Two years of head-desking…

dead girl walking finalIt’s been a long two years since I began writing Dead Girl Walking. In between beginning this book and where we are now (not quite but almost ready to publish) I’ve been through two day jobs and published three books under my pen name.  But this book has been one of those that I have had a love-hate relationship with. While I have loved the characters, I don’t mind admitting that the story has been incredibly difficult to get right. I’ve had the help of my fantastic agent, Peta Nightingale, who must be absolutely sick of seeing rewrites from me by now (I think we’re on about eight but I’ve lost count)  and her colleague at LAW, Philippa Milnes-Smith, who kindly carted one of the first drafts around Bologna book fair for me to gain lots of publisher feedback, along with one of my best friends, Louise, who read the crap drafts even when she had much better things to do.  Writer friends have also waded in, and I have to thank Mel Sherratt in particular for championing the book right from the start, Rebecca Bradley for offering her know-how and expertise on getting the details right, and Jack Croxall for braving the early drafts.  Without all these people Dead Girl Walking would have been something very different, and not nearly as good, I’m sure. It’s taken two years but think I finally like it and I hope that you all like it too.  So I’m thrilled to share the new blurb and cover  with you all. I don’t have an exact release date yet, but it’s soon, so I guess, as they say, watch this space…

Cassie Brown doesn’t see dead people, she becomes them. The slightest touch forces her to relive their final moments in breath-sapping detail. She herself was dead, killed in the accident that took the rest of her family. But whatever strange power governs the universe, has plans for her that don’t involve her death… yet.

Dante has a recurring dream.  Every time he sleeps he sees the exact moment of his own demise. But where did the nightmare come from?  If it is a premonition, how long has he got?

A girl and a boy, two damaged souls drawn together. Add a serial killer stalking the streets, a desperate cop and a newspaper reporter with an unhealthy interest in her story, and Cassie is soon caught in a lethal game. She may have cheated Death once, but this time he’s keeping a much closer eye on his prize…

Dead Girl Walking is an unpredictable mix of romance, paranormal and crime thriller that will keep you gripped until the very last page.

Another milestone in my self publishing adventure.

It’s been almost two weeks since I released Sky Song to an unsuspecting public. When I say public, of course, I have my tongue firmly in my cheek.  It has been a low key affair – I just stick the odd tweet out now and again and badger my friends and family.  I don’t have the knowledge to do a decent job of organising blog tours or reviews and whatnot but I’ve been bumbling along doing my best with it.  But the overwhelmingly positive response has made my little face glow.

It’s a funny feeling, offering up the darkest corners of your imagination for all to see.  I noticed on Goodreads that someone in India is reading it.  That was a very strange notion, that someone across the world in a completely different culture, someone who doesn’t know me, owes me no allegiance or has no reason to consider my feelings, someone who simply reads and judges, is looking at the thing that I spent hours lovingly creating and doing just that.   I love the idea that people I don’t know are entering the world I made – after all, that was what I’ve always said I wanted as writer – but at the same time it’s strangely terrifying.   It opens you up in a way that makes you feel naked and vulnerable, like your soul is up for inspection.

Closer to home I’ve had wonderful support from friends – writers and otherwise –and from people I’ve never met apart from in the Twittersphere.  Offers of help and encouragement have come from the most unlikely places, as have opportunities.  Another thing that has struck me is how the people I naturally assumed would buy a copy haven’t, but people that I never expected to have bought one, read it and given me wonderful feedback.  All it takes these days is a couple of lines from an old uni classmate on facebook to reduce me to tears (good ones, I hasten to add).   I know the backlash will come, I know that we all get one star reviews, but for now, the ones I’ve had I stare at lovingly for hours.

Right now, I feel humble, but I don’t feel the need to be falsely modest about the work I’ve put in on this trilogy.  People who know me will know that I’ve been writing them for years while trying to hold another life together, that I’ve stayed up all hours of the night and ignored family members when an idea had to be worked through.  I’m not saying that no other writers do this – I know they do.  What I’m saying is let us have our little moment in the sun.  Because we’ve earned it.

Thank you to everyone who has helped, supported, encouraged and downloaded.  One day I hope I can repay your kindness.  And roll on book two!

P.S.  After all that, I’m off to watch re-runs of Merlin.