Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Book Finds - August 2016

We all love it when someone recommends a new author or a new book to us. Well, I've decided to try and do one post each month where I tell you about books I've found and loved. Some of them might be bestsellers, but I'm suspecting that many of them won't be. What would be brilliant, is if you all share your 'find of the month' in the comments. Deal??

Okay, well the books I'd like to recommend to you this month are:

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

More on Bloody Scotland: Crime in the Spotlight

Image from Bloody Scotland: https://www.bloodyscotland.com/

In my last post, I told you that I'd been awarded a "Crime in the Spotlight" slot (for new authors) at Bloody Scotland.

Well, I now know at which event I've been given 3 minutes to speak...

2pm on Saturday 10th September, in the Albert Halls at Stirling

And whose event am I gate-crashing???

MC Beaton and Fred Macaulay! Details of their event can be found HERE.

There are just 12 slots awarded, so I'm feeling honoured, thrilled, excited and terrified about it, in about equal measure (though terrified may have it by a significant margin!). Even the biggest lecture theatre that I've ever lectured in is about half the size of the Albert Halls and I'm just praying that I don't screw up.

Hope you can all make it up to the festival - it promises to be excellent (apart from possibly the 3 minutes that involve me...).

Better go and work on what I'm going to say in my 3 minutes!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Bloody Scotland!

Image from Bloody Scotland site: https://www.bloodyscotland.com/

The Bloody Scotland Festival is Scotland's International Crime Writing Festival. It's in its 5th year and this year will be held in various venues across Stirling, from 9-11th September. Some of the best-loved names in crime writing will be there, such as Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville, Peter Robinson, Alex Gray, Val McDermid, Lin Anderson, Mark Billingham and many, many more...

and me!!

I've been chosen as one of the Spotlight authors for this year's festival! This means that I get to read from The Wrong Kind of Clouds at the start of one of the scheduled events, and my book will be available from the Waterstones stall (one of the official sponsors of the event).

I am hugely excited about this and feel really honoured to have been chosen. I don't know which slot I've been awarded yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

The festival really has the Who's Who of crime writing. You can read the brochure for the event here (opens in a new window). Come along and join in the fun. It will be amazing!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

What would you like to see in a newsletter?

Those of you who subscribe to my mailing list currently get an email each month, listing the posts of the month. I want to make this email more interesting and more like a newsletter. To help me with designing it, please could you let me know what you would like to see in the newsletters?

My current ideas are:

Photo of the Month
Given that Summer, the main character in The Wrong Kind of Clouds, is a photographer and so is my husband, I thought about including a photo each month, drawn from the collection on my husband's website (Colin Nicol Landscape Photography)

Recipe of the Month
This idea came after several people said that they were going to try out the recipe for the dish that LB (the policeman in The Wrong Kind of Clouds) cooks for Summer. LB is a keen cook (as am I). Would people be interested in LB's recipe of the month?

An update about what I've been working on
A few lines about what I've been writing or doing, plus links to more freebies and bonus scenes (although I can't guarantee a freebie every month!)

Chichewa (Malawian) Phrase of the Month
Some of the wrong Kind of Clouds is set in Malawi where the language is Chichewa. Do people want to learn some new phrases?

An Update about Chimwemwe Children's Centre
While I was out in Malawi, I helped to set up a charity - Chimwemwe Children's Centre - that works with homeless children to give them somewhere to live and to support them through education and training. It's what Samala (from the book) is based on, though Chimwemwe is entirely above board, I hasten to say! Would people be interested in a few lines each month saying what we have been doing in Malawi?

This Month's Finds
Each month I find interesting blog posts or articles. Many of these I Tweet about, but not all. Let me know if you would like my top 3 'finds' each month.

This Month's Posts
This would be a quick list of the posts for the month.

What do people think? I've created a survey for you to vote in. If there are other features you would like to see of if you have other feedback, please feel free to tick "other" and add your comments in the survey.

Thank you for your help!
(survey closes 23:45 GMT on 26th August)

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Projects, projects, projects... What next??

What to work on next???

I mustn't complain. Like any other writer, I've had times when no ideas have come to me and I've lived in terror that none will ever come again. Right now, I have the opposite problem. I have six different projects I could be working on, and don't know which to tackle first!

Each one will take me probably 3-6 months so I don't want to start on something and then realise I would have been better off working on something else.

So, what's brewing? I bit of an eclectic mix to be honest!