A brave new world – by Jackie Baldwin, author of DEAD MAN’S PRAYER

Category: Author Post

The irony of being published as an ebook has not been lost on me. All my life, I have been easily frustrated by technology and prefer to use pen and paper and speak to a ‘real person.’ I used to run a busy court department with one large hard backed diary. My system was never down. I have allowed myself to fall so far behind with modern technology, I fear I may never catch up.

If I had a time machine, I would send back the following tips to myself…

  • That thing you found on your desk after maternity leave and called ‘the abomination?’ Get it back out of the cupboard and learn to deal with it. Computers are not malign entities out to get you, (yet!)
  • Get a move on with that book you plan on writing. You need time lapse photography to show progress that slow.
  • Do not snort, roll your eyes and paw the ground like a bull when you see a Kindle for the first time. One day you’re not only going to be using one, your book is going to be on one. You are going to have so many books on that Kindle it is going to resemble a literary black hole with its own gravity field.
  • When your husband buys you a Smart phone do not thank him, smile sweetly, and ask him to take it back to the shop. Learn how to use it. You will also be able to chat on it to an AI called Siri and ask it meaningful questions in the hope that you will one day get a sentient reply.
  • Start going to parties, or store openings or anywhere with crowds of people in preparation for attending crime festivals. Practise your opening conversational gambits in the checkout at Tesco.
  • Engage with social media. Change your Facebook settings so that you are not the only one who can see your posts. Oh and do some posts. Nothing terrible will happen if you post that is raining. (Usually, but subject to the usual disclaimers).
  • One day you will be on something called Twitter and make tweets of 147 characters or less. I mean it, stop laughing!
  • You will go on a blog tour. No it’s nothing to do with rock music and you can’t buy a T-shirt. No you don’t need a suitcase or a tour bus. Organise this in plenty of time if you want to maintain a tenuous grasp on your sanity.
  • You will have to read from your book in public. Wear a stiff unyielding fabric that won’t tremble with you.

That about covers it.

Oh, and enjoy every single crazy moment!

Jackie Baldwin’s chilling debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer is out now in ebook. Buy it now.

DMP-highres

 

 

S is for Strawberry – S. Williams on pseudonyms

Category: Author Post

Author S. Williams of Tuesday Falling talks writing under a pseudonym. And a quirky one at that.

‘The problem with being with a writer is that you either never see them, or they want to get involved in entirely inappropriate ways,’ said my partner.

‘What’s wrong with wanting to call our child Grim?’ said I, bewildered.

Nothing. Obviously. Good Old English name. Means fierce, or determined. Sort of. But it was not to be. Neither were Iggy, Codeine, Tuesday or Marmalade.

What?

It’s not that I was being difficult, or would want my children to suffer at school. It’s just that I like words, and juxtapositions.

As Mycroft’s brother said; ‘Sherlock is a girl’s name.’

When I sent off the sample of my novel, Tuesday Falling, to Anne-Marie at The Ampersand Agency, it was under the pseudonym of Strawberry Sorrow. It was not my only pseudonym. Oh, no. I had given myself different names for different types of writing. A form of literary compartmentalization for my brain.

When I got an email back saying how much she had enjoyed the opening chapters, and could I send the rest, I was ecstatic.

Obviously, the next months of writing, re-writing, cutting, chopping, cropping and jigging were brutal.

And then finally she thought it was in a fit state to send to a publisher.

‘What do you want to call yourself?’ she asked.

What did she mean?

‘What’s wrong with Strawberry?’ I said, bewildered.

I could hear the sighing down the line. Frankly I could probably have heard the sighing if I’d hung up, gone for a nap underground and removed my ears for safekeeping.

Strawberry wasn’t a proper name.

‘But it’s brilliant!’ I said. ‘Perfect!’

It was not to be.

‘Why don’t you just go with “S” instead?’ she suggested. That way, I could still be Strawberry in my mind. Could still hold onto my little writing cell in my brain.

I could, of course, have just gone with my full name, but I have to use that every day. For paying bills. For my driving license. For just stuff. All the detritus that makes up the grease of modern living.

For my book I wanted my name to mean something different. I wanted it to soar.

And be a fruit.

Oranges aren’t the only ones.

So, just in case anybody was wondering what the ‘S’ stands for:

‘S’ is for Strawberry.

Tuesday Falling is out now. Be sure to follow S. Williams on Twitter @tuesdayfalling

Introducing the first six books on the Killer Reads list!

Category: Book club

Drumroll please… We are thrilled to announce the first acquisitions for the Killer Reads digital-first list! In order of publication:

MINDSIGHT, by Chris Curran

Publication date: 19th Feb 2015

Five years ago, Clare killed her family. She has no memory of the car accident, but there is no refuting the evidence of drugs in her system. She has accepted her guilt, and served her time. Now, released from prison, she tries to find out the full truth of what happened on that fateful night. Probing into the past, however, turns out to be dangerous exercise, threatening not only Clare’s sanity, but ultimately her life…

This is an utterly compelling, gut-wrenching story – beautifully told, and with shocking twists that leave you gasping for breath. Perfect for fans of The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty and Before We Met, by Lucie Whitehouse.  Click here to find out more.

 

TUESDAY FALLING, by S. Williams

Publication date: 5th March 2015

Tuesday has suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of men, and now she is seeking vengeance. A force to be reckoned with, she lives beneath the streets of London in the hidden network of forgotten tunnels that honeycomb the city – and this is her preferred hunting ground.

When Tuesday is connected to a series of brutal attacks on gang members, DCI Loss takes on the investigation. A burned-out detective still suffering the devastating effects of the unsolved murder of his daughter three years earlier, the case starts to hit close to home. Because soon Loss will discover that Tuesday could hold the key to uncovering the truth about what happened to his daughter…

A refreshingly original and relentless thriller that will grip you by the throat and refuse to let go.  Click here to find out more.

 

THE LAKE, by Sheena Lambert

Publication date: 19th March 2015

September 1975. After a dry, hot summer, a body is discovered in the receding waters of a manmade lake, and for Peggy Casey, 23-year-old landlady of The Angler’s Rest, nothing will ever be the same.

Detective Sergeant Frank Ryan is dispatched from Dublin, and his arrival casts an uneasy spotlight on the damaged history of the valley. Over the course of the weekend, Detective Ryan’s investigation will not only uncover the terrible truth behind the dead woman’s fate, but will also expose the Casey family’s deepest secrets. Secrets never meant to be revealed.

A brilliantly gripping murder mystery, with a compelling family drama at its heart. Perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves, Jane Casey and Elly Griffiths.

 

AN ACT OF MERCY, by J. J. Durham

Publication date: 2nd April 2015

London 1850.  A city of contrasts.  Of scientific marvels, poverty, disease and death.  When Detective Sergeant Harry Pilgrim (one of London’s first police detectives) discovers the corpse of a woman in a Hackney cab, the case seems straightforward – until the only suspect is found murdered in his cell.  Pilgrim is hindered in his investigation by his own dark past – a dead son and a missing wife – and also by the well-meaning interference of Charles Dickens, who is serialising Pilgrim’s adventures in his journal ‘Household Words’. The case turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse.  But who is the cat and who the mouse?

A thrilling tale of murder and intrigue in Victorian London. Perfect for fans of Ripper Street and The Mangle Street Murders.

 

SOMEONE OUT THERE, by Catherine Hunt

Publication date: 14th May 2015

Laura Maxwell appears to have it all – perfect career, perfect husband, perfect life. But how well do you really know the people around you? All it takes is one tiny crack to shatter the whole façade.

A series of accidents causes Laura to believe that someone out there is deliberately targeting her, trying to harm her. The fear starts to pervade every part of her life, affecting her work and her marriage. Increasingly, she feels that no one believes her story, and she must face down her attacker alone.

A story of obsession, revenge and deceit, of a woman caught up in terrifying circumstances. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, and Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes.

 

ACOUSTIC SHADOWS, by Patrick Kendrick

Publication date: 11th June 2015

Erica Weisz, a new substitute teacher in the small town of Frosthaven, Florida has a dangerous secret. When two gunmen attack the school where she works, it becomes impossible to keep the truth buried. She is in the witness protection program and the man who is meant to be protecting her has sold her out. Wounded and running for her life she must learn to trust the only person who can help her, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Justin Thiery. But Thiery has his own personal demons to overcome if he is to save Erica and find redemption for himself.

A thriller that will take you on a heart-pounding, pulse-racing rollercoaster ride. This will suit fans of Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and Michael Connelly.