Category : Writing

A Trip to Germany with Murderous Sisters

I’m recently back from a trip to Germany where I was honoured to be guest speaker at the 2017 Mörderische Schwestern Conference that took place over the weekend of 30 November to 2 December at Kloester-Schoental.  Fenna Williams and Gitta Edelmann met me at Frankfurt airport. Gitta and I stayed…

Yorkshire – Kate Shackleton Territory

Yorkshire is a surprising place of stark contrasts. My home, the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, was once a hub of industry including engineering and tailoring factories. Today’s emphasis is on banking, insurance, shopping and eating. Leeds is home to my detective, Kate Shackleton who trod the mean streets and…

The story behind Murder on a Summer’s Day

A Maharajah on the Moors, a priceless jewel, an inexplicable murder To celebrate US publication of Murder on a Summer’s Day and the New York Post’s choice of the book as a “must read”, here is the story behind the novel … The idea for Murder on a Summer’s Day…

Thomas Hardy Feeding Birds in Winter

In 1910 Punch magazine declared that feeding birds was a national pastime in the United Kingdom. I know there are pros and cons regarding feeding garden birds but I plead guilty to putting out suet pellets, seeds and peanuts, attracting blackbirds, robins thrushes and starlings as well as a few sparrows…

Walks, Books and September Sunshine

Once in a great while comes a perfect holiday. Earlier this month, I spent one of the sunniest weeks of the year walking the North Yorkshire coastal paths while based at Sneaton Castle, Whitby, combining my stay with visits to bookshops and libraries. At Whitby library I had the pleasure…

A Writerly Jaunt

One of the pleasures of writing is being able to stop sometimes and take a jaunt. The recent jaunt was to London to meet my agent, editor and publicist on Monday last. I arrived early, two days early, so as to do a little swanning about town, otherwise known as…

Alice Munro

I’m thrilled that Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’ve loved her work for years, since I picked up ‘Lives of Girls and Women’ when it was published by The Women’s Press. Her writing is so good, so visceral, it stops my my breath.

Writers’ Rituals

Murder on a Summer’s Day (Kate Shackleton #5) is with my editor. Because I’m not ready to start #6, I’m clearing the study, which is practical and therapeutic but also a touch ritualistic. Years ago, while working in a chilly attic, I wore a big sweater, washed so many times…