My new Muse

Moving country - exchanging sun, sand and sea for green rolling fields, sheep and cows, I was apprehensive to say the least. Choosing to live deep in the English countryside I began to wonder if I would be lonely. I had my writing, of course, with all my lovely characters, and now, no neighbours to interrupt my day. Life couldn't be better, Could it? After a few months, I began to miss the knock at the door and the "haven't you finished yet, the sun has gone down over the yardarm"  My nearest watering hole was two miles away. I needed compensation. Then I noticed Read more

Adele and Perfection

Watching Adele making a mess of her first attempt to sing a tribute to George Michael, the other night, was a reminder of how professional she is. She stopped the performance, apologised to the audience and started the song again, from scratch. The second attempt was pitch-perfect. What a wonderful, talented and beautiful performer she is. Writing is really quite similar. Good writers use the experience gleaned from reviews and feedback to make sure that their books are a perfect as possible. I know, as a writer that it is still quite possible to publish an edited book and discover, after the event, that there Read more

Getting away with murder!

It has been on my mind a lot in the last few weeks. Perhaps it is because my mind is running through the scenarios for future books but, sometimes, I am  not so sure. The thing is, we are selling our house. Sounds simple - sounds uncomplicated... it is, after all a super house - but - what about Brexit, I am asked? Is it too big? Another says...If the house is so great, why are you leaving? ...because we want to live in another country and the house won't fit in the van! The next estate agent who comes near, will need to leave Read more


Today I needed the answer to a simple question, so I Googled it. To my horror, umpteen million sites appeared and, before I knew it, it was lunchtime and I had wasted a whole morning and still hadn’t found what I was looking for! I had, however, found an amazing recipe for Chicken Fricassee, but my heroine can’t cook. I also discovered the shortest route from New York to Tampa, but the book isn’t set in America. The crowning glory is that I now have a total mastery of Manga comics, but my book isn’t illustrated… HELP!  

New Book Started!

Actually, the new book "Until Death" is just over half way. I had hoped to have it finished by Christmas, but now that the distractions of December are on the horizon - that might be a big ask. You will know, from the article that was in the last 5Ws Magazine, that I am a bit of a worrier. Now, I am worrying about the nitty gritty  - I know what happens at the end - and I know how all the characters get there, but do they need to stop off at the supermarket and pick up mince pies on the way. You can Read more

Recommended Retail Price Part Two

Following on from my random thoughts a couple of months ago (about RRP and what effect that can have on our perception of a book). I have decided to do a random experiment on pricing... All the ebook prices of Death Pledge have been reduced to 1.99 in what ever currency they were originally priced - so $1.99 and £1.99 and €1.99 - yes, I am perfectly aware that has a different value in different currencies - but, as the original retail price was £3.50 transmogrified by the mystical Amazon Currency converter to its equivalent across the world, it is still a bargain in every Read more

Death in Rio Extract

Following the amazing Olympic performance by all the participants has been a pleasure, but the odd news broadcast has brought reminders of how much simmers below the surface in Rio.

Recommended Retail Price ???

I was a bit startled to see my latest book was selling for over 1,800 - well wouldn't you be when the RRP is only £9.99? I was indignant and went dashing to the website and checked everything I could, to work out how someone somewhere was selling Death Stings for 1,790 more than the price brand new from the publisher... It took a few minutes to register the problem... then I realised my book has gone into Japan 🙂 that was 1,809 Yen 🙂 🙂 Phew 🙂 Tho' I do have some signed copies that I would be willing to part with for Read more

The Value of a Review

When you are writing, whether it be as a self-published author or working with an editor through a publishing house, as I do now, it is difficult to keep a clear perspective on the overall book. After months of proofing, rewrites and tweaking, part of the original joy, putting pen to paper, evaporates a little. When a reader takes the time to offer feedback, whether on early less edited books or on new books, whether positive or negative, it is a rewarding experience. To know that someone thought enough of the book to find it worth making a comment is wonderful. Criticisms need to be Read more

Death Pact – Inspiration Part 1 – Secrets and Lies

As the third book in the Tale of Murder Series, it was important to make sure that the key elements of the plot did not echo those of the previous two books. This book had to be different and it had to be built from a different perspective. As an author, I was concerned that with the first two books written from a woman's point of view, I might be boxing myself into a corner. This time I needed a hero - someone who would stand apart from the previous books in terms of location, outlook and expectation. This had to be a man with Read more

Death Pledge – Inspiration Part 1 – England

As Death Pledge (originally Five Must Die) was my first published novel, it took a lot of research to get the feel for the places, people and circumstances that could be used as the setting for the book. The story-line was there, from the start, but where to set an international killer and his activities that could be written about with any authority? As an English writer, the British part of the book was fairly simple and loosely based on places, in Surrey and Hampshire, where I have lived and loved. Hong Kong was also a straightforward choice as a location I have explored and Read more

Death in Rio – Inspiration Pt 3

Part 2 of a small series of short articles that gives an idea of how imagery can really inspire stories and the characters that I use. People are hugely important to any story but it is easy to visualise the hero and heroine as they are part of the core story. Where it becomes more problematic is to see the supporting characters and make sure that the vision is shared in the storyline. The images that helped me were similar to these.

Death in Rio – Inspiration Pt 2

Part 2 of a small series of short articles that gives an idea of how imagery can really inspire stories and the characters that I use. Pictures are a wonderful source for ideas and characters - having decided to discover more about Rio de Janeiro, it was important to get a feel for the locations that would be important. As the video in the last story mentioned, Rio has a huge population in a very small area which is surrounded by both mountainous regions and agricultural land. So I needed photos - and here are a few that I found.

Death in Rio – Inspiration Pt 1

I am always being asked how I come up with my plots. I thought that I would start a small series of short articles that give an idea of how imagery can really inspire stories and the characters that I use. Death in Rio is probably the simplest title to start with, even though it is technically number Two in the Tale of Murder series.  Written a few years before the World Cup in Brazil highlighted the dichotomy between the rich enjoying the Carnival atmosphere for which Rio de Janeiro is famous and the poor who live in shanty towns and ghettos. This Journeyman TV Read more

Inspiration and Brazil

I met some wonderful people at a charity event who ran a farm for the street children in Brazil. I was touched by their dedication and deeply moved by the plight of these underprivileged children. From that event The Rio Conspiracy was born. This year, 2014, as Brazil is constantly in the news let’s not forget these disadvantaged children whose survival is under constant threat. Travel weary as she was, Kate Berrisford walked decisively through Rio de Janeiro airport, pulling her wheeled suitcase. Her cousin Julie was dead. Julie had known every twist and turn of that cliff path. She had jogged along it daily. Read more