Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin - #LoveBooksGroupTours

#LoveBooksGroupTours #PerfectDead

I'm absolutely delighted to be hosting Jackie Baldwin on the blog today, as part of the tour for her latest book, Perfect Dead which was released on June 15th

I first met Jackie through Bloody Scotland - we were both Crime in the Spotlight authors in 2016, and we've kept in touch and met up again for lunches over the years. Her first novel, Dead Man's Prayer was released to great acclaim and fans of her ex-priest detective, DI Frank Farrell will love the new novel.

Today, Jackie wants to share with you her thoughts about finding the perfect work-life balance.

Jackie Baldwin, taken by Kim Ayres

In Search of that Elusive Work, Writing, Life Balance…


I have always been something of a workaholic. When I was a lawyer, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be at my desk at 7am breakfasting on a cup of coffee and two Pro Plus. The driving factor always was that I felt overly responsible for people. It made me push myself beyond the point of reason. It didn’t help that as a court lawyer I had the kind of job where the sky would fall in if you failed to do something on time. It felt like picking my way through a minefield most days. I lasted twenty years and then knew that I was done.

So, did I bring this burning sense of urgency to writing my first book? Annoyingly, no! I wrote the first draft over three years. I then did a round of submissions but failed to secure an agent, though I came tantalisingly close a few times. It then languished in a drawer for three years. During this time I retrained as a hypnotherapist, which involved lots of assignments and studying. I then dusted the book off, took a further 18 months to do a re-write and submitted it to Killer Reads who accepted it.

From the minute my book was accepted, I was subject to a strict editing schedule. It's one thing when you’re writing a book that deep down you think won’t ever see the light of day. To me, that felt like floating down a lazy river on a big rubber ring. It’s a different thing entirely when busy professionals have invested in you to deliver on schedule, more like plunging into the rapids, coughing and spluttering until your feet finally touch the ground on Publication Day.

Cover for Perfect Dead book
Two years on, I am coming up to publication of my second novel, Perfect Dead, which took me eleven months to write. That was an improvement but my ideal would be to complete two books a year. I also have to juggle my hypnotherapy practice with writing. This brings me to the life bit. Family comes first, that’s a given. The rest of it bounces along in fits and starts like a car out of gear. I might wake up and think, 'Oh no! I haven’t seen my friends in weeks!' I feel massively guilty, text them all and arrange to meet up, usually in the space of a week. I exhaust myself, fall behind with work/writing, then the whole cycle starts again. A further thing I have to shoe horn into my life is fitness. Since having coronary stents put in last year this is a necessity though, fortunately, I enjoy it. When doing a class, I do tend to go at it hammer and tongs, (not a pretty sight!) I’m then wiped out and too tired to do all of the above. Then of course, there’s social media. As a digital author, I am on Twitter a lot. I’ve met a lot of lovely people on there, many of whom are on the other side of the world as I usually fit that in when everyone else is asleep.

Some people find living a balanced life comes easily and I salute them! For me the life/work/writing balance is a continual struggle but a battle I hope one day to win!


Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her d├ębut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practises in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair

You can find Jackie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieMBaldwin1
She's also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jackie-Baldwin-Author-1702452086684407
and has a website where you can catch up with all her news: http://jackiebaldwin.co.uk/

 

Perfect Dead: A gripping crime thriller that will keep you hooked


Sometimes perfection is worth killing for… 
The second gripping crime novel in an exciting new series. Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell finds himself on the trail of a vicious killer in rural Scotland. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death. 
Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

Buy your copy here.

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