Thursday, 11 June 2015

June Book Promotions

All at $1.99 through June for the Amazon Kindle US and Canada

Summer reading?
My books are in various Amazon Kindle Monthly Deals around the world this month. In the US and Canada you can currently get all four titles in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series for just $1.99 each. That's just $7.96 for the entire series so far!

Amazon AUS
Amazon UK

The second title in the series, To the Grave, is also on offer this month in the UK at £1.25, and in Australia at $1.49.

All titles are highly rated by Amazon readers around the world and have been top 10 bestsellers in Kindle store on numerous occasions,. So, if you like a bit of history and a thrill with your mystery solving, and haven't yet tried them, now could be a good time to get better acquainted with my lead character, Jefferson Tayte.

Reviewers have compared In the Blood to the works of Stieg Larsson and Robbert Goddard, and have said that it's reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes adventure and the writings of Daphne Du Maurier. To the Grave 'was more than a crime novel. It was every bit as good as Ian McEwan's Atonement.' The Last Queen of England has also been compared many times to Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. To find out more, please follow the links in the caption beneath each image to the various deals, or you can visit my website.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Jefferson Tayte in Czech language

JT goes Czech!
I received some exciting news from my publisher earlier in the month. My editor wrote to inform me that they've received an offer for the first two books in my Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series, In the Blood and To the Grave, from Czech publisher, Mystery Press. The foreign rights deal is for world rights in the Czech language, and if everything works out okay the titles will be published in hardback within 12 months.
I'm very excited about it, and I can't wait to see my copies, particularly as they will be my first ever hardback editions - although it's a shame I won't be able to read them! Following the recent publication of In the Blood in the German language (as In der Blutlinie) this will be the second translation of my work into another language. I'll be sure to post a photo of the cover as soon as I'm able to.

Book 5 update
I've been hard at it with my next (5th) book in the series.  The word count now stands at just over 85,000 words, which, having just looked back at a blog entry I posted on 15 January, isn't bad going at all as I'd only just passed 18,000 words. I wrote the prologue last week, which I'm very pleased with. I know it might seem odd to have only just written the first pages of the book, but this time around I wanted to see how the story shaped up first. I feel it's all coming along very well, and with around 15,000 words left to write, it's nice to be able to report that the end of the first draft is in sight. There's still lots more to do, of course, but I'm looking forward to getting to the editing phase, and I'm really looking forward to being able to tell you more about.

May Facebook competition

My competition this month is to share an image of the person you think of as Jefferson Tayte while reading my books. It doesn't matter who it is or why you imagine the person as JT. As long as you're able to share a picture in the competition thread on my Facebook page, you can enter. I'll be picking the winner at random from all the entries received at the end of the month, and the winner will receive a signed paperback of his or her choice from the series. Here are some of the images already submitted:

I know someone who would like that

Monday, 6 April 2015

April update

March saw one of my best ever writing weeks, with just over 9000 words added to my next Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery. I had spent the first two weeks of the month feverishly plotting the rest of the story, and I think that helped as I had a very strong idea of where I was going when I got back to the writing. I've now passed the half way mark in my goal to reach my expected book length of 100,000 words. There's still a lot of work to do, but I'm hoping for some more of those high word count weeks to help me towards my target along the way. There's a past narrative again this time, and that's now written, so I'm back with JT again and it's been good to catch up after I left him last year at the end of The Lost Empress.

Nominate an author and win £200 worth of books!
I'm now a member of the Crime Writers Association, and if I'm on your list of favourite authors, and you can find the time, please consider voting for me in the CWA Dagger in the Library awards via this LINK. It won't cost you anything to vote, and you could win £200 worth of books! Nominations close on 13 April.

The Dagger in the Library is one of six highly prized CWA Dagger Awards, which have been awarded to crime writers since 1955. It is a unique literary award in that it offers a chance for readers to nominate their favourite British crime fiction authors.

If you like competitions, my April Facebook competition is to share photographs of your ancestors. The image that has the most likes at 8pm UK time on 30 April wins, and the person who posted it will receive a signed paperback from my Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series. There are several great entries already, so thanks to everyone who has entered so far. You can enter HERE.

To wrap up, I'd just like to announce that the German translation of In the Blood has now been published by Amazon Crossing. It's the first time any of my work has been translated into another language and it's doing well, so  hopefully the rest of the series will be translated at some point, too.

Friday, 27 February 2015

'Get in Character' charity event for children with cancer has begun!

Meet Jefferson Tayte on the pages of my next novel.

Earlier in the year I was contacted by CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading charity for children and young people with cancer, who invited me to take part in a fundraising event called 'Get in Character', which was trialled last year with great success. This year's event promises to be even better and is already close to last year's totals, despite only having been live less than 24 hours.

There are 69 authors taking part in the eBay auction this year, and there are some big names in the mix, including Lee Child, Peter James, Nicci French, Andy McNab and Simon Kernick to name a few. It really is my privilege to have been invited to participate, and to be in a position where I can help raise funds for this very worthy cause.

So, how would you like to have your name in my next Jefferson Tayte novel? That's the prize waiting for the winning bidder. It doesn't have to be your name either. You can name someone close to you, and what a great gift idea - a loved one's name written into the pages of a novel.

You can find out more about CLIC Sargent and the event, and see which other authors are participating HERE.

If you would like to bid for a place in my next Jefferson Tayte book, or know someone else who might like to bid, my eBay auction page is HERE. Thank you!

The auction runs for 10 days and closes on 8 March. If you could share the link to this blog page, or to my eBay auction page that would be great and very much appreciated.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My nan at 90, plus charity fundraiser update & book news.

Happy birthday Nan!

Last weekend saw my nan's 90th birthday, and I wanted to post a few photos I took of some old photos my mum dug out for the occasion, which show my nan as a young girl back in the 1930s and 1940s. The family got together in my home town to celebrate the occasion and it was lovely to see everyone gathered in one place, which is something quite rare these days. When I was growing up, my nan's house, which was then my great-grandparent's house, was the hub of the family, shared by my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, my great-aunt and great-uncle and my nan pictured here. I wonder now how they all managed as other family members also lived in the same small Victorian terraced house with them at some point, but that was before I was born. Imagine the scene from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Grandpa Joe and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it must have been like. I look back on so many happy times spent 'down nan's' with great fondness, and a degree of sadness that all things must inevitably change. My nan still lives there, although by herself now since her mother, my great-grandmother passed away, which was at the grand old age of 101. Longevity certainly seems to run in the maternal side of my family!

Click Sargent charity fundraiser update.
The date has been set for the 10-day 'Get in Character' eBay auction, where authors are helping to raise funds for this very worthy charity, and winning bidders get to have their name, or the name of a loved one, immortalised in the author's next book. The auction starts at 8pm on Thursday 26 February, and I'll be posting a special blog soon with more information and links when the auction goes live. I hope you'll drop by and make a bid. In the meantime, here's a LINK to the CLIC Sargent website where you can find out more, and see the list of all the authors taking part, which includes Lee Child, Jodi Picoult, Peter James, Jojo Moyes, and Andy McNab, to name just a few.

Book news.
Readership of my series has been growing at a very good rate so far this year, thanks in no small part to the recent promotion of To the Grave and now for The Last Queen of England, which has been in the UK Kindle Top 100 since the promotion began at the start of the month. It's both encouraging and gratifying to see such interest in my work. The Last Queen of England is currently at No.65, and is still on sale for £1 until 28 February. Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy and helped to keep it there.

On the writing side of things, my next book, the 5th Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery is coming along nicely.  I've just passed 30,000 words, so I'm almost a third of the way there now, and the past narrative is only about three weeks or so from completion. I'm going to send a sample to my editor once that section is written, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that she likes it. Then I can reacquaint myself with Jefferson Tayte as I work on his part of the story, which I'm really looking forward to. As always, I can't wait to tell you what it's all about.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

January news roundup

It's 2015!
Which means that come September it will be ten years since I was made redundant and I embarked upon my career as a fiction author. Ten years! I know it's a worn-out cliche, but it really does seem like yesterday--well maybe last week at most. I had a nice Christmas and hope you did, too. It's been an exciting start to the year, which began with a few emails from Amazon Publishing to congratulate me on passing a milestone sales figure for my first book In the Blood since Thomas & Mercer re-published my titles last March. As a result, In the Blood has been featured in Amazon UK's 'Top Selling Books of 2014', which was a very nice surprise.

I was also contacted the other day by a charity organisation called CLIC Sargent, who are the UK's leading charity for Children's cancer. They invited me to join in a fundraiser called 'Get in Character', whereby an auction is set up on eBay enabling people to bid on the chance to have a character named after them in the authors next book, of which they also receive a signed copy when the book is released. I think it's a great incentive and I jumped at the chance to help out. I'll be posting more details about it as soon as I have the auction date. Please bid as much as you can afford to donate, and the winning bidder will forever become a part of my Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mysteries! I think that's pretty cool--like donating to charity and having a star named after you, only smaller. :o)

Also this month, my second book To the Grave is being featured in a Kindle UK January sale and is on offer for just £1. I'm very pleased to see so much interest in the book, which entered the top 100 Kindle bestseller charts early in the month and is currently residing at No.45. The offer runs until the end of January, so if you've not read it and think you might like to, there's still a couple of weeks left to get it at the low price. You can find out more about To the Grave on my website, or the Amazon Kindle store, and you don't need to have read In the Blood first to enjoy it.

My next book... 
I hit the ground running just as soon as 2015 dawned--okay it was the 2nd of January and I've been sitting down ever since, but you get the idea. I'm hard at it. The word count has increased by about 4000 words, which doesn't seem that much to show for two weeks, but I'll put my hand up now and say that I'm finding this one a real toughie, and the research is slowing my word count down more than I had hoped it would. Still, some things shouldn't be rushed, and I believe that writing a book is one of them.

I'm trying to get inside the head of an historical-narrative character,  a man this time, and we don't even speak the same language. It also dawned on me recently that I set myself quite a challenge as soon as I published In the Blood, because it began a legacy that has meant I have to juggle three stories in each book: the historic and present-day narratives, and JT's larger story that is beginning to unfold across the series of books. Perhaps even more challenging is that I'm not writing historical fiction set in the same period each time, whereby my knowledge of that period grows with, and can be used in, each book. I have to learn about that period in history afresh every time I sit down to write a new book.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. In fact, I think this setup helps to keep things fresh and interesting for me as the author, and for the reader, who gets something a little different with every book. It just takes time. Rest assured though that I'll remain hard at it, and gradually we'll see that word count over on the right reach the target of 100,000 words. Only 81,639 to go!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

Click HERE to watch


Wow! I can't believe a couple of months have passed since I last posted a blog entry. Where did the time go? The reason is that I've been so focussed on writing my next Jefferson Tayte mystery, and the research for this one has been pretty intense so far. As you can see from the word count to the left of this page, I've made a healthy start, and I hope to pick up the pace further in the New Year.

Looking back on 2014, I can truly say that it's been a very exciting year for me. My existing three books were re-released with Thomas & Mercer in March, I had a film crew pointing cameras and fluffy microphones at me soon afterwards, and then in October my fourth book, The Lost Empress, was released. I've also just heard that the German language edition of In the Blood has moved into production and is being copyedited right now for release early next year. It's going to be called In der Blutlinie.

Here's the cover, which is much the same as for the English language version, but with a different text layout.

In other news, the film I made for Amazon KDP earlier in the year about my journey as an author was featured in the latest edition of the KDP newsletter. I had always thought how good it would be to get a mention someday, and now it's happened! As a result, the number of views on YouTube quickly soared past the 2000 mark. If you've already seen it, thanks for watching. If you haven't, here's the link again: Behind the Cover: featuring Steve Robinson

I can't imagine that 2015 is going to be quite as exciting for me as this year has been, but one of the wonderful things about publishing is that you just don't know what's around the corner. The next highlight for me, so far as I can see, is to finish my next book, which I hope to be able to tell you more about as 2015 progresses. If you want to see how I'm doing, you can always pop back and have a look at my current word count, which I'll be updating on a regular basis.

I hope you enjoy watching my animated Christmas card. It's a bit of fun, and please feel free to share it. As always, I'd like to thank for your support, and I wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2015.