The last few months have been a whirlwind and this news page is well overdue an update.
Since The Guilty Couple was published on 23rd June I’ve been here, there and everywhere – Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, Liverpool and Harrogate – doing events, chatting to readers, meeting booksellers, signing books and travelling on a LOT of trains!
Here’s a selection of photos:
Zipping around Edinburgh with Neil Lancaster, and my publicist Becci, to sign books.
I am pretty sure I caught Covid (for the second time) on the train from Cardiff to Liverpool. There was a brief moment of panic when the second line appeared on the test stick because I was due to appear at Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate (with Lucy Foley) a week later.
I was supposed to do a similar event at Harrogate last year – with Clare Mackintosh – but Covid stopped play. I thought that was it, my one chance over, but the committee (and Denise Mina the chair) were kind enough to give me a second chance this year.
I couldn’t miss it again.
I first attended the festival eight years ago and I’ve been every year since (apart from when it was cancelled in 2020 and I had Covid in 2021) and I’ve watched so many amazing authors appear on stage and dreamed of the day that I’d get to do the same.
Thank God I tested negative three days before the festival began!
The experience, being on stage with Lucy, hearing our voices boom out over the mics, looking out at a sea of hundreds of faces (some I recognised, many, many more that I didn’t) was one of the most terrifying, mind-blowing and exhilarating moments of my career so far.
The Guilty Couple is my ninth crime novel, thirteenth published book, but I still suffer from Imposter Syndrome. I still feel like I’m winging it, that I’m not a ‘proper author’, that my books aren’t as good as those of my peers. I wonder if that feeling will ever disappear? From the conversations I’ve had with authors 20+ years into their career, I suspect not.
I can’t thank the festival, the committee and the readers enough for fulfilling such a long held ambition. It truly meant the world.
And now for the come down…
After an exhilarating couple of months it’s back to the real author word – bum on seat, day after day, trying to write Book 10. Despite all the plotting and thinking I did earlier in the year it’s only now, bum on seat in front of my laptop, that I’m really getting to know the characters and their motivations, and discovering the holes in my (loosely put together) plot.
I am only 6,500 words into the first draft but I’m starting to think about the story, and the characters, when I fall asleep each night. This is a good sign, as it means I’m finally inhabiting their world. I’m starting ‘feel’ them, and see where they work, where they live, but I’ve got a hell of a lot of thinking, and writing, to do to make this book work. ‘Just’ 73,500 words (approximately) to go…
As for the bargain I mentioned in the title?
The ebook of The Guilty Couple is just 99p for the whole of August! So many readers have told me they read it in a day or two, on a sunlounger, in their garden, or staying up late in bed, so do grab it while it’s cheap. The audiobook is a bargain at £3.99 too.
That’s it from me until I’m a bit further into Book 10 this autumn. Have a lovely summer and a huge thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed and recommended The Guilty Couple so far.