Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I don't have any wise words....

Several weeks ago, as fears about Covid 19 gained pace, like many other people I felt a lot of uncertainly. The first concerns were of course around family, not being able to see our grandchildren for potentially a very long time, alongside the roles some of our family members did on a daily basis, which involved essential services. Small changes in our lives were made at first. Our son whose girlfriend is a trainee nurse moved into the old part of the house, as hubby and I, having turned 60 last year were technically in the higher risk group. The second set of concerns turned to business, safety at work, and how the fear of a potential shutdown would affect our livelihood. Every day there seemed to be something different to deal with, and every day we tried our best.

Two and a half weeks ago I developed a cough. It wasn’t anything too bad and in other times I would have dismissed it completely. Very soon after that I developed a temperature, and generally felt unwell. It happened over a weekend, but immediately I self-isolated. When I rang the GP on Monday, he put me forward for a test. I was to continue the self-isolation, and hubby had to restrict his movements. We both stayed at home. I stayed isolated in my son’s old bedroom. The following weekend they changed the criteria for the testing to having a cough and a fever, which I had, and a requirement to have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of Covid 19, travelling back from another country, or be in the extreme high risk group. The test was cancelled but we were advised to continue isolating. That isolation ended yesterday. I never had the shortness of breath, so perhaps I didn’t have Covid 19, and in a way it didn’t matter.

On Saturday last, I ventured out to the back garden. I wanted to feel somewhat normal again. I did. It felt good. I felt I was getting part of what was normal back again even though I still greatly missed seeing our children and our grandchildren, and with the lockdown in place, business concerns loomed too. I decided the garden like myself needed some TLC, and in my stupidity while trimming back a low bush, I hit my head off a jagged branch. It was really painful, but thankfully there was no tear. Sunday, I got the mother of all headaches. It wouldn’t go away. I took paracetamol but it only took the edge off it. I rang the GP again. Over the last few weeks, it’s probably the most we have talked to each other in years. During the phone call we worked out I didn’t have concussion, but I was to come back to him if things got worse. Yesterday, I wanted to get back to writing, because I hadn’t written in four weeks, but I couldn’t because my head wouldn’t allow me. I was put on stronger painkillers and finally last night the pain eased.I had obviously damaged my head somehow, and possibly had an allergic reaction too as small hive-like bumps began appearing on my scalp, but like Covid 19, that too would soon pass.

This morning the pain is a lot less than yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow it will be better again. Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt all the normal fears most people might have felt at this time, and sometimes, like others, I’ve seen both the negative and the positive side of things. I know I am lucky. I know there are people out there who have suffered badly and others who fear what the future holds. I don’t have any wise words. I don’t think many of us have. All I know is the buds are coming out on the trees, the daffodils are bright yellow, and a robin has nested in a tree box outside my son’s bedroom window. These are good things to cling onto, as is the love of the people we hold dear. We are each doing our best. Tomorrow, after a month, hopefully, I will pick up my unfinished manuscript. It will probably feel like an alien document, but I will start again, no doubt badly at first, no doubt slow, but fingers crossed I will get there.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2020



Bestselling author, Louise Phillips, is holding an 8-week course on successful Crime Fiction writing, commencing March 2020 IRISH WRITERS CENTRE



Learn the secrets of successful crime-fiction writing with bestselling and award-winning crime author, Louise Phillips.

On this course, participants will receive in-depth analysis of all aspects of great crime fiction, including the creation of memorable characters, planning, pace, dialogue, and narration.

Many of Louise’s students have achieved great publication success, with some becoming International Bestsellers.


Louise Phillips is the bestselling author of five psychological crime thrillers. All five novels have been nominated for Best Crime Novel of the Year in the prestigious Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, The Doll's House, won the award. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award in the UK, and her first two novels, Red Ribbons and The Doll's House, were published in the US. Her latest novel, The Hiding Game, was published in September 2019 to critical acclaim, and was nominated in the An Post Irish Book Awards for Best Crime Novel of the Year 2019. 

For Booking Details etc click HERE

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Small Paperback Cover of THE HIDING GAME revealed!!!

I absolutely adore the new cover of THE HIDING GAME small paperback which is due out in May! I hope you like it too!! 

Lynda La Plante, Laura Lippman and Robert Goddard to headline 2020 CrimeFest!

Lynda La Plante, Laura Lippman and Robert Goddard to headline 2020 CrimeFest.

Headline authors for CrimeFest - one of Europe’s biggest crime fiction conventions - have been announced. 
The 2020 convention sponsored by Specsavers is hosted from 4 to 7 June at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel and will feature icon of the genre, Lynda La Plante, the award-winning author of more than 30 internationally bestselling novels.
La Plante was a pioneer with her 1980’s series, Widows. The show received the Hollywood treatment with a movie adaptation by director Steve McQueen in 2018.
The BAFTA award winning screenwriter and former RADA trained actress went on to create one of television’s greatest characters, DI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. Played by Helen Mirren in a career-defining performance, the hugely influential character transformed the TV landscape.
She’ll be discussing her career in her debut appearance at CrimeFest alongside Buried - the first novel in her much-anticipated new series featuring DC Jack Warr.
Laura Lippman is one of America’s most admired crime writers. The New York Times bestselling author of acclaimed standalones and the award-winning Tess Monaghan series, is lauded by readers, critics and writers alike.
A reporter for twenty years, Laura worked with the Baltimore Sun before becoming a novelist, hailed by the Washington Post as, “one of the best novelists around, period.” Along with her fiction, Lippman will be discussing her latest book of essays, My Life As A Villainess.
Robert Goddard will also feature after the author was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s highest accolade in 2019, the Diamond Dagger, for a lifetime achievement in crime writing.
Goddard's first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller and his books went on to captivate readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. His books have been translated into over thirty languages. His 28th novel, One False Move, was published last year.
Specsavers co-founder, Dame Mary Perkins, said: “As a personal fan of the crime genre and with my own personal connection to Bristol, it’s fantastic to be involved in this annual showcase of world-class crime fiction. It’s also great to see CrimeFest developing its community activity to help make reading accessible to everyone.”
CrimeFest, now in its 11th year, is a hotbed for readers who dip into the occasional crime novel alongside die-hard fans, as well as drawing top crime novelists, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world. It runs a series of educational and community outreach events alongside the convention.
Director and co-founder of CrimeFest, Adrian Muller, said: “CrimeFest is the most democratic of crime conventions as it’s open to all authors to take part. As such, it’s not just established names but offers an exciting and fertile ground for aspiring and new talent. There’s a friendly energy for readers and attendees, fitting the independent, vibrant spirit of our host town, Bristol.”
Up to 150 authors will descend on Bristol appearing in over 50 panels delving into diverse topics from politics to historical crime, the Golden Age of crime fiction to police procedurals, serial killers to cosy crime. There’ll also be a panel on crime fiction reviewers, honouring the late Marcel Berlins, and a ‘Ghost of Honour’ remembering Dick Francis.
Highlights include the coveted ‘Pitch an Agent’ for aspiring writers and the annual CrimeFest Awards featuring the inaugural Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award.
Other big names include award-winning bestselling crime writer and broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell, and Sarah Pinborough, the New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes, adapted by Netflix for broadcast this year.
The no. 1 bestselling Icelandic writer, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir also features with an appearance by the writer, broadcaster, dramatist and journalist Lynne Truss, famed for Eats, Shoots and Leaves alongside her comic crime novel, A Shot in the Dark.
Joining them as the Toastrix at the Gala Dinner is Zoë Sharp, creator of the Charlie Fox series of crime thrillers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Crimefest 2020!!

If you’re looking for a Black Friday style deal for the crime fiction aficionado in your life, there’s only a few days left for the Early Bird offer for CrimeFest tickets.

Delegates have until 16 December to book a full pass for the four-day convention for just £165, when the price then goes up to £185.

The crime writing fraternity’s biggest convention, styled on the American model, returns 4-7 June, 2020. CrimeFest attracts hundreds of authors, readers and book lovers for a criminally good time in buzzing Bristol, hosted at the Bristol Mercure Grand.

Featured guest authors announced to date at CrimeFest 2020 are Laura Lippman, talking about her upcoming collection of essays My Life as a Villainess. Also featuring is Robert Goddard, this year’s winner of the Crime Writers’ Association’s most prestigious award: the Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for authors whose careers are marked by sustained excellence.

The Full Pass includes a programme book, a delegate bag and admission to all events (with exception of the Gala Dinner, Crime Writing Day and Pitch an Agent). By securing a full, Friday or Saturday CrimeFest pass, delegates will have the option of securing a coveted place on the popular Pitch an Agent.

Pitch an Agent is your chance to pitch your novel idea to three superstar agents. 2020’s agents are Pitch originator Camilla Bolton from the Darley Anderson Agency, Sandra Sawicka from the Marjacq agency, and Hannah Sheppard from DHH Literary Agency. These agencies represent giants of the genre including Lee Child and Martina Cole. If you are looking for an agent, have not previously participated, and are not commercially published, then this is for you.

The CrimeFest website is updated with participating authors and attendees, so do check it out to see who you’ll be hanging out with - and the friends you’ll no doubt make!

Visit PITCH AN AGENT for more information or buy TICKETS.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Top Books for Christmas!

I'm very happy to see THE HIDING GAME as one of Easons Top Books for Christmas!!
See listing HERE
#books #christmas #TheHidingGame #reading #gifts
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