I write gritty crime dramas and fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it. My novels will take you to the heart of the crime. Since 2012, I have published eleven crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers, each one climbing into the Kindle UK top 10, with several in the top 3.
Named as one of my home town’s top 100 influential people 2018, I’m thrilled to have sold over one million books.
Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes. I regularly appear at festivals, conferences and events across the country – my favourites being London Book Fair and Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.
I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer.) In some of my books, I make liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop.
When I was young
I always had a book in my hand. As soon as I got home from school, I would sling down my school bag, flop onto the settee and lose myself in something magical – Enid Blyton (The Magic Faraway Tree), CS Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Dorothy Edwards (My Naughty Little Sister).
Some things never change, apart from I can’t flop onto the settee whenever I please – or at least I try not to do it for too long. My to-be-read pile gets taller by the day, but that’s more to do with the fact that I now try to follow in my hero’s footsteps by trying to create believable, likeable characters of my own.
I’ve always been writing in some form for as long as I can remember. At eleven, I was honoured by Staffordshire County Council after winning my one and only writing competition. I was one of twenty regional winners out of 60,000 entries nationwide.
When I started to take writing ‘seriously’
I bought my first electronic typewriter on tick from the catalogue. Each week, I paid ten pounds off the balance. I remember it costing £240 way back in 1987. I then moved on to an Amstrad PC and began to write short stories. After a huge number of rejections, I gave up and concentrated on living my life. Well, they say writing is all about life experience.
I’ve had a number of full-time jobs and, in 1997, I became a housing officer for the local authority. I did that for eight years and then moved into training and development consultation. In 2010, I was made redundant prompting me to take a year ‘off’ to concentrate on writing full-time. I had been writing novels for twelve years (actually that’s a fib, it was the same one that I wrote over and over for the first few years) before I discovered the Kindle. It literally changed my life.
In December 2011, I self-published a crime thriller, TAUNTING THE DEAD.
In six weeks, it hit the Kindle UK top ten and was number one in police procedurals. I quickly followed this with three books in a series, THE ESTATE SERIES and by the end of 2012, I’d sold over 200,000 copies online. Attracting enquiries from a number of literary agents, I signed with Madeleine Milburn at the end of 2012 and have never looked back. I’ve since published four novels with Thomas & Mercer, making that first novel, TAUNTING THE DEAD into a series. FOLLOW THE LEADER was published in February 2015 and the third in the series, ONLY THE BRAVE shortly afterwards in May 2015. I also wrote a standalone psychological thriller, WATCHING OVER YOU, a number one best seller in UK, US, Germany and Australia. My latest novel, WRITTEN IN THE SCARS, book 4, The Estate Series is out now.
I also write contemporary fiction under the name of Marcie Steele
Stirred with Love and That’s What Friends Are For are out now.
So that’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for coming to my website. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter (or click on the image below to get a free ebook too) and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
If you want a giggle at my expense, have a look at the video below with author Angela Clarke: