My Paperback Deal #amwriting @bookouture

Soon after I got the writing bug and had written a couple of books, I sat down and made out a list of goals I wanted to attain – steps, if you like, on my personal ladder of writerly success. They included: find a publisher who wanted to publish my books, write a best-seller, win a book prize award, have my books published in other languages and… the truly elusive one, get a coveted paperback deal.

Me in The Works 2All my books to date (with the exception of SECRETS OF THE DEAD which was available in The Works bookshops) are on what is known as POD, print on demand. That’s to say, if you order the book on Amazon or head to a bookshop and request it, they will have to send an order to the printers and an individual copy will be produced. A ‘paperback deal’ however, is the real McCoy (who was McCoy?) and publishers will do a run of several thousand copies at one time, and some of those will find their way into supermarkets and bookshops and appear on bookshelves all over the country.

I wrote out my ‘Wish List’ in 2016 just before I signed with Bookouture, and they have pretty much made all my other wishes come true. My books are available in Germany, Norway, Israel, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and Poland to name a few. countries. I’m well over halfway with my million-seller goal and… I’ve had several best-sellers.

Today, I’m over the moon to tell you I have got my first ever proper paperback deal!

cannock 3Bookouture have been in talks with Sphere (who will publish the book) for ages and ages and… THE BIRTHDAY will be coming out in paperback in spring 2020.

I couldn’t be happier. Ten years on from when I started writing and I have put a fat tick next to this goal. What’s next on my list? Well, I’d rather not reveal that just yet but rest assured I have a few more to tick off.

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By the way… I’m delighted to let you know that the Kindle version of THE BIRTHDAY is only 99p right now in the UK as part of the Kindle Monthly Deal!

Grab your copy here: http://ow.ly/LrQJ50viA5l

My New Publishing Deal

I’ve been sitting on this one for some time but I am so excited to finally be able to tell you that I have signed a three-book publishing deal with Thomas & Mercer, the mystery and thriller imprint of Amazon Publishing, whose incredible list of authors include Robert Dugoni and Patricia Cornwell.

Here is the official announcement in The Bookseller today. http://bit.ly/2OP0NXn

BOOKSELLER Announcement

As a regular follower of my blog and social media, you will know how much I value my readers, and I know lots of you love my other crime books. So I want to assure you that I have not finished with either DI Robyn Carter or DI Natalie Ward and indeed there will be more news about them soon, and I will also continue to write the stand-alone romantic comedies too.

I’ve been developing the new series for some time now and am very much looking forward to introducing you to DI Kate Young, a flawed character unlike my other detectives, who struggles with inner demons and her true sense of purpose.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE, is the first in a gripping new crime series, introducing DI Kate Young. Shaken by a recent personal tragedy, Young abruptly returns to the force when her superintendent’s close friend is found murdered at a gruesome crime scene. But as Young’s investigation progresses, she begins to unravel a thread of corruption leading to her own team. Throughout the series Young works to get to the source, but eventually learns that she might have to take matters into her own hands if she is to dispense justice for good. Perfect for fans of Line of Duty and Luther.

I’m really looking forward to working with editor Jack Butler and the whole team at Thomas & Mercer and can’t wait to unleash the new series onto you.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

If You’d Told me Back Then… #amwriting

 

DIARYI got a shock this morning. Well, not so much a shock as a reality check. After yet another early 4am start, I reached the 20K point in my current script, the sixth in a crime series, and checked my diary to remind myself what day of the week it was. (I tend to lose track of time when I’m in the writing zone.) I’d made a note in it:

STARTED WRITING MY FIRST BOOK TEN YEARS AGO TODAY

Really? Has it been ten years since I penned the first lines of Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines? At the time, I fully expected it to be my one and only book, yet here I am a decade later, with twenty titles under my belt and more to be published.

I wonder how many words I’ve actually typed since that time – undoubtedly millions. I’ve worn letters off keys and broken four laptops.

Initially, I didn’t type the book (I am the world’s slowest typist and even now can still only type using three fingers). I actually wrote out the entire script by hand – a laborious but tested procedure – and filled A4 notebooks with chapter after chapter which I then corrected in red ink like a deranged teacher. It was only after I’d scrawled corrections and drawn arrows to move paragraphs, and added extra sections, that I would begin typing. All of that worked for me and I preferred to read the handwritten scripts than to scroll down pages on a computer. Nowadays, that’s not possible. With 3-5 books to write a year, I have to start immediately by typing ‘Chapter One’ and off I go.

In 2009, writing a book was top of my bucket list – a one-off comedy that would sink or swim. I had a desire to accomplish something I had not yet managed to do. Little could I have imagined that the decision to write it would direct me along a new path. The book swam and I continued writing.

As I look back over the last ten years, I feel a sense of achievement that hitherto, I couldn’t contemplate. I have loved writing every single one of my books and the more I write, the more ideas I have, so no sooner do I type an ending to one, than I’m ready to go again.

Undoubtedly, there will be further casualties over the forthcoming years: more laptops will be sent to the recycling unit with worn out keys and numerous notepads that now only contain essential notes, and I hope there will be many more books for you to enjoy.

If you’d told me 10 years ago that I would become a best-selling, full-time writer, I’d have laughed and said, “I wish!”

Well, it happened, so my message to all you writers out there is don’t give up because this time next decade…

DI Natalie Ward is Back #TheSleepover @bookouture

Roxy had a secret. 

Now she’s gone…

Today sees the cover reveal of the 4th book in the Natalie Ward series – THE SLEEPOVER. I can’t believe it, we’re onto the fourth book in that series already. It only seems a few weeks ago that Natalie Ward and her team were introduced to you, my readers.

I’ll tell you more about THE SLEEPOVER at a later date but for now, I’d like to thank my editor, Lydia Vassar-Smith, my ace cover designer, and the Bookouture team who have once again excelled themselves. The cover will mean a great deal more to you once you’ve read the book and it actually brought a lump to my throat when I saw it. (Spoiler alert  – it relates to poignant passage in the book.)

Without further ado, here is the new cover and pre order links. Oh, and just so you know, I’ve already written the 5th book in the series, which will come out on December 6th!)

THE SLEEPOVER

Out September 5th but available to pre-order now CLICK HERE

My Agent Signing

It’s a bit late in the day, but I am delighted to tell you that I’ve signed with literary agent, Amy Tannenbaum, from Jane Rotrosen Agency

When I began my journey as an author, signing with such a well respected agent was no more than a pipe dream so to be able to say I am represented by a New York agency whose clients also include Robert Dugoni, Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansen and Robert Brynzda, is a huge deal for me.

I have been incredibly fortunate and wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for the support I’ve had to get me to this point: bloggers, friends, and my editor, Lydia Vassar-Smith who has not only guided me, brought my writing on in leaps and bounds, but has also been a friend over the three years I’ve been with my publishers Bookouture, 

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2018 Bookouture party together with best-selling fellow Bookouture author Patricia Gibney

I am thrilled to be working with Amy and to tell you we have already signed for another police procedural with Bookouture. Here’s the announcement that also appeared in the Bookseller regarding that exciting news:

announcement of signing

Writing is a vocation. When I first began back in 2009, I told my  husband I wanted to write a best-seller. His response was, ‘If you want this, your going to have to work at it.’ and I have. Every single day (including birthdays and Christmas) since 2009, with very few interruptions. My routine demands I rarely sleep and that I spend hours at the laptop.  The result has been rewarding – twenty-one books to date, since that conversation with my husband, and not one, but many best-sellers and awards and foreign rights deals.

I’m very excited about 2019-2020, and now that I’m working with Amy, there will be lots of exciting news ahead. Watch this space for further announcements and please sign up to my mailing list HERE for my latest news.

Do you Dare? #internet #socialmedia

Asked recently at an author event where my inspiration for my crime novels comes from, I said simply, ‘life’. THE DARE, published on April 28th, is the third book in the Natalie Ward series and is to date my favourite but also the one that scared me the most.

Readers will know that I research each book extensively and THE DARE was no exception. Delving into the world of internet safety, I stumbled across instances where social media resulted in death – namely during games of dare.

Now, as a youngster I played Dare – a game in which your friends would encourage you too do crazy things like kiss the boy you fancied in your class, or spin around and around until you fainted – however,  some of the challenges young people have been taking up on social media go way beyond those seemingly innocent dares of yesteryear.

As we know, many teenagers are blinkered when it comes to safety first and due to a mixture of hormones and rebellious streaks combined with egging on by friends some take the online crazes to another level. I’m not talking the Bucket Challenge here – I’m talking duct tape, Tide Pod,  Fire Challenge, Kylie Jenner, and Cinnamon Challenge. Look them up to see what I mean but the one that stunned me was a craze that was huge in France where children would deliberately go missing for 48 hours.

Such madness could result in all manner of disasters and of course the idea became the catalyst for my book.

Although the book was written and submitted last year, I noticed that in February this year, the police in the UK issued warnings after the craze resurfaced and this challenge hit newspaper headlines again.

When I write my novels, I start with something dreadful or horrific that could easily happen to one of us or our children. It makes my writing more credible and I hope highlights some of the issues facing our society.

Where do I get my inspiration? I don’t have to look far for it. It’s under our noses!

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PURCHASE YOUR COPY FROM AMAZON 

The-Dare-KindleTHE DARE

Jane’s daughter is a good girl. But what is she hiding?

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm. With her blonde ponytail and red school jumper, someone must have spotted Savannah.

Detective Natalie Ward is determined to help the distraught mother – her own daughter is the same age as Savannah. But before Natalie and her team can get started, their worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as Natalie closes the net around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing. Harriet might look grown up and sophisticated but she is only fourteen…

As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on both their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours. She’s sure this is the key to the case, but before she can act, Harriet’s body is found discarded on a roadside.

Natalie’s superiors don’t have to put any extra pressure on Natalie. Devastated, she and her team work without sleep, watching that video over and over. But just as she thinks they’re getting close, the person Natalie loves more than anything goes missing.

Natalie is no stranger to loss. She is terrified and the clock is ticking. Can she push through her fear to catch this depraved killer, before her loved one becomes the next victim?

This gripping rollercoaster of a read will have you up in the small hours turning the pages. Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Caine and Robert Dugoni will love The Dare.

#Boom #SuddenlySingle

Suddenly Single final“The most uplifting book of 2019 that you will read!”

Today, I am incredibly proud to reveal the cover of my forthcoming comedy SUDDENLY SINGLE about Chloe Piper, author of a raunchy best-seller, Spank Me Harder, Vicar, who flees her soul-destroying marriage, cheating ex and village gossips for a life of solitude in the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm with her hapless dog, Ronnie.

But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…

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Oh my! How I loved researching and writing this book. I hope you find it as hilarious to read as I did to write and come way feeling truly uplifted.

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“This enthralling romantic comedy of self-discovery and new beginnings is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.”

SUDDENLY SINGLE out APRIL 8th but available to pre order now by clicking any of the links below:

Amazon UK – Amazon USKobo –  Apple iBooksGoogle Play