us supplied with lattes. Daughter bakes cakes or cookies, hands out bookmarks and chats to readers. It’s lovely that everyone is keen to get involved, not least because it means I don’t feel guilty for neglecting precious family time!

Over the last two weeks I have spent time in Kettering and Northampton Waterstones, both very different stores in nearby towns, but both home to a large population of readers who tread their floors in search of a new little gem for their bookshelf. And if I didn’t know it already, recent experience has demonstrated that readers are some of the loveliest people you can meet.

I have chatted to so many great people – some just wanted to talk about writing and the publishing process, others shared their favourite crime fiction titles; some people talked about experiences with their book clubs or reading circles. I could go on, but I’m sure I’d bore you, so I’ll just share a few memorable moments that made me smile:

1. Two little boys approached tentatively with their dad. While one munched on a cookie, his elder brother (who I guess must have been about five or six) asked, “Is that your book?” When I said it was, he asked, “Did you write all of those words?” When I nodded he gasped and said, “Wow! That must have taken a very, very long time!” Awww.

2. An elderly woman came to see me with her daughter, gripped me hand so hard I thought it would break and said, “Do you know, I’m ninety years old and I’ve never met a published author. You’ve made my day.” At that moment I desperately wished I was somebody well known, like Patricia Cornwell or Val McDermid, but in their absence I valiantly shook her hand, smiled politely and pretended to be famous. Well, I didn’t want to spoil her excitement did I?

3. And, a first for me, a reader was actually waiting for me to arrive at Northampton. Her name was Betty and her face will forever be ingrained into my memory as one of those special ‘pinch me’ life moments that make you feel special.

I wish to say a huge thanks to the lovely reading people of Northamptonshire for being so friendly and making these events such fun. It was lovely to meet friends – old and new and I had a great time. My only regret is that I didn’t take more photos!

I would also like to extend gratitude to my publisher, Legend Press, for organising these events and many thanks to the lovely staff at Waterstones who were so friendly and welcoming. Hopefully we can arrange some more soon.

Thanks for reading folks. I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend and wish you a great week.

My Heart Bleeds

This past week it seems that my Twitter feed, Facebook posts, even email has been bombarded with news about the latest computer virus – Heartbleed. Initially some posts contained lists of the most important sites where it was imperative to change your password to avoid security issues, but as the week progressed the news appeared to gain momentum and the last piece of advice I read was to change all your passwords on every site you’ve ever used on the internet. I’m not sure I’d remember every site I’d ever used even if I had a spare day to work on it!

So, I sat down on my day off in the spare twenty minutes I had between walking the dog and mum taxi-ing my daughter to her friend’s and thought I’ll have a go.  First, I wrote a list of all the sites I could remember. Within five minutes I’d filled a page and was already starting to feel weary. Then, realising I only had fifteen minutes left, I set about prioritising and changing the key ones I used most days. Hmmm. Easier said than done. Continue reading

The Character Mug

This week I’d like to share a photo of this delightful mug that one of my friends gave me as a present at my book launch. I should probably say that she is really my husband’s friend as although we had spoken several times via Facebook and email in the past, my book launch party was the first time we actually met face to face. And what a thoroughly lovely lady she is.

Her name (I don’t think she’ll mind) is Kate Anderson and she is an English Literature graduate and great reader, so my husband suggested her as a beta reader for The Truth Will Out when it was in its very raw state. She did a wonderful job and gave me valuable feedback on the plot and characters and I’m immensely grateful for her input.

But the mug was a great surprise! It contains all the key characters from both my first and second books. What makes it especially dear is that it was completed during the drafting stage of book two, and later, as often happens during editing, some characters were withdrawn and others changed names. Continue reading

Book Launch Party for The Truth Will Out

Okay everybody, I’ll apologise in advance because this post is going to be swamped with pics.

From release day last Tuesday right through to the launch party last Friday evening, this has undoubtedly been the most exhilarating week in my writing career to date. The support from friends, family, readers and other writers has been truly overwhelming. Continue reading

It’s Release Day!

I am so excited! After a run up that seems like forever, my second novel is finally released today.

I’d like to thank all the early reviewers who left such lovely comments about the book on Goodreads, who described it as ‘captivating’ and selected it as one of their ‘Thrillers of the month – April 2014′; and top crime writers Alison Bruce, Phil Rickman and Mari Hannah who enjoyed it enough to endorse it.

But most of all I’d like to thank all the readers of my blog and my first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, who have been so supportive of my work. Writing can be such a solitary pastime and the lovely messages, emails, tweets and comments I received from readers certainly spurred me on to write more. Without you this second book wouldn’t be here. Continue reading