Well, summer seems to have been and gone but the season makes little difference to an author. There are books to write and deadlines to fulfill and I’m lucky to have a lovely office in my garden which is good to work in come rain or shine.
However, there are always distractions when you’re ‘working from home’ and my own distraction during June’s great weather was the arrival of my youngest son and his family (my daughter in law, two very little girls plus dog). They’ve been living with us while building work’s been done on their house and I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to live with small children (with all the cooking, entertainment and washing that entails). All the memories returned of trying to cram all my writing into the period when the children were at school/nursery and I must confess it does help to focus the mind. So much so that I managed to complete Wesley’s next case (working title Coffin Island) in record time. I’ve sent it off to my editor and I’m just waiting to receive her comments.
I’ve still managed to get out and about. I attended a wonderful Crime Writers’ Association conference in York (one of my favourite places) in April. The highlight (apart from catching up with my fellow writers) was a gala dinner in the reconstructed Victorian street in the Castle Museum (once the prison where, among others, Dick Turpin was held and executed). In May I was in Bristol for CrimeFest, probably the friendliest crime fiction festival of the year. I participated in two panels and I was thrilled to find myself speaking alongside Simon Brett, one of my favourite authors, and Robert Thorogood, the creator of Death in Paradise.
I’ve also been visiting libraries, presenting my murder mystery ‘The Case of the Late Cook’ at Leigh Library in Lancashire and speaking at Cleethorpes library in Lincolnshire. Taking part in events and meeting readers is one of the best parts of a writer’s job!
The good news is that Wesley Peterson’s twenty seventh case with be out in hardback and ebook on 3rd August. Here’s a little taste of THE KILLING PLACE:
November. With the tourist season well and truly over in South Devon, Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson is looking forward to a quieter month in the CID. But when a man is shot dead on Bonfire Night, he finds he has a disturbing and complex murder case on his hands.
The body of Patrick North was found in woodland connected to Nesbarton Hall, a grand estate dating back to the eighteenth century. North worked for the Smithson family who now own the estate. The family are away on holiday, but when an anonymous letter threatening to abduct the Smithson son is uncovered, Wesley fears North’s death might have been collateral damage in a sinister kidnap plot.
Meanwhile, archaeologist Dr Neil Watson discovers a hidden grotto in a developer’s field – land that was once part of the Nesbarton estate. Evidence of past rituals and the shocking discovery of a skeleton buried next to the grotto raise questions about strange occurrences, past and present,on the estate that was once owned by a notorious privateer.
Then, just when Wesley’s team seem to be making progress in their investigation, a resident of the nearby village is killed in a near identical shooting. A race is on to find the ruthless killer, before they strike again . . .
I do hope everyone enjoys Wesley’s new investigation.
Finally I have exciting news for my readers. I can now reveal that all my Joe Plantagenet books are to be reissued by Little Brown (the publisher of my Wesley Peterson series) and I have agreed to continue the series (which, hopefully, means more visits to York to carry out research!). I have received many emails asking whether I was going to write more about Joe and now I can give the answer ‘yes’. However, all Wesley’s fans needn’t worry because his investigations will continue as well.