What I've been up to this week

Last Friday I went to do a talk at my local library and I had an absolute blast. It was wonderful to be chatting about books again. Every time I visit, it brings back such fond memories of the young Mel who would borrow any, and every, book she could find on writing. Whether that be about craft or genre, screenplays, short stories or novels. You name it - I borrowed the book.

My host from Hanley Library (it’s proper name is City Central Library but it will always be Hanley Library to me) was Amy and she did a phenomenal job. I gave her a list of questions to pose and she threw so many more at me during the talk that we ran over time. I don’t think anyone minded though - there was some fabulous feedback afterwards. There were about thirty people in the audience and I sold a mountain of books afterwards. 

One question someone asked me was, when I plot, do I start at the beginning or at the end of a book? The answer I gave was I that always have to have my ending and then I work backwards to figure out what has to happen at the beginning and through the book to get to that point. 

However, sometimes I have a middle point, so I then work out everything up to this point and what happens because of it afterwards.

With a police procedural, I often have an ending in mind, write the murders and go back and slot in the procedural work. I suppose it depends on the story, really. 

I’ve just finished the second draft of my next Allie Shenton book, due out at the end of May. This is the hardest draft for me. I have to dig deep to have faith that it will all work out in the end.

Writing so many books, I’ve gained a certain amount of trust in myself to write book after book, to push myself past the point where I feel it will never work, and just keep going. To realise that it isn’t interesting enough yet, but it will be. 

I also panic thinking that my readers won’t like it as much as the book before. Indeed, this week, I’ve had a couple of reviews that have knocked my confidence, but it’s part of the job. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

So it gives me great pleasure to say that my books which are in Kindle Unlimited (where I get paid a certain amount per page that’s read) have had over ONE MILLION page reads in March alone.

I am thrilled and can’t thank readers enough for getting behind Broken Promises because that has been a huge part of those page reads. Which leads me swiftly on to…

Books on offer

Taunting the Dead and Follow the Leader are in the UK Kindle monthly sale, starting from today. So you can grab them both for 99p each. If you’ve already read them, you might like a refresher as these books have been re-edited. There is also a box set of the first three books for readers Kindle Unlimited to grab all in one long read.

Taunting the Dead and Follow the Leader

And I’ll leave you with a small hint that I may have some audio news soon for the Allie Shenton Series. They’re only available in print and ebook at the moment, so watch this space…

Next week, I'm off to London Book Fair. Until the pandemic, I hadn't missed a year since 2011. I can't believe it's three years since I was last there. I'm really looking forward to it, although a tad apprehensive about mingling with so many people. I'll let you know how I got on next week. 

My first speaking event in two years and ONE MILLION page reads this month.
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