First, I must thank the lovely Ivy for inviting me. I love this blog and it’s always a thrill to be here! Thank you, Ivy.
Thank you for taking the time to visit..
Second, I’ll remind you to read on for the chance to win a book…
And now I want to tell you about the best and worst things about being an author. A couple of weeks ago, an aspiring novelist asked me about this. She followed up by saying somewhat wistfully, “I don’t suppose there is a bad part.”
Well, yes, there is. The worst part for me is having a deadline date scrawled in red ink in my diary and seeing it get ever closer. I’ve never yet been late turning a book in but I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering how I’ll manage to get it written in time. The brilliant Douglas Adams, author of the wonderful The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, once said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” That was Douglas Adams though. He sold millions of books and, therefore, his publishers could humour him. They had little choice. I have to meet my deadlines and it’s not easy with only the blank screen of a computer for company.
There are plenty of best parts, of course. There’s being able to bring a story to life, getting to know a new cast of characters, and seeing a wonderful, eye-catching cover put on the story. For me, though, the very best part is talking to readers. I’m a Brit and when I first started writing, my books were in print and most of my sales came from the UK. Sometimes, I’d talk at libraries or similar places and meet, on a good night if I didn’t clash with X-Factor, forty people. These days, I have a US as well as a UK publisher and my work is available digitally. If I want to talk to readers, I have my website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter – the options seem endless. When I take a break from writing, I can sit with a coffee and talk to readers and fellow writers. What’s more, I don’t even have to change out of my dog-walking clothes. I love it!
There’s no better feeling than seeing a letter from a reader who’s loved one of my books dropping into my Inbox. It makes all the panicking in front of that blank screen worthwhile.
So if you want to make a writer’s day, send them an email saying how much you’ve enjoyed their latest book! Believe me, they’ll love you for it.
I said there was a free book up for grabs, right? Well, there’s a choice. The winner can choose a digital copy of my latest Dylan Scott mystery, DYING ART, released November 12.
Portrait of a mystery
Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson’s Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he’s back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn’t so sure–and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue’s flat.
So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan’s search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue’s family didn’t know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths–secrets someone would kill to keep buried…
Or the winner can choose a print or digital copy of my 2013 EPIC’s eBook Award Finalist book, SILENT WITNESS, the third in my Dylan Scott series.
After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he’s innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.
Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there’s even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect–the victim’s second husband–has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there’s more going on than meets the eye in Dawson’s Clough.
The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn’t murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me the best and/or worst parts of your daily routine. I’m a writer, you see, which means I’m really, really nosy.
Thanks again for having me, Ivy!
Shirley was born and raised in the Cotswolds, where her headmaster wrote on her school report–Shirley is content to dream her life away. Years later–as an adult living in Cyprus–it dawned on her that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing and that fellow dreamers, in the guise of fiction writers, had been getting away with it for centuries. She’s now settled in Lancashire, where the Pennines provide the inspiration and setting for her popular mystery novels. And she’s still content to dream her life away.