New Book to Check Out


For any of you who is a lover of good crime fiction set in scotland, then you might like the following book which is free on kindle just now and is a police procedural set in glasgow, called Chasing shadows – countdown by B.T. Coll.

Information can be found here

Hell to Pay – Jenny Thomson


Have been given a link by the lovely author Jenny Thomson for this book if you would like to get a sneak preview of the first two chapters of the book, link is as follows

Her Amazon page can be found here if you want to find out more about this author

One to Watch Crime Author Interview – Jenny Thomson


1. How did you get started writing I sold my first article to a girl’s magazine about superstitions when I was 15 and it all started from there. Over the years I’ve written about every topic under the sun for newspapers and magazines and had self-help books published – all by the traditional route. About twelve years ago, I wrote my first novel The Football Fan’s Survival Guide, but that ended up being the one that languishes in a drawer – every writer has one of these. It was only when I got a contract for my short novel How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks in 2010 and won the Pitlochry Quaich for my crime novel Vile City in 2011, that I realised I could write fiction.

2. What drew you to crime fiction I read a lot of crime fiction from so many different countries and love the genre. The best thing about it is it’s such a wide one, so you can play around with it. Hell To Pay and the other books to come in the Die Hard for Girls series (all featuring Nancy Kerr and Tommy McIntyre) don’t focus on the police or on private detectives, they focus on a couple of vigilantes and the victims of crime. With crime fiction you can get away with doing that.

3. Which crime writers past or present have influenced your style of writing Scottish writers like Stuart MacBride and Craig Russell have shown that you can write crime fiction and it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. There can be moments of humour. Like many writers, I love Stephen King. Although he doesn’t write crime fiction, if you want to write popular fiction you need to read his books. His book On Writing is a must read for any writer.

4. What was the inspiration behind the storyline of Hell to Pay I was sick of reading about women being the victims of sadistic crimes and so often not getting any justice, so I wanted to write a book where the main character didn’t just get revenge, she went out and got it for herself. And, so my kick ass heroine Nancy Kerr was born.

5. Did you find it hard to get publisher interest for Hell to Pay The first publisher I sent Hell To Pay signed me up within days. They loved the book and the fact that it was the first in a series I’d dubbed ‘Die Hard for Girls.” They also gave me a contract for the second one, Throwaways, which I’ve almost finished writing. I feel lucky that way, but then I’ve had plenty of knockbacks and disappointments in the past. For example, I had a contract for my book about a one-legged barmaid who goes on the run with a gangster’s cash and gun, but it was never published after the head of the imprint left the publisher.

6. Did you find the experience of writing your first novel an easy task or a quite daunting one Hell To Pay isn’t the first novel I’ve written. Dead Bastards, my Scottish zombie novel was published by TWB Press last year as an eBook. It’s also attracted interest from a paperback publisher, which I’m very excited about.

The story for Hell To Pay was an easy one to write and didn’t need much planning. The things I did struggle with were making sure there were no continuity errors. For instance, you can’t have a character with brown hair one minute and pink the next, or have someone come into a room who you killed off two chapters ago. You need to keep track of those things and that can be difficult because you’ve so many other things to keep an eye on.

7. Why did you decide to set your books in Glasgow For over a decade, I lived in Glasgow and I thought that if there was a character who could come back from having her parents murdered and being raped it and go all out for revenge, it would be someone from Glasgow. Glaswegians are very resilient and don’t take any crap.

8. Did you ever consider putting Hell to Pay up as a e book to gain interest like a lot of new crime authors have done No, I think there are too many authors doing that now that it would be hard to stand out. There’s also a stigma attached to self-publishing because there’s no quality control. Not as much as there used to be because there are so many great self-published books out there.

I am working on a short story featuring Nancy Kerr and her sidekick Tommy McIntyre though, which will be available free on Kindle to introduce new readers to the first two books in the series. Top authors like Tess Gerritsen have been doing that quite successfully.

9. What kind of research did you have to undertake for your books I had to research a few things, including whether it was possible for someone to escape from the boot of a car and how you would incapacitate someone who was much stronger than you. For another book, I researched the cakes people jump out of at birthday parties and stag dos. I was very disappointed to find they didn’t eat their way out!

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life people The characters aren’t based on real people. I’d be too worried I’d get sued! The name of Nancy Kerr is an amalgamation of two people I know from high school. It was a subconscious thing and not intended.

11. Since you have started writing crime novels have any known authors given you any advice Lawrence Bloch told me that diversity was a good thing and that as well as writing crime you should write other types of books. Joyce Holmes who judged the crime writing competition I won, was also a great help and offered to look at the final manuscript for Vile City, my winning entry.

12. Do you see any of Nancy Kerr’s personality in yourself and vice versa Nancy’s the kind of person I wish I could be. She’s sassy, streetwise and sexy. And she takes no nonsense. In a way, I think she’s the woman we all wish we could be.

13. You touch on some harrowing moments in your book. Did you feel it was quite hard to write about No, the best thing about writing Hell To Pay is I knew that no matter what happened to Nancy Kerr she would recover and would get her revenge. Sadly, in real life that doesn’t usually happen, but that’s why I think the Die Hard for Girls books will take off: because readers know they’ll get a good dose of escapist fiction.

14. What do you see for the future of Nancy Kerr After avenging her parents’ deaths, Nancy Kerr will help other crime victims, assisted by her hunky sidekick Tommy McIntyre. They have a long future ahead of them and a changing relationship.

15. As a blossoming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share Never give up. Keep writing and working on different projects because you will face disappointments along the way and if you do you will have more work to send out. The worst thing you can do is write one novel and just sit back thinking you’re done. You’re never done.


Hell To Pay is published on July 26 th by Sassy Books and will be available on Amazon and in all good bookstores. RRP £7.99

Read a free excerpt of my zombie novel Dead Bastards & watch the trailer at Hell to Pay, a revenge thriller, will be published by Sassy Books, in July 26th 2013 It’s the first book in a series dubbed Die Hard for Girls. Read an excerpt here. Amazon author page

Author Interview – Michael J Malone


1.How did you get started writing

Since I first held a book in my hand as a child, I always wanted to produce one myself. There was a brief writing episode at 12 and then again at 16 when I tried to write a novel, but I didn’t have a proper go at it until I was in my mid-thirties. And you can blame a boring job for that. I got chatting up the back of a meeting room with a colleague while our boss was droning on about blah blah – and admitted that I had ambitions to be a writer. My colleague said, “Me too!” So we agreed to write one together, alternating chapters of a book. We wrote 4 chapters each before my friend came to me to say that he wanted to go it alone. I took my 4 chapters and wrote a novel and my friend never wrote another word.

2. What drew you to crime fiction

It was an accident, honest, guv! The first two novels I wrote (so far unpublished) were contemporary novels. General fiction, if you like. But then the opening chapter for BLOOD TEARS came to me in a dream. (Go buy the book and read it, to see how disturbed I am.) The dream was so vivid and fascinating I had to go with it but it took me about a year to work out what to do with it. And those two little words “what if” drew me on. What if this dream detailed the actions of a serial killer after he had killed? And what if there was a detective on the case? A detective who had links to the deceased. And what if … you get the picture? So I didn’t sit down with the intention of writing a crime novel, it just happened.

3. Which crime writers past or present have influenced your style of writing

I’ve read voraciously all of my life and I think, in that period when I was a reader I would have been influenced by every writer I enjoyed. And all them will in some way have influenced a burgeoning voice in me, the writer. I don’t know if there is any one writer that has directly influenced by style of writing, but in the mix is bound to be people like Stephen King, Wilbur Smith, James Lee Burke, George Pelecanos, Lee Child, Bryce Courteney, John Connolly, William McIlvanney, Val McDermid … the list goes on and on

4. Where you surprised by the success of Blood tears

You know, I haven’t given it much thought. I’m grateful that anyone has bought and read it. And that’s not false modesty, just an acknowledgement that I went in to this with no expectation, with the thought that whatever would be, would be. You always hope that people will buy your book, but that anyone actually shells out their hard-earned cash – other than family and friends of course, cos they are duty bound – is wildly pleasing and flattering.

5. Why do you think it has been so successful? You would have to ask a reader that question. I just tried to write a book that would entertain me, and hoped that others might enjoy what I do.

6. Did you find the experience of writing your second novel more or less difficult than the first They probably had the same degree of difficulty, because it felt like a continuation. Although it is a different story and doesn’t have to be read in sequence (that is the beauty of writing a serial character). Because I’m writing, in the main, about the same characters

7. Why did you decide to set your books in Glasgow? I love Glasgow. Its a fascinating city, with fascinating people. Its a city of contrasts, of great divides across all the social classes. And above all, its a city with a sense of humour.

8. Blood tears has a strong religious element did you find that difficult to write about Not at all. Much of the religious stuff that went on in the book is based on my own experience or on the experience of people I know. Just before the book was published, I had a wobble. Did I really want people to read about all that? Did I want people to think I was having a go at the Catholic Church? I had to give myself a good talking too. In the end I decided that my experiences were as valid as anyone else’s and if anyone decided to be offended by it, then that was for them to deal with, not me.

9. What kind of research did you have to undertake for your books? Mainly to do with police procedure, which is when I spoke to the experts. And here is where I add the qualifier that any errors were mine and mine alone. People are VERY picky about their procedures. Play about with that stuff at your peril. Which I did, but that’s another story.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life people No. My characters tend to be a blend of characteristics of people that I’ve met, rather than being based on any one particular individual.

11. Since you have started writing crime novels have any known authors given you any advice Can’t think of any. Probably. Most writers I’ve met, particularly in the crime/ thriller field are a generous bunch and if there was something I needed help with, I’m sure someone would do the necessary.

12. Do you see any of Ray McBain’s personality in yourself and vice versa Ha! No. I wish I had his quick wit, I tend to think of the right thing to say about an hour later. I also wish – sometimes – that I had his willingness to say exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. I’m too careful and tend to edit before I speak. It would be wonderful to not give a shit and just tell it like it is.

13. With the amalgamation in April of the Scottish police force in to one organization do you think it will effect your series of books? I can’t see that being an issue. People will still do bad things. Other people will still need to bring them to justice. The only difference might be in the details.

14. What do you see for the future of DI McBain That would be telling. You’ll need to get the next book – A Taste for Malice – due out in June.

15. As a know blossoming successfully crime writer do you have words of advice you can share? I’ll borrow from Stephen King here – read a lot, write a lot. Put in the hours, people. Do the work. Read widely. Learn your craft.

And persist with your goals. Don’t take any “no” as the final “no”. The difference between the professional and the amateur is that the professional kept going until …

Ray McBain Books

1. Blood Tears (Paperback)
Five Leaves Publications

2. A Taste for Malice (Paperback)
Five Leaves Publications

Monthly Crime Question

The question is At the moment I am reading Ian Rankins new Rubus novel Standing in Anothers Man Grave which has the two main characters of both of his series of books John Rebus and Malcolm Fox, and it got me thinking what two character  from different authors or the same author would you like to see together in a book.

My two choices would be Tony Blacks Gus Dury with Dectective Inspector Rob Brennan.

And RR Gall Dumfries Dectective Jinky Johnstone with Aline Templeton Dectevie Inspector Marjory Fleming,so my friends what would your choices be

lynsey xxx