September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Paul Vincent Lee

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How did you get started writing?
Writing compositions at school; they’re called essays now I believe! It was the few thing at school I was best at….apart from dodging, I was really good at that.

What drew you to write a crime novel
It was always going to be crime, to be honest. I always liked reading crime, so I suppose it was an obvious step. I’d also like to give comedy writing a go.

Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I’ve been asked this question a few times, and I suppose, subconsciously, some writers must have; but I am not aware of any influencing me as such. Writers like Michael Connelly of Bosch fame, James Ellroy and a few others, are great American crime writers that I like to read. From UK, William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw got me hooked; and people like Ian Rankin & Denise Mina have moved things along…and recently, of course, Denzil Meryick has burst onto the scene.

When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Not hard…..impossible! All the advice on this says “Be patient”…..I don’t agree. We live in a new age, if you can’t get a deal….Indy Publish…..and even if you do get offered a deal [ like I did ] check first, you might well be signing your life away and could make more money the Indy way. Get advice: contact Sinclair MacLeod at indieauthorsscotland.co.uk are a great starting point.

There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
No….I like them all…..but story development is a strange beast….I had a character I really liked…..but killed him off anyway……it was a “shock” I felt the story needed.

What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?
In between writing Defending Joe and The Maltese Orphans, I moved to Malta. there were some non-writing reasons for this, but at the same time I felt I wanted a different setting for my stories. The UK market is saturated with DI this and DC that…..and they all seem to have drink problems!

Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
For Defending Joe, I just looked back on my own life….let’s just leave it at that. Writers Warning: I’ve now lost 2 “friends” who didn’t appreciate aspects of my stories that they felt were describing them in real life…..sad but true. Do I care….no, they are the ones with the issues….not me.

What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
because they’ll all be set in Malta / Gozo from now on !!

Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Very much so…..especially the nut-jobs.

If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
Well, The Maltese Orphans only came out on 1st Sept…..but I can say that the whole series will be called The Maltese….{ something }….stay tuned.

Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
Without a doubt, Defending Joe. It was a labour of love as it was a way of me expressing some of my own issues, and dealing with the challenge of just getting a book written. I was completely broke at the time, and my life was at an all time low, which didn’t help. I couldn’t afford to get anything done professionally; so I did the cover design myself { quite well I thought ! } and just formatted and edited as best I could. I wont lie, the rawness of the first edition showed, and was commented on by a couple of Reviewers, and at one point I was a bit embarrassed by some of the mistakes…..but then I just said: No, you’re not going to discourage me; I’m on a journey you know F all about.”…..and, despite it’s flaws, I “built a tribe”, the book sold in the thousands and put me on the map. It was also during this period that I found out who my real friends were.

As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Yes…..write the way, and about, what YOU want…..don’t try & write to please an audience you think exists…..develop your own style…..and if you go down the Indy route don’t be afraid or ashamed to say it……I’m sure John Locke isn’t.

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Malta 2014, and Pulizija Inspector, the beautiful but troubled, Thea Spiteri, is at a cross roads in her life, and career. Then a child’s abduction, from a crowded St Julian’s beach, gives her the opportunity to concentrate her mind on what she does best: solve crimes.

Ex Scottish cop, ex drunk, ex lover, ex…….everything. At one time, Matt Healy felt he had it all. He found out differently. Now he is trying to put his life back together, on the idyllic island of Malta.

If they can both overcome their demons, and trust in the enigmatic Fr Marandon, emotional happiness awaits them both. But past sins in Scotland and Malta, mean that for both Healy and Spiteri, future happiness may just be an illusion.

OTHER NOVELS
Defending Joe

http://paulvincentlee.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Lee/e/B00ID7XPMC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Steve Christie

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1. How did you get started writing?
Many years ago, when the kids were small, I wrote stories that I would then read to them at bedtime. Jump forward a few years, the kids have grown up, bedtime stories now abandoned, I found myself with a little spare time so, I decided to swap writing bedtime stories for writing crime stories for adults.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel.
I’ve always been interested in crime, especially true crime. It was the obvious way to go!

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
Edgar Alan Poe: I love his dark descriptive style of writing. He can paint a real feeling of foreboding using words alone. Jeffrey Deaver: no one writes a twist in the tale like him. You think you have the mystery solved in your head then it usually takes off in a totally different direction. You just didn’t see it coming!

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
It took a while. I think this is a problem experienced my most new writers. The major publishers just don’t seem interested so you have to contact as many publishers as possible. They get a lot of submissions and you have to be patient. I finally got interest from a couple of places.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
It would probably be D.I Buchanan. He has a strange outlook on life, cuts a few corners yet always seems to get the job done.

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novels?
I use the internet a lot but sometimes you do need to talk to experts, they’re usually quite accommodating if you just approach them nicely. My second book. Cold Shot contains a plot that deals with adoption. Its a mine field. Luckily, through Facebook I contacted an expert on this. I had a good many conversations with her through the course of writing the novel.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
A little bit here and there. I often find my characters develop into an amalgamation of people I know, or have known in the past. I also find a few of my own traits in there especially when it comes to Buchanan.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there?
The pace of the plot. There’s always something going on. I also think Buchanan is quite unique. A good many detectives in crime fiction novels seem very similar at times.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Yes. I would think all authors put a bit of themselves into their characters. It’s very hard not to.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
Sure! Here’s the prologue to Cold Shot. Eight am Monday morning. Mary approached the snow encrusted car that had just stopped in front of her at the side of the road. “Excuse me Miss, any idea where Westburn Road is.” Mary leaned over passenger window and pointed to the location on the drivers map. His face was hidden way back in his hood she couldn’t tell if he was young or old. “If you go straight on and take the second road on the left then…” Before she could finish her sentence she was pulled violently into the car her muffled screams quickly stifled by the closing of the car door. She felt a sharp pain on the inside of her left wrist. Then, through her rapidly blurring vision she watched as the syringe that had appeared from nowhere fell to the floor as if in slow motion. The fast acting sedative took over Mary’s body as the hooded strangers vehicle took off at great speed along the quiet suburban road.

11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
Hard to say…obviously I have a soft spot for Good Deed, It was my first novel and I’m quite proud of the fact that it lead to me becoming a published author, but I have to say I’m quite fond of Cold Shot, it’s a good deal longer and introduces some good new characters so….I’d probably go for that.

12. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Yes….Grow a thick skin. Not everyone’s going to like your books.

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Good Deed by Steve Christie is a fast paced crime novel that introduces a new Scottish detective hero, DI Ronnie Buchanan. Events take Buchanan from his base in Aberdeen on a frantic journey around all the major Scottish cities as his increasingly deadly pursuit of a mysterious criminal master mind known only as Vince comes to a breath-taking climax back in Aberdeen.
“The pace of Good Deed is exceptional and unremitting. It is the kind of book that demands to be read in one sitting, but most readers will be so breathless as the saga unfolds without pause that they will need occasional rests before eagerly returning for more.”

http://about.me/stevechristieauthor

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steve-Christie/e/B00926A0EY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

September 2014 up and coming crime author of the month with Emma Salisbury

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1. How did you get started writing?
I loved English Literature at school but coming from a working class family on a poor estate I couldn’t see any future where pursuing that was a possibility.  I started putting pen to paper about eight years ago when I overheard two women on the bus talking about a friend of theirs and although I didn’t know anything about this person I found myself thinking up a description for them and because they sounded so feisty I thought up some scenarios to go with the image I had in my mind – she later became Detective Alex Moreton.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I’m crap at sex! I mean writing about it of course! I have great respect for writers of romance and tomfoolery but I think if I tried to write something lovey dovey or steamy I’d die of embarrassment or fall about laughing.  Crime suits my personality.  I’m a sensitive soul guilty of over thinking things in general which comes in handy when you’re trying to write about the cause and effect of murder.
On a serious note a girl in my class was murdered the week we left school and a friend was convicted of killing her. It made me realise that you can’t ever really know someone, and that’s scary.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I read all the classics as a child, who couldn’t be moved by Jane Eyre? But it was the mad aunt and Rochester’s initial darkness that drew me in, rather than the romance.
I love gritty fiction, the darker the better for with darkness comes humour.  For me, Denise Mina and Stuart MacBride nail it, along with Mark Billingham and John Harvey.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
My first manuscript, a novel about a psychic detective, attracted attention from three agents.  I signed with Teresa Chris in 2007 but publishers were reluctant to commission it as a couple had been burned from previous encounters of the genre and didn’t want to go there again. I tried a couple of re-writes but the story was getting so far removed from the original it didn’t work. 
My second novel, Fragile Cord, attracted attention from Polygon but after a couple of weeks they declined on the basis they were looking for a Scottish based novel (Fragile Cord is set in Salford, in the north west of England). It was then that a friend suggested publishing on Amazon and in 2013 I decided to give it a try!

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
Well, I love ex-con Davy in my latest novel, Truth Lies Waiting, which is based in Leith and Craigmillar in Edinburgh. He goes about with a guy called Brad and they are a real pair of scallies with absolutely no airs or graces about them. I like the fact that they think they’re streetwise but they’re not really.

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
Readers are so well informed these days that you have to do your homework! I did a lot of research into parental homicide, particularly Resnick who back in the sixties designed the system which classifies the different categories of child murders by their mothers or fathers.  Sadly, there are still reports every week of new cases which continue to shock and fascinate the public in equal measure.
For the police corruption in Truth Lies Waiting, Hillsborough, Stephen Lawrence, Plebgate, need I go on..?

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
That would be telling! No one character has been lifted from someone in real life but there are certainly many characteristics or phrases that people I know or have met use which tickled my fancy enough to include.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
Rather than whodunit I focus on the why.  It’s the why that unsettles people, makes them think there but for the Grace of…. 

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Good question.  I’m not aware that I do this consciously, but I know my mood can impact how my characters behave.  For example, my Dad passed away in June, when I came to write the final chapters of Truth Lies Waiting I was hurting pretty bad, and I had to pass this hurt on somehow. 

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
The detectives in Fragile Cord were very popular so I am currently writing a follow up novel due out next month. Also, I have already penned the outline for the follow up to Truth Lies Waiting (released 1 September) as there are still some scores left to be settled!

11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?Maybe it’s because the birth was so very recent but Truth Lies Waiting really resonates with me on a personal level.

12. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Well, I’m still an unknown on the crime circuit but it’s gratifying when someone contacts me and said they enjoy my stories.  The best advice I was given was from Marian Keyes about eight years ago. I like the fact she tackles very serious issues in her novels in an accessible way and I wrote to her for advice: “Make sure your novel is the best it can be.” She wrote back.  She’s not wrong.

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Introducing Scottish anti-hero Davy Johnson as he takes on the Edinburgh establishment to clear his name.
Davy Johnson is a young man from the wrong side of the tracks with a target on his back. After a spell in prison he is trying to make a life for himself but one cop won’t leave him alone, following him around and carting him off to the station just for the fun of it.
The harassment turns sinister when Davy witnesses his nemesis overstep the mark with a local junkie – and makes the mistake of telling him he’s been seen. What happens next sees Davy framed for a string of murders with no one to help him but the cronies he promised he’d turn his back on when he got out of jail – but what will they want in return?
With the help of an ex con and a local cabbie Davy goes on the run to prove his innocence but as the body count rises he discovers a connection between what’s happening now and a tragedy involving his father many years before.
Will he be able to work out the truth from the lie in time to save the killer’s next victim?

OTHER NOVELS
FRAGILE CORD

http://www.emmasalisbury.com

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Salisbury/e/B00KY71FFS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Second There’s Been a Murder Crime Blog Book of the Year Award 2014

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And the winner is

THE VISITORS – SIMON SYLVESTER

The island has always seemed such a safe place, such a friendly community. Now the possibility of a killer on Bancree is dangerously close to home. Nobody moves to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and few leave – but leaving is exactly what seventeen-year-old Flora intends to do. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flo is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductively handsome but radiates menace; and there’s something about his daughter Ailsa that Flo can’t help but feel drawn towards. People aren’t only arriving on Bancree – they are disappearing too. Reports of missing islanders fill the press and unnerve the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the strange newcomers on Dog Rock. Convinced of their innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Could the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?

Well done to all the other nominee’s
DEAT BEAT – DOUG JOHNSTONE
BETRAYED – ANNA SMITH
FALLING FAST – NEIL BROADFOOT
EMMA L CLAPPERTON –  HENDERSON MANOR
THE DEATH GAME – CHRIS LONGMUIR
THE GOOD PRIEST- GILLIAN GALBRAITH

THROWAWAYS – JENNY THOMSON
BOTTLENECK – ED JAMES
SEVEN EIGHT PLAY IT STRAIGHT – EJ LAMPREY

2013 WINNER . MARK DOUGLAS-HOME – THE WOMAN WHO WALKED INTO THE SEA

Book to Check Out

At the moment this book is down to a low price, so if you are looking for a good book to read just now then I suggest that you make it this one

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Malta 2014, and Pulizija Inspector, the beautiful but troubled, Thea Spiteri, is at a cross roads in her life, and career. Then a child’s abduction, from a crowded St Julian’s beach, gives her the opportunity to concentrate her mind on what she does best: solve crimes.

Ex Scottish cop, ex drunk, ex lover, ex…….everything. At one time, Matt Healy felt he had it all. He found out differently. Now he is trying to put his life back together, on the idyllic island of Malta.

If they can both overcome their demons, and trust in the enigmatic Fr Marandon, emotional happiness awaits them both. But past sins in Scotland and Malta, mean that for both Healy and Spiteri, future happiness may just be an illusion.

This story of intrigue and murder in Maltese society; encompassing politics, the Church and the pain of loss, will take the reader through the full gambit of human emotions.

Here is the Amazon link to buy this e book for yourselves

September Crime Question my favourite books Natalie Haynes

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Natalie Haynes is a writer, broadcaster, reviewer and classicist. She was once a stand-up comic, but retired when she realised she preferred tragedy to comedy. Always keen to be paid for what she would be reading anyway, she judged the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2010, The Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2012, and the Man Booker Prize in 2013. The Amber Fury is her first novel.

I can’t come even close to having 10 favourite books, let alone 1 (how do people do that? I must just like more things than other people, I think…). So I will go with my favourite crime novel – and even that is incredibly hard to choose. How do I pick between Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers, between Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler…? But I am being ruthless and thinking hard about which books I have loved most for longest, and which ones I have read and re-read. I think the only choice, in the end, is Barbara Vine, and I think The House of Stairs is probably the clincher, though I love them all. I read The House of Stairs when it came out in paperback – I think I must have been about 14. I was mesmerised by it. I have always loved books which feature quirky landladies filling their homes with misfits (I love Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books, for just this quality). And Cosette was the first of these I ever remember reading about. I love the way Vine/Rendell drip-feeds information and suspense: she has an unrivalled capacity to make hairs stand up and jaws clench as we read her. My favourite scene is hard to discuss without giving away the plot, which I really don’t want to do. So I will instead opt for a favourite setting, if that’s ok, which is Cosette’s house. It is a character in its own right, and the story wouldn’t work without its sinister, compelling, claustrophobic presence. It’s a huge, tall house, yet the stairs creak and reveal who is where, and when. So it acts almost as a prison, as well as a sanctuary and a threat. It’s a brilliant piece of writing. My favourite character is Elizabeth, who narrates the story, and manages to reveal so much while concealing key facts until crucial moments. It never feels forced. And Elizabeth’s passion for Henry James gives her a depth that many mystery-story narrators lack. She’s genuinely enthralling company.

http://www.nataliehaynes.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Natalie-Haynes/e/B004XKCZGK

Book to Check Out

At the moment this book is down to the low price of 99p in the Kindle Countdown Deal, so if you are looking for a good book to read just now then I suggest that you make it this one as the price can go back up at any time

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Do you believe a house can remember things that have happened in the past?

As D.S Preston and D.C Lang investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow they ask themselves, who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? They believe their questions are answered and the case is closed.
Sam Leonard could not be happier, he has an amazing acting career, a loyal best friend and a fantastic girlfriend and after a previous turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?
Patrick McLaughlin’s life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.
But a house that Patrick buys is not all it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased and a fairly recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

Henderson Manor will bring together the lives of several unsuspecting people…but can a house let go of its past?

Here is the Amazon link to buy this e book for yourselves