Time flies when you’re writing. My apologies that it’s been so long since I last updated this diary. My aim is to do it each month but I’m afraid Wesley’s next investigation has got in the way.
I’ve been busy working on The Burial Circle for the past couple of months (I’m on the fifth draft at the moment) and I think it’s going well. My inspiration for this one was seeing some Victorian photographs taken of the dead. Apparently, because of the late nineteenth century preoccupation with death, this was a common practice and people kept the pictures as a memento of their loved one. However, to a crime writer this opens up a whole range of possibilities. Why have the photographs been hidden for more than a century? And what if they were taken by a killer who is in the habit of keeping souvenirs of his dark deeds?
The story also features a water powered textile mill because I’ve wanted to bring industrial archaeology into a story ever since I attended a talk on the history of Manchester’s many mills and visited Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire. Devon has its own historic mills so I couldn’t resist centring the new book around this aspect of the county’s industrial past. This will be my twenty fourth Wesley Peterson novel and I still keep finding aspects of archaeology I haven’t dealt with yet!
I didn’t arrange many events for February or March (apart from one very enjoyable talk at Woolston Library in Warrington) because I knew I’d need plenty of time to work on the next book but from now on things are going to be busy!
I’ve just returned from a lovely weekend in the Lake District where the Crime Writers’ Association held their annual conference. It was a conference with a difference this year because a few of the attending writers (including myself) took part in events at local libraries. I visited Kendal Library along with historical mystery writer, Linda Stratmann and distinguished forensic psychologist Professor David Canter. Then, at the conference hotel itself, I was on a panel with Martin Edwards, Christine Poulson, Mike Craven and Peter Lovesey for an event called ‘Cupcakes and Crime’ (and, yes, there were cupcakes with the CWA daggers on the top). It was great to meet so many readers while I was at the conference (including a couple of lovely ladies who, it turned out, came from the same area of Liverpool as me) as well as enjoying a range of brilliant and informative talks and getting together with my fellow writers.
The big news for next month is that the paperback of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD (the second book in my Albert Lincoln trilogy and the follow up to A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES) is out at last. I’ve already arranged a signing at Wilmslow Waterstones (near where the book is set) on Saturday 25th May and there may be more local signings too – do check my events page to find out.
May also sees me travelling to Bristol for CrimeFest where I’m on two panels. Then the week after that I’m in the North East with the Murder Squad at Murder at the Word in South Shields http://theworduk.org/whats-on/murder-at-the-word-readers-day/ and http://theworduk.org/whats-on/murder-at-the-word-writers-day/ As well as the readers’ and writers’ days I’ve written a new Murder Mystery for the Saturday night https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/65778/Murder-at-The-Word-Murder-Mystery-Night-but-Kate-Ellis. It’s going to be a very busy weekend but I’m looking forward to it – and to being back in that gorgeous part of the world.
Hope to meet a lot of my readers at the book signings, CrimeFest or Murder at the Word.