Welcome to my website
Life has got in the way of creative activities. My own fault, I decided the house needed major redecoration. Result: chaos from mid-January until ... I'm not sure!
However, I'm 20k into The Ship Of Death, the fourth novel in The Anglian Detective Agency series, and The Loophole, number 3, will be published on May 9th, 2019 by Accent Press.
Another disaster! I must have been very wicked in a former life. On Sunday morning, when I was in the garden, foolishly cutting camellias, an oak tree, roots and all, came down from a neighbours' garden. I nearly ended up like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz with feet sticking out from a ton of oak. I was wearing wellies, not red shoes.
After Christmas in Yorkshire with my friend, Zara, below, I have to admit I've been through a black patch.
So, I channeled my dark thoughts into making a therapeutic ginger cake!
But some good news! Edits of the Loophole are nearly complete, publication date in May, and I've written the first chapter of the 4th Anglian Detective Agency novel, The Ship of Death. I'm looking forward to meeting Laurel, Frank, and the other partners again and immersing myself in more exciting and suspenseful crimes!
I sent the final draft of The Loophole to my editor and waited in trepidation. Talk about going back to school and dreading those exam results! She wrote: Once again you have written an excellent novel.' Phew! Mind you, I haven't looked at all of the comments and remarks yet. I'll leave that until tomorrow. Today I'll bask in relief.
Yesterday afternoon, at All Saints Church, Dunsden, Two Rivers Press launched 'Pennies on My Eyes', an illustrated edition of Wilfred Owen's poetry. There were readings, talks, friends, teas and cakes. A moving experience.
Glad to get back! I've been off line after being cloned and problems with security. It's all been fixed, so I'm happy!
I really enjoyed appearing in Crime and Wine at The Henley Literary Festival. Fellow crime panelists were Vaseem Khan and Jessica Fellowes. We were interviewed by the lovely Francesca Perryman, who I'd met before at Reading Writers.
I also enjoyed the next day going to hear other writers, including Kate Mosse, who was fantastic. I learnt a lot listening to her. Followed by a party at the Hotel du Vin. Back to reality the next day!
September 27th. A chest infection, a holiday in Orkney and Shetland, and getting the final draft of The Loophole to the editor are my excuses for not writing on my website. I needed a fourth draft. I read it aloud – to myself! I didn't stop to make corrections, but circled mistakes and slapped a Post-it slip on the page. Manuscript ended up looking like a hedgehog with yellow spines.
It was good to get away – I loved The Highlands and Orkney and Shetland. Below: approaching Orkney from the sea and the Old Man of Hoy.
July 22nd. Finally finished first draft of The Loophole. I'm not sure if I'll get away with the ending – it's off the wall! Now for the second, third and maybe fourth drafts!
July 3rd. The publishers have set the date for The Loophole, the third in The Anglian Detective Agency Series. It's May, 2019.
After nine months when I couldn't write, I've started to finish the first draft of the novel. Luckily I was 80K into the story, so probably only another 10 - 15 K to complete it. I'm enjoying getting my imagination in gear and renewing my acquaintance with Laurel, Frank and the rest of the team.
There's still time to download Some Particular Evil for free on Amazon Kindle. I can't thank readers enough for their reviews. It's great when someone enjoys your book.
June 21st. Some Particular Evil still No 1 Crime in Kindle Free Store. New reviews coming in, all 5*, and lovely comments. Genuinely thrilled and pleased to have new readers who've enjoyed my writing. Some Particular Evil free on Kindle until July 7th.
While I was in Yorkshire relaxing and reading 3 novels in 5 days, Some Particular Evil shot to No 1 in Free in Kindle Store, and No 5 in all genres in Free Kindle Store. Amazed and delighted! There's still time to download it. I'd love to hear your reviews.
This peaceful scene helped me to unwind after another skip weekend and to have a good read – the first for many months.
If you haven't bought the first book in The Anglian Murders Series, Some Particular Evil, this is your chance! It's free on Kindle for one month.
From 'the Foolish Wise Ones' to Shingle Beaches – Inspirations for a Crime Novel.
This is the title of an article I wrote for Women Writers, Women's Books – an interesting website. What made me write crime? Why a series? Why set the novels on the Suffolk coast? Who was the inspiration for David Pemberton? Why choose the 1970s?
If you're curious please go to the website. Hope you enjoy reading the article.
Another great evening at Sonning Common Library giving a talk on 'A Writer's Life' with Tom Fort, who's written several non-fiction books. Lots of people there. and it was good to meet up again with former parents, governors and pupils of Chiltern Edge School. The volunteers do a great job keeping the library open.
Presented with bottle of Prosecco. Just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend!
Another pic from the launch party! Me, with two pupils who I taught science to in my first teaching job. Jan, on the left flew in from the USA. She was thrilled to be reunited with Shelagh, on the right. I was thrilled to see both of them again after .... years!
I had the most wonderful time at the launch for The Temptation, on Thursday night. Alto Lounge heaved with former pupils and teachers as well as friends and neighbours. 60 books sold in the first hour. But more importantly it was great to meet up with so many former pupils, some from the first form I taught Science to. Don't ask their ages!
Happy author with friend, Sally.
I'm excited not only that The Temptation will be launched at Alto Lounge, Caversham, this coming Thursday, but so many former pupils and staff from Chiltern Edge School, Sonning Common, will be there.
Also there will be a few former pupils from the first school I taught at. One, Jan, is flying in from USA.
Will report back!
Two boxes of copies of The Temptation arrived yesterday ready for the launch on May 17th. I'm really pleased with the cover, I think it evokes the moodiness of the Suffolk seascape, with its changing coastline, eroded by sea and wind.
It's lovely to hold your own book in your hand. It's a long journey from the first scribblings of ideas to the printed page. A fascinating journey – I look forward to the next one.
Cover for The Temptation complete and blurb finished. It's off to the printers!
Publication date for The Temptation May 17th, 2018. It's not far away! Cover being finalized.
The visit to my publishers, Accent Press, was a terrific boost for me. Lunch with Hazel. Managing Director, and Kirstin, Marketing, in Octavo's Cafe and Bookshop, Cardiff, was a great experience. Lovely food and surroundings. Wished I lived a bit nearer!
Hazel was supportive and understanding. I went home feeling 100% better.
Kirstin did all the work for the above article which came out last weekend in the Reading Chronicle.
It's February, as if you didn't know! I'm getting back in the swing by reading The Temptation again. This is the follow up crime novel to Some Particular Evil. Publication date is May 17th, 2018, and as I'm going to my publishers – Accent Press – on Wednesday, I thought I needed to refresh my mind. Laurel and Frank are living dangerously again!
The Temptation is already on Amazon for pre-ordering.
I'd written 80K of the third book in the series; working title: The Loophole, when Trevor had the aneurysm. I haven't yet written any more, but I'm editing what I've written so I can get back into the story. I'm still dealing with paper work and the upshot of a plague of flies in the house!! Horror story! Perhaps I'll tell you next time.
Back to writing!
This month I went back to Reading Writers for the first time since late September.
It was good to be with writing friends.
It was a great boost to receive the Annual Don Louth award. Members vote on the writer who has made the most progress in the year. They assured me it wasn't a sympathy vote!
A lovely silver charger. Thank you Reading Writers.
I'm afraid I didn't make the Henley Literary Festival in October. My husband, Trevor, had a brain aneurysm the day before. After an operation in The Neuro-Unit, John Radcliffe, Oxford and 17 days in intensive care, a good recovery was predicted. However, on November 1st, he had a massive stroke and died eleven days later.
As you can imagine, writing and everything else, was unimportant. However, I'm picking up the former threads, and I hope to resume writing. going to writing groups and enjoying the company of my friends.
I hope I'll see some of you at The Henley Literary Festival next week. I'm part of the panel for CRIME AND WINE. on Thursday, 5th October at 8.30 pm in the Town Hall. the other debut author is Emma Flint and novelist Jane Thynne will be interviewing us. Tickets are £8 with a glass of wine thrown in!
It would be lovely to meet you.
Life has taken over recently. I said a sad farewell to our motor home and to camping. We've been campers forever: tents, VW camper, caravans and two motor homes. I will miss walking to the showers at six am in my dressing gown! I mean it!
So, farewell to Dobbin.
A pagoda, Orford Ness.
I've been working hard on the third crime novel in the series - working title, The Loophole - nearly 80K words, so I'm getting to the denouement! My stomach clenches as I sit down in front of the computer and write a gripping and sometimes violent scene. What does that say about me? I'm not a violent person, except in the garden when I'm battling ivy. then it's cut and slash! See gardening blog.
Really excited to be appearing at 'Crime and Wine' at the Henley Literary Festival, 2017.
It would be lovely to see some of you there.
The date is: Thursday, 5th October, at 8.30pm at the Town Hall/ Cost £8.00 which includes a glass of Laithwaite's wine.
With me is debut crime writer, Emma Flint - 'Little Deaths', and we will be interviewed by novelist Jane Thynne.
It should be a lot of fun; just hope the audience isn't half-cut!
Book on line: henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk
Just got back from our annual holiday at Chatsworth, Derbyshire. No we weren't staying with the Duke and Duchess! We were in our motor home on the Caravan Club site, in the old walled garden. No writing, but time to read 3 crime novels. I really enjoyed The Dry by Jane Harper, a gripping thriller set in a small town in the Australian outback.
Here are some views over the River Derwent seen one evening from our camper pitch.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
The good news is Accent Press have reduced the paperback price of Some Particular Evil from £12.99 to £8.99, having found a new printer. So good news if you haven't yet bought it.
Bad news if you bought it at £12.99. Sorry - no refunds!
Kindle price - £2.99.
I'm 60,000 words into the third crime novel in the series, working title, The Loophole. Getting to the denouement soon! Second novel, the Temptation published in November.
The line up for the Henley Literary Festival in October is fantastic. The Girl on a Train author, Paula Hawkins will be speaking, along with Roddy Doyle, Joanne Harris and many more famous people.
I'm thrilled to be part of this fantastic festival of literature. I'm appearing with crime writer Emma flint in the popular strand Crime and Wine. We'll be interviewed and punters will be wined by Laithwaites. Hope there will be some left over for the crime writers!
I'm in love again! With the Isles of Scilly. It was a place I'd always wanted to see. I love the sea, islands and being on boats. The view from our hotel bedroom window. I could hear the ocean lapping the sandy shore as I lay in bed.
I feature in July's edition of Writers Forum, under Research Secrets I tell Anita Loughrey how I catch the flavour of the area and era in my novels. I'm really pleased with the articles and I enjoyed working with Anita.
I met Anita at the annual Dunford Novelists meeting in Bournemouth a few years ago. She and her pal, Mel were in my group and they were a lot of fun I invited then to my book launch last October.
Anita is a multi-talented writer: journalist to children's fiction. www.anitaloughrey,com. Twitter:@anitaloughrey Facebook: anitaloughrey/author
Her's Anita and Mel at the book launch of Some Particular Evil last October.
The cover for my second crime novel, The Temptation, has been finalised. I'm thrilled as it captures the main mystery of the novel. I can't wait until November when it's published.
I was in Suffolk last week, staying at Dunwich, at a camp site on sandy cliffs above the North Sea.
Lots of lovely sea-food. Oysters from Orford
Lobsters and asparagus from Aldeburgh. You can live like royalty if you self-cater!
The lobster was from a local fisherman who sells his catch from a hut on sea-front. I've used his name, with his permission, for a fictitious fisherman in my second crime book, The Temptation. I couldn't resist it, it's so appropriate for someone who catches and sells fish! What's he called? Not telling!
Maggi Hambling's Scallop Shell on Aldeburgh beach.
'I hear those voices that will not be drowned.'From the opera Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten.
Still working on edits for the Temptation. Awaiting third edit from Accent Editor. It's a long process, but strangely enjoyable!
Excited as I go through second edits for my second crime book, The Temptation.
Very full and exciting week, but didn't get much writing done!
Highlights: talking to a Creative Writing Class on my journey to publication and visit to David Hockney'sexhibition at Tate Britain. Former made me want to return to the classroom and the later blew my mind. What a diverse talent. Loved his pencil and charcoal drawings, and portraits of his mum.
Enjoying myself at Claire Dyer's Creative Writing Class
More exciting news from Accent Press. Their partners in America, Start Media, have bought both eBook and audio rights in US and Canada for The Temptation.
I've seen the concept cover for The Temptation. I like it very much and I think it compliments the cover of Some Particular Evil. As soon as it's finalized I'll put it on my website.
I've started the third novel in the series, even though the second one hasn't been edited! Working title: Praying for Death. this is from a quote by Seneca.
Multitudes kneel at the altar, praying for death,
The only prayer the gods are quick to answer.
The blurb for The Temptation is finalized, I think. I worked on it with new Publishing Manager of Accent Press, Kate Ellis. She did the major part of the work, I made suggestions! Good team work!
Final edits of The Temptation should be with Accent Press by end of March. I'll be busy.
Now working on the 'blurb' for The Temptation. The word 'blurb' was coined in 1961 by an American humorist called G. Burgess. I'm sure you wanted to know that!
I've had fun this week on Twitter. I twittered I had to write a haiku on snowdrops for my Creative Writing class homework. A reply Twitter from TVartsBiz did my homework for me!
Here it is:
Haiku snowdrop dew
Aitichoo nosedropped flu
A tissue bless you Thank you TVArtsBiz.
I did do my homework; not as witty as TVArtsBiz. It's on the Writing Blog.
Snowdrops round a holly tree.
More news from Accent. The title of my second crime novel has changed. It is now The Temptation and will be published in November, 2017.
There is a good reason for the change,but I won't elaborate. I might give too much away!
The Temptation follows on from where Some Particular Evil finished. Much of the novel is set in Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk coast; an area I love.
Exciting news! Accent Press are starting the publication process of my second crime novel - The Right Temptation, which will be published this year. I loved the cover of Some Particular Evil and can't wait to see the new cover.
I spent last weekend in Bournemouth at The Dunford Novelist annual meeting. I've been going for 8 or 9 years. The whole weekend is devoted to first pages of a novel. About 30 writers attend, many are published authors, but we all know how important that first page is to a reader, indeed sometimes the first lines decide if the reader will buy your book or put it back on the shelf.
It's an intense but enjoyable few days as you read to the whole group, in small groups and also criticise (helpfully) other first pages.
I did walk to the sea, which was suitably moody!
Great news! Accent Press have nominated my crime novel, Some Particular Evil for the CWA's edunnit award at this year's Crimefest. This is an award for an ebook and printed book.
I'm honoured to have been chosen, and it's a great boost having Accent Press believe in my writing.
I'm preparing a talk I'm giving to Reading Writers on Wednesday on 'Why |I turned to Crime.' It's a long story! I've enjoyed all my writing, but non more than the series of crime novels I'm writing now. I'm always delighted when I find a new crime series to read; and even more delighted when I enjoy the first in the series and can't wait to read the next one. I've always enjoyed the crime novels of Nicci French, and having read the first of the Frieda Klein series I'm starting on the second. I just hope after you read Some Particular Evil you'll want to read The Right Temtation, when it's published this year. That would make my day! Month! Year!
I'm thrilled with the reviews on Amazon of Some Particular Evil and also comments from Harry Keeble, bestselling author of Baby X. It's great when a reader enjoys your work.
Happy New Year. It's 2017 and time to start my third crime novel. In the middle of January I go to an annual writers' meeting in Bournemouth. It's called The Dunford Novelists and we spend a weekend in a hotel, which is a lot of fun, but also we do work hard. Honest! The idea is to work on that vital first chapter. so I have to have my first chapter ready in a few weeks.
Happy Christmas to everyone!
All the shopping is done, made the stuffing and bread sauce, next the pastry for the mince pies. The berries on the holly tree were the best I can remember. Mr T cut some branches seversl weeks ago as soon as the first redwings appeared. They soon stripped the tree. This wreath hangs on the garden gate; I hope the birds will spare it until Christmas is over.
Thank you to Harry Keeble, for his wonderful endorsement of Some Particular Evil on Amazon. Harry is a best-selling author of crime books - Baby X, Little Victim and Hurting Too Much.
He writes: "Laurel Bowman's grief at the murder of her sister should have slowly dissipated with time. Instead she is thrown into a cauldron of love and fear that will change her life forever. This book will take you on a riveting journey through life's toughest emotions, with an ending you will yearn to reach."
Great news. Accent Press will publish my second crime novel. Some Particular Evil will be followed by The Right Temptation. Action takes place mainly in the coastal town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
It's a good place to buy superb lobsters, Dover sole and other fish fresh from the North Sea.
But dead fish may not be the only bodies to be found in this town!
A big thank you to Leigh @booksbakesbeliefs.wordpress.com for the vlog of my launch party for Some Particular Evil. If you'd like to see I really exist go to YouTube, put in some Particular Evil and view the vlog. It was a great night!
That's me, on the right, thanking all the seventy people who came to the party.
I got into the garden this morning; it was good to get down on my knees and start cutting down the hellebore leaves ready for the snowdrops. Mr and Mrs Mole have been busy in the border making heaps of fresh soil.
Snowdrops round a holly tree. This tree is heavily laden with red berries. Lots of food for the blackbirds and redwings.
Accent Press have put up a blog about my book launch party: how I came to choose Alto Lounge, Caversham, as the venue; why I decided not to wear hot pants; the different friends from different eras of my life and how we all had a good time. Thank you lovely Emily for your hard work.
Read it on Accent Press's webpage under blog. www.accentpress.co.uk
No hot pants! All sold!
Thank you, Henley Standard for also putting in a piece about Some Particular Evil
Friend, poet and novelist, Claire Dyer is in Aldeburgh, Suffolk for a poetry festival. This made me long to be there. After the excitement of my crime novel being published and the great launch party I want to get back to my characters and start the third book in the series. I've been parted from them too long.
This is The Eel's Foot, the pub in the hamlet of Eastbridge, a few miles from the coast. Benjie Whittle, a fisherman and beach comber lives in this place and is a regular drinker at the Eel's Foot. He's a murder suspect in Some Particular Evil. It's position is isolated, facing the marshes, and it was once a smugglers' den. Now it's civilized, has lovely beer and even an adjacent camping site.
Thank you Reading Chronicle for putting an article about my book in your newspaper.
Continued visiting local traders; it was a good excuse to go into places I haven't been before, like a betting shop and nail bars! Lots of interesting shops and eating places in Caversham. So different from bigger towns and cities.
We're lucky to have such a thriving business community. I'll be sorry when I've visited everyone. Lots of ideas for short stories rushed through my head.
Lovely morning visiting shops in Caversham, talking to traders. Such enthusiastic support for my crime novel Some Particular Evil. Lots of posters on display! Thank you Caversham Traders.
My first review of Some Particular Evil on Amazon. 5* and some very nice comments. What's more it wasn't posted by a close friend!
Interesting programme on C4: Books that made Britain. The influence of landscape on literature. First programme about East Anglia and crime. How this area inspired authors such as Dorothy L Sayers and P D James. Some Particular Evil is set in and around Dunwich, Suffolk; once a thriving city in the middle ages, now mostly lost to the sea by great storms. An area I love and am also inspired by.
Looking into the sluice which drains the waters of the river and marshes into the North Sea at Minsmere beach. Just the place for a body! Who's body is it? Read Some Particular Evil and find out.
Great book launch at Alto Lounge, Caversham. 70 guests came and it was a happy and exciting night.
A happy author with a happy friend More happy friends! Julie Roberts, official photographer for the night, author of The Hidden Legacy. Anita Loughrey, ace writer, and friend Mel
Sold lots of books! Thank you friends, and thanks also to Claire, Manager of Alto Lounge, Caversham, and all her staff, for superb organisation, support and enthusiasm.
Buy my book at Accent Press and Amazon. www.acccentpress.co.uk and www.amazon.co.uk
The last grave on the cliffs at Dunwich.
The events in Some Particular Evil take place in this area.
Friday was publication date
Lovely bouquet of flowers from Reading Writers congratulating me on being published.. Thank you, friends.
More artwork from Accent Press for Some Particular Evil.
Who's body is floating in the waters of the sluice?
Publication date for Some Particular Evil is approaching - 21st October, 2016.
Received copies from Accent Press for my book launch. I love the cover.
Mr T read the book for the first time. he was impressed and said it had great pace and richness. Whew! That's all right then!
Accent Press have a new cover for my crime novel, Some Particular Evil. I loved the first cover, but I think this one is better. I'd love to hear what you think.
A stimulating week: visit to London, Tate Modern and National Theatre. See writing blog.
Gave away prizes at local Horticultural Show. See gardening blog
This won first prize for giant dahlias
I've got a working title for my third crime novel.
This be Madness
Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. Hamlet.
I've got rough plot and a title! It's a beginning!
Thrilled by choice of cover and artwork for Some Particular Evil. Thank you Accent Press. The artist has cleverly interpretated a key moment in the novel. One happy writer!
Publishing date October 18th.
Accent Press sent me ideas for bookcover for Some Particular Evil.
Loved both ideas, artist has done a brilliant job. Suitably spine chilling.
Nephew S and partner came for the weekend. Made them Tranches de Jambon Morvandelle or sauteed ham slices in a cream and Madeira sauce.
See Eating blog for more details
Amanda Jennings gave a brilliant work shop. I bought her third book, In Her Wake. It's a gripping and powerful read, full of realistic emotion, with many unexpected twists.
Looking forward to going to Reading Writers tonight.
Amanda Jennings is running a characterisation workshop
Felt patriotic: the Queen's 90th and Winnie's bust demoted from the Oval Office, so I made Churchill's Stew.
During WW2 Churchill met General Eisenhower for regular lunches at Chartwell, Winnie's country home, at which Irish stew was always served. The recipe is from The National Trust Cookbook @nationaltrust. It's full of lovely vegetables as well as diced leg of lamb and is easy to make. It's been renamed Chuchill's Stew and is on the menu at Chartwell. Mr T gave it the V for Victory salute!
Mr T's appetite revived with Crème Caramel - see eating blog.
My book group discuss The Hunter by Julia Leigh
We also do some serious eating; everyone brings a different dish, (I was salad last night). The host prvides bread, butter and drinks. We're all former working colleagues and have much history.
The group was split about the book; three of us rated it highly and enjoyed reading it. It had a smooth, spare style, much suspense and although the action was repetitive, this somehow added to the suspense.
It's about a hunter searching for the last Tasmanian tiger, his inability to relate to other humans and his closeness to the animals he hunts and kils. Wonderful sense of place and fantastic descriptions of the high plateau, in which the tiger lives, and how he hunts and kills different animals.
Only false note for me was collection of samples from the tiger: need for refrigeration to transport material back to medical centre?
A minor quibble. this book was published in GB in 2000. Better late than never!
Went to Monet to Matisse: Painting the Modern Garden at Royal Academy.
I was really looking forward to this exhibition. I was disappointed. Why? Read gardening blog.
Spent Wednesday afternoon learning more about Social Media
Social Media guru and writer,Janet Gover, helped me, Julie Roberts and Tania Cross to come to terms with the intricacies of using Social Media. Janet is red hot and so helpful. I've a lot to learn!
Accent Press will publish my crime novel Some Particular Evil in October, 2016.
Fourth short story book, Aphrodite's Picnic, now on sale. £6.99.
Why write crime?
I've been a fan of crime writing when as a teenager on holiday in Roses, Spain, the only books I could buy in English were those by Agatha Christie.
Favourite crime writers are: Josephine Tey, Dorothy L Sayers, PD James, Ian Rankin, Francis Fyfield, Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Peter James, Imogen Robertson, Elly Griffiths, Peter Robinson, CJ Sansom ... I'll stop there.
When I started writing fiction I began a crime novel about a serial killer who was so terrible she frightened me to death! I decided I couldn't spend a year of my life in her company and I abandoned her.
I joined the The Romantic Novelists Association and their New Writers Scheme. I wrote three novels, one a year, and each year the novels got progressively more crime orientated, ending in One Moon, Two Waters with scenes of rape, murder, imprisonment and court scenes. I was advised this was not a romantic novel.
Back to crime!
I've completed my first crime novel Some Particular Evil, which will be published by Accent Press in October. I've completed the first draft of the second novel in the series, The Right Temptation. Both are set in Suffolk in the 1970s, the beginning of an era of unrest and change in the UK. See good news above