The paperback of THE DEATH SEASON is now out and it’s earned some great reviews. I know a lot of my readers like to wait for the paperback so I hope you’re all enjoying the mystery. I’ve written a piece about the inspiration behind the book on my publisher’s website It was certainly a fantastic book to write and I found the period of the First World War particularly fascinating to research as the war brought about so many social changes and challenged long held attitudes.
Since I last wrote this diary I’ve been to CrimeFest in Bristol. This year I was on a panel about Writing the Other (ably moderated by Alison Joseph) – what are the challenges of writing about a character very different from yourself? This proved to be an interesting subject and one I’d never given much thought to because when you’re working on a book you tend to write about your characters instinctively, almost as if you know them as people. I also moderated a panel entitled Secrets and Lies with authors Stuart Neville, Jenny Blackhurst, Julia Crouch and Tom Harper. How do we all deal with secrets and lies in our novels? As all crime novels deal with secrets and lies (if it wasn’t for hidden secrets my own books would be extremely short!) the subject was a challenging one but we managed to have an interesting and lively discussion about the different ways we tackle the hidden aspects of our characters’ lives.
June is National Crime Reading Month so it’s always a busy one for me. Last Friday I spoke, along with my fellow members of the Murder Squad (Ann Cleeves, Cath Staincliffe, Martin Edwards, Margaret Murphy and Chris Simms), at the first Carlisle Crime Writing Festival held at the Old Fire Station (Carlisle’s lovely new arts centre). We spoke about our books and our characters and answered a lot of interesting questions from the audience. It was my very first visit to Carlisle and I must say I was very impressed. We stayed at the excellent Crown and Mitre Hotel and it was great to get together with my fellow Squaddies over a convivial dinner after our event and catch up on all the news. It would be really good if the weekend became an annual feature on the crime writing calendar.
On Saturday I’m off to Devon to do more research and some events including two talks and a book signing. I’m really looking forward to being in the South West again and when I get home there’s a Murder Mystery Evening in Stockport on 29th June and I’ll be signing copies of THE DEATH SEASON at Stockport Waterstones on 4th July. I do hope to meet some of you at one or more of these events – please check out my Events page for all the details.