Posted in Self-publishing, Writing

Round-up of a Busy Week

Usually I post articles on a single topic on my blog, but this week has been so action-packed that I thought I’d share four news items instead:

  • one of my books, Murder Your Darlings, was shortlisted for a prestigious award, The Selfies
  • I was a guest on Joanna Penn’s fabulous Creative Penn podcast, talking about writing cozy mysteries
  • BBC Radio Gloucestershire‘s Dominic Cotter interviewed me about the new village Books on the Bus scheme
  • I published my latest collection of magazine columns, Still Young By Name

If you’d like to know more about any of these events, read on!

Murder Your Darlings Shortlisted for an Industry Award

The second time one of my novels has been shortlisted for The Selfies Award

My sixth Sophie Sayers Village Mystery, Murder Your Darlings, has been shortlisted for the adult fiction category of the UK Selfies Award, given to the best self-published books in the UK. There are also categories for Children’s Fiction and Memoir/Autobiography.

The Selfies were launched by publishing industry news service BookBrunch in 2018 and are sponsored by Ingram’s award-winning self-publishing platform, IngramSpark®, and supported by the London Book Fair and Nielsen Book.

I’m especially pleased for two reasons:

  • my first St Bride’s novel, Secrets at St Bride’s, was also shortlisted last year
  • Also this year there was a record number of entries

You can read more about the 2021 shortlist here. The winners will be announced on 20th April.

Interview on the Creative Penn Podcast

photo of Joanna and Thomas
Joanna Penn at my Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, with illustrator and fellow author, Thomas Shepherd (Photo by Jonathan Penn)

A few weeks ago, independent publishing and creativity guru Joanna Penn invited me to be a guest on her hugely popular Creative Penn podcast, and this week the podcast went live.

I’ve known Joanna for a long time, and I first appeared on her show in 2016, talking about bookstores. I often see her at writing and publishing industry events, such as the London Book Fair, and she was a great guest speaker at my Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival a few years ago. Given that neither of us have been to any such real-life events for over a year, it was especially enjoyable to catch up with her on her podcast.

This time we were talking about how to write cozy mysteries, a genre that has been especially popular during lockdown, providing upbeat, escapist fiction for readers stuck at home. I also shared insights into my writing life.

Although recorded with an audience of writers in mind, I think cozy mystery readers will also find it interesting.

Click here to listen to the podcast on Joanna’s website, where, if you prefer, you can read the transcript.

My interview is the 540th (!) podcast on Joanna’s show, so if you’d like to hear more podcasts about writing and self-publishing, her blog is a good place to look!

Talking about Books on the Bus on BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Photo of Debbie at bus stop with book box
Pick up a book when you catch the bus (Photo by Laura Young)

If you enjoyed my post a couple of weeks ago about the new Books on the Bus box that I’ve set up in our village bus shelter, if you are in the UK, you might like to listen to my interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with presenter Dominic Cotter, who on Saturday was presenting the Breakfast Show. (I have a feeling you can’t listen outside the UK for licensing reasons.)

Before the pandemic, Dominic was presenting the Lunchtime Show, and my author and books journalist friend Caroline Sanderson and I were regular guests on his Book Club spot. With studio guests not allowed due to Covid restrictions, it was a pleasure to catch up with an interview down the line instead.

New Essay Collection: Still Young By Name

Now available in ebook and paperback

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that my latest collection of magazine columns, Still Young By Name, is now available in ebook and paperback. This is the second volume of columns I’ve written for the Tetbury Advertiser, an award-winning community magazine, which runs my musings on the first page of editorial each month under the heading “Young By Name”.

This book includes whimsical columns from the last five years, reflecting on topical issues of the moment, tempered with anecdotes from my past.

When I reread the columns while I was compiling the book, it struck me what an extraordinary five years 2016-2020 was.

While much in the world had changed, both on our doorstep here in the rural Cotswolds and on the global stage, I also celebrate precious things that stay the same.

Each column – ten per calendar year – is just 500 words long, so this book is easy to dip in and out of whenever you want to be diverted from the pressures of daily life.

The cover image is from a watercolour painting by my father, and although I confess I hesitated before putting a cow’s bottom beside my title, it made me laugh, and I love the calm the whole image exudes. I hope you like it too.

Here are store links in case you’d like to buy it:

For Regular News Updates

cover of The Pride of Peacocks
This fun novelette is available exclusively to members of my Readers’ Club.

If you’d like to receive a monthly enewsletter including the latest news on my books and events and also have a chance to enter a free prize draw for something related to my books, please click here to join my Readers’ Club, and you’ll also receive a free download of my novelette, The Pride of Peacocks, in the ebook format of your choice.

In next week’s post, I’ll be talking to Alison Morton, my next guest for my Travels with my Books series

Posted in Events, Personal life, Reading, Self-publishing, Travel, Writing

A Trip to the Van Gogh Exhibition and More Serendipitous Inspirations

In keeping with Orna Ross‘s recommendation to replenish the creative well by going on a “createdate”with yourself every week to a fun, stimulating place, I book tickets for the Van Gogh Britain exhibition currently running at London’s Tate Britain Gallery. I bend Orna’s rule by taking my teenage daughter with me, because Van Gogh is her favourite artist and this seems the perfect focus for quality mother-and-daughter time.

Van Gogh Britain Exhibition

The exhibition is even bettter than we thought it would be, demonstrating how a three year stay in London before he began to paint influenced Van Gogh’s themes and style, and how his own paintings went on to influence subsequent generations of British artists. It was not only art that influenced him, but also British literature, his favourite being Charles Dickens, and the architecture and ambience. He particular enjoyed the views from the Thames Enbankment, a constant source of inspiration to artists and writers.

Afterwards my daughter and I channel our inner Van Gogh by walking along the Embankment on our way to Trafalgar Square, via Whitehall, then back down the Mall and through St James’s Park, as I point out historical and cultural landmarks along the way. I enjoy introducing her to the landmarks that as a Londoner I grew up with, and have never felt fonder of my home city.

3 Unexpected Pleasures

But as always with planned trips, serendipity yields more food for thought. On this trip to London, three incidents stand out for me that transported us out of London and around the world:

  1. Waiting at the bus stop for our coach to London, we’re approached by what I assume to be an unremarkable old man, in old-fashioned windcheater and slacks. He is clutching a Sainsbury’s carrier bag, and I assume he’s come into Chippenham to do a bit of grocery shopping. When he strikes up a conversation with us, we discover he is also London-bound, on his way to meet a former student he taught in Macau as Professor of Intercultural Trade and Relations. He still teaches for in China, Hong Kong and Macau, for three months a year, the maximum visa period. He gives us plenty to think about on our way to London. My key takeaway is “Never judge a man by his carrier bag.”
  2. Strolling down the South Bank of the Thames before our allocated time slot for our date with Van Gogh, at the foot of the Oxo Tower we chance upon Latitude, a free exhibition of wildlife photography, an array of breathtaking pictures of Arctic polar bears, Antarctic penguins, and all kinds of animal in between, including cheetahs frolicking as playfully as domesticated kittens and a tiger apparently leaping towards the photographer with murderous intent. From a modestly tiny picture of the photographer Roger Hooper in the exhibition brochure, I recognise the grey-haired man lurking diffidently in the corner. “Excuse me, are you the photographer?” I ask. “Yes,” he says with a smile. “How many risks do you take to get such fabulous shots?” I ask, indicating the hungry tiger. “Ah,” he smiles wryly. “You’ve picked the one shot that isn’t entirely real. That tiger is the one used in the film The Life of Pi, and i had a piece of meat on a stick dangling from my hand beside the camera. I photoshopped the background in and blurred it afterwards.” That still sounds pretty risky to me. The mental image of that set-up is almost as pleasing as the resulting photo, which I can’t reproduce here for copyright reasons, but you can find out more about the photographer Roger Hooper and view his pictures on his website here. You may also be interested in his laudable charity to help build a brighter future for African girls here: www.hoopersafricatrust.org.
  3. The final surprise of the day is when, exhausted, we’re sitting in St Martin’s in the Fields Crypt Cafe, enjoying our tea, when my eyes alight upon what seems to me the most perfect piece of brick wall. The pleasing array of colours in such a neat grid reminds me of Van Gogh’s thick daubs of rich colour, and to an artist’s watercolour paint box filled with the promise of the pictures still locked inside the neat rectangles of pigment. Whether prompted by our encounter with the Professor at the bus stop, or the amusing snap of Roger Hooper apparently being photobombed by a giant panda, it also puts me in mind of the Great Wall of China and all the wonders of the world, whether natural or manmade. My daughter is bemused by my fixation with beautiful bricks (“I can’t believe you posted bricks on Instagram!” she crows later) after all the sights we have seen, but to me it seems a neat and fitting end to a stimulating day, and the perfect end to an enjoyable July.
A paintbox in brick form in the crypt of St Martin in the Fields – could be an artist’s palette for skin tones

Thank You, July, It’s Been Fun

And what a busy July is has been! It kicked off with included a week in Scotland (see my earlier post), finishing my latest novel for publication, and completing a new novella to be sent as an free ebook to my mailing list next month. (If you’re not already on my mailing list, you can sign up now via the form at the foot of this page to receive your copy in August – sorry, originally intended for July!)

I also enjoyed being a part of the usual monthly BBC Radio Gloucestershire Book Club, in which we talked this month about Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, 300 years old this year but still a cracking read. If you’d like to hear what we had to say about this and other bookish talk, you can listen again for the next couple of weeks on BBC Sounds via this link – we’re in the first hour of the show.

Our discussion about Robinson Crusoe included reminiscing about the wonderful old children’s TV series that we all grew up watching

One other highlight of July for me was starting to write guest posts for the IngramSpark blog. IngramSpark is a huge printing company that not only prints books for all kinds of publishers but also puts them into the distribution system for high street bookstores. All my books are published via IngramSpark, which means that you can order them from your favourite bookshop rather than online. I love bookshops – a good bookshop is an invaluable part of the high street and of the wider community, so I’m really glad to be able to drive trade their way.

IngramSpark’s blog is aimed at authors rather than readers, but if you’d like to read the post I wrote for them, about writing productivity, here’s the link: https://www.ingramspark.com/blog/writing-1000-words-a-day-finding-better-ways-to-measure-productivity-finish-your-book

So that’s it for July. And despite my careful plans for a productive month ahead, I wonder what serendipity August will bring?

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Posted in Events, Self-publishing, Writing

Looking Forward to June Events

A preview of my public events in June

I thought it might be helpful and, I hope, interesting, if I share a post at the start of each month previewing any imminent public events that I’m involved in. Then at the end of the month I’ll report back on them.

Although I realise that most people reading these posts won’t be able to attend these events in person due to their location,  if you do manage to get to any,  please come and find me and say hello – I’d love to see you  in real life! 

Self-publishing: A Complete How-To Guide (Saturday 16th June)

On Sunday 16th June, I’ll be joining two other successful indie authors and great friends of mine, Katharine E Smith and David Penny, to teach an exclusive one-day course in self-publishing in the beautiful and inspiring setting of the Bleddfa Centre near Knighton in Wales.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to return to this peaceful place, where I very much enjoyed being on the panel of a more general publishing day a couple of years ago.

The rural setting is idyllic, and the standard of catering superb – a combination highly conducive to learning!

Drawing on our own experience as authors, publishers and marketers, we’ll be sharing practical guidance, top tips and moral support, as well as debunking popular misconceptions about the exciting possibilities that self-publishing offers the independent author – and indeed to those who contracts with publishing companies. This blog post I wrote for the Bleddfa Centre tells you a little more about those possibilities.

With a limited number of places available, this course will be an intensive but highly accessible event providing the perfect opportunity for aspiring authors to ask questions about their own ambitions and plans, and to receive specific guidance from experts, whatever stage they are at in their writing and publishing journey.

Find out more and reserve your place at the Bleddfa Centre’s website.

Crime Panel at Evesham Festival of Words (Thursday 27th June)

Later this month I’ll be returning to the Evesham Festival of Words, where I’ve spoken several times before. This year my role is to chair a fun discussion about the nature of crime-writing, from cosy to dark, from fact to fiction, in the company of three distinguished and entertaining authors:

  • historical mystery writer David Penny (yes, the same David Penny who’ll be joining me at Bleddfa!)

We’ll be convening at the pleasant setting of Evesham Rowing Club, down by the river (I presume!) to discuss what makes great crimewriting, to considerwhy it’s enduringly popular, and taking questions from the audience. We’ll also each read an extract from our work to showcase the variety that we offer between us.

I’ve spoken alongside all of three of my fellow panellists at other events, and I can tell you they are all sparkling company – so expect a lively, accessible and intriguing conversation with serious moments but plenty of laughs!

Find out more about the busy Festival programme and how to book tickets here.

Plus all the regular events…

Although the BBC Radio Gloucestershire Book Club usually broadcasts from the Gloucester studio, we occasionally take it out on the road – or in this case to the canalside presenter Dominic Cotter took this photo of Caroline and me with canalboat skipper Pete, with the perfect reading matter for anyone interested in messing about in boats!

Every month, three further events feature in my diary:

  1. The BBC Radio Gloucestershire Book Club show, hosted by lunchtime presenter Dominic Cotter. on which I’m a regular panellist, alongside fellow local author Caroline Sanderson. For an hour live on air, usually the first hour of the show (which starts at noon), we discuss our chosen book of the month, book-related news and local literary events. It’s always great fun, and you can always listen online for 28 days after the show if you don’t catch it live. In June, our Book of the Month will be Raynor Winn’s inspiring memoir of walking the south west coastal path with her seriously ill husband, The Salt Path, and in July we’ll discuss Daniel Defoe’s classic Robinson Crusoe – so two very different adventure stories for summer reading! Here’s a link to last month’s show, in which we discussed Angie Thomas’s stunning YA novel The Hate U Give: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p077r655 The date of our next Book Club slot is Wednesday 26th June from noon.
  2. The Bristol Authors’ Alliance – the monthly group for writers that I host for sharing best practice and moral support at the very pleasant Foyles bookshop at Cabot Circus. To find out about meetings and to join our group, visit our Meetup page here: https://www.meetup.com/Bristol-Authors-Alliance/ We meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 6pm until 7.45pm in Foyles, so this month’s meeting is Wednesday 5th June.
  3. The Cheltenham Authors’ Alliance – another writers’ group that I host along the same lines at the ever-hospitable Anthology Bookshop in Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham. For more information about to join our group, visit this Meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/Cheltenham-Alliance-of-Independent-Authors/ . We meet on the third Tuesday of each month from 10.30am until 12.15pm.

Both the writers’ groups are so popular that for reasons of space I’ve had to restrict the number of places at each meeting – not least to make sure we have enough chairs to go round! Therefore it’s essential to reserve a place in advance. I also give priority to members of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)*, the global nonprofit organisation that helps authors all over the world share best practice, campaign for writing-related causes, access helpful discounts, deals and benefits, and share friendship and camaderie with fellow writers, 24/7/365. If you’re not already a member when you join our group, you’ll almost certainly want to join it by the time you leave your first meeting!

(*The link above is my affiliate link, which means if you join ALLi once you’ve clicked on it, I’ll receive a small reward from ALLi. So thank you for that!)

So – that’s it for this month. I’ll report back on how it all goes at the end of the June!

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Posted in Family, Personal life

Suit Yourself

Although it’s nearly a decade since I last worked in an office, I couldn’t help but cheer at recent reports of the demise of the suit as business wear. While some blamed working from home, journalists were making predictions pre-pandemic that lounge suits were on their way out. About time too, considering they first became fashionable in the 1860s.

Why didn’t this sartorial shake-up come sooner?

Starting my career under Thatcher’s government and the era of the power suit for woman, I spent a large part of my working life in an environment in which formal suits were expected, but I never felt comfortable in one, resenting their depersonalising effect.

My favourite pinafore dress is almost exactly the same shape as my old school uniform. Made of thick denim instead of gabardine, it is about as sturdy too.

This may seem surprising, considering how much I liked wearing a school uniform, albeit a more modern version than the one imposed on my sister, six forms ahead of me. Hers was the last class to have to wear berets, for example, on their journey to and from school. For my cohort, the old-fashioned gymslip was replaced by a straight-sided, waistless polyester tunic. In the third form, we switched to an A-line skirt of the same material. Our blue blouses were nylon instead of cotton, presumably chosen for their drip-dry, no-iron properties.

Whoever thought kitting out adolescents entirely in artificial fibres was a good idea had clearly never worked in a classroom in high summer.

Changing schools at 14 to one without a uniform added a new source of stress to my morning routine. I dithered over what to wear to fit in with my peers while remaining true to myself. For the rest of my teens, I lived largely in jeans, a habit that eventually went the same way as my slender teenage waist.

Looking back, my changing attitude makes perfect sense. As teenagers, we were still working out who we were and took comfort in looking like everyone else, but by the time I entered the workplace, I knew who I was, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to be just another suit. When I gave up my last day-job to stay home and write, my wardrobe underwent a revolution.

Best commute ever: strolling down to the hut at the bottom of my garden in the comfiest of clothes

Except that, fast forward to the present, as I put my summer clothes away and dig out my winter ones, I spot a startling similarity between my current wardrobe staples and my old school uniform, only now my clothes are in natural fibres. There are abundant straight tunics and pinafore dresses, of which my favourite is in my school’s standard navy blue; plain cardigans and jumpers; and sensible Mary-Jane flats.

Addicted to berets, I’m frequently told when bumping into someone who doesn’t know me very well, “Ooh, I didn’t recognise you without your hat!”

Group photo of Caroline, Claire and Debbie
Seldom seen without a beret – this time in the BBC Radio Gloucestershire studio with fellow writer Caroline Sanderson and BBC presenter Claire Carter

A recent newspaper article bemoaning the sudden ubiquity of elastic-waisted trousers strikes me as a positive step to wean ourselves off lockdown pyjamas. While M&S may have stopped stocking suits in half their stores, the shop-floor space will surely come in handy for housing more trousers to accommodate our newly expanded waists. And that suits me very well indeed.

This post was originally written for the October issue of the Tetbury Advertiser.


On the subject of school uniform…

cover of Secrets at St Bride'sI had fun devising the uniform list for the fictitious pupils in my Staffroom at St Bride’s series of romantic comedy mystery novels, giving the girls at this quirky English boarding school crisp white shirts and purple kilts. When new English teacher Miss Gemma Lamb first meets them in Secrets at St Bride’s, she is impressed:

“You all look very smart,” I began, surveying their neat shirts and ties. “I expect it feels strange to be back in uniform after the summer holidays.”

A red-headed girl with straight plaits gave an enormous sigh. “Oh, it’s a blinking relief, Miss Lamb. No more worries about what to wear or what other people are wearing. I mean, no-one cares what they look like here.” 

“Well, I think you all look lovely.”

“So do you, Miss Lamb,” one of them replied. I didn’t mind whether or not she was just being polite. It was first time anyone had told me that for a very long time. I liked these girls already.

Miss Lamb is particularly impressed that the little girl assigned to escort her to her first school meal is sporting a prefect’s badge, even though she’s in the youngest class in the school – as are all the girls on the table of Year 7s that she heads for lunch, as she remarks later to her colleague, maths teacher Miss Oriana Bliss.

“I feel honoured to be put in charge of – or is it in the care of? – so many prefects.”

Oriana raised her immaculate eyebrows. “Oh, Miss Lamb, did you not look around you at all? Did you spot a single girl who wasn’t wearing a prefect’s badge?”

I had to admit I hadn’t. 

When she sat down beside me to explain, I took the opportunity to sneak another forkful of egg.

“A father of a particularly undeserving daughter insisted she wouldn’t return to the school for her final year unless she was made a prefect. The Bursar was quick to agree, to make her father sign on the dotted line and stump up the annual fees. When Hairnet found out, she said she’d rather make every girl a prefect than honour that obnoxious man’s child for the wrong reason.” 

I laughed. My respect for Miss Harnett was going up by the minute.

“I don’t suppose the girls objected?”

“No, nor their parents. It’ll look good on everybody’s CVs and add perceived value to what they are getting in return for their school fees. Still, it’s not as good as what happened in a similar incident three years ago.”

“What was that?”

“She made them all Head Girl.”

Like to read more about the intrigues and adventures of the staff and girls in this extraordinary school? Both Secrets at St Bride’s and Stranger at St Bride’s are available in ebook and paperback, and the first in the series is also available as an audiobook. I’m also currently writing the third in series, Scandal at St Bride’s, and I’m very much enjoying being back in the lively company of Miss Lamb and friends!

cover of Stranger at St Bride's

Order Secrets at St Bride’s

Order Stranger at St Bride’s

(DID YOU KNOW? Secrets at St Bride’s was shortlisted for The Selfies Award 2020, given to the best independently-published adult fiction in the UK by publishing industry news service Bookbrunch. )

Posted in Events, Writing

An Eventful June

A round-up of what I’ve been up to this month.

Bleddfa Centre Self-publishing Workshop (16th June)

This month I was delighted to revisit the beautiful Bleddfa Centre near Knighton in Wales. It’s an inspiring setting for creative activity, and perfect for the self-publishing workshop that I’d been invited to run there with fellow authors David Penny and Katharine E Smith who also runs Heddon Publishing, a self-publishing services company.

Photo of David Penny, Debbie YOung and Katharine E Smith
David Penny and Katharine E Smith enjoyed the day as much as I did

Together we provided an eager group of delegates with an overview of how to become an independent author, drawing on our own extensive experience, and with much reference to the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), of which we are all members and of which I’m UK Ambassador. I was especially pleased to meet John Musgrave, who had been on another publishing course there two years before, there I had spoken about self publishing. He had since joined ALLi, self published his first book and had more in the pipeline.

I’m kicking myself for forgetting to take any photos of the gorgeous setting, but the expressions on our faces in the photo above taken by event organiser Caroline Sanderson, author, journalist and Bleddfa Centre trustee, at the end of the day, shows how much David and Catherine and I enjoyed ourselves.

Do take a moment to check out the Bleddfa Centre’s website for the details of further arts events in their programme. It’s always good to have an excuse to go there.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire Book Club (26th June)

On this month’s show, the usual gang – lunchtime presenter Dominic Cotter, fellow panelist Caroline Sanderson (yes, the same Caroline as at Bleddfa – she’s everywhere!) and I discussed The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.

Photo of Debbie and Caroline with The Salt Path by Raynor Winn at the BBC Radio Gloucestershire studio
Shame I had my eyes closed for Dominic’s photo!

The book is an extraordinary tale of a middle-aged couple whose way of dealing with a double crisis – bankruptcy and the diagnosis of terminal illness for Rayner’s husband Moth – is to backpack and wild camp their way around the south-west coastal path. In turns poignant, shocking, funny and lyrical, this is an unforgettable memoir of triumph over adversity and the redemptive power of nature. It is also beautifully written. Caroline and I had the good fortune to attend one of Raynor Winn’s many speaking engagements, organised at the Nailsworth Quaker Meeting House by the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop a couple of months ago, and we can confirm that she speaks as beautifully as she writes.

As always on Dominic’s show we talked about all manner of bookish things, and also chose next month’s book, Daniel Defoe’s seminal Robinson Crusoe, arguably the first English novel and inspiration for so many further works from The Swiss Family Robinson to Lost in Space to Desert Island Discs. I can’t wait to see what we all make of it when we reconvene at noon on Wednesday 24th July.

In the meantime, you can catch the show on iplayer here – Book Club starts eight minutes into the show, just after the news. And if you’d like to track down a Raynor Winn talk near you, her current schedule is below – and you can find out the latest news on her Twitter account at @Raynor_Winn.

graphic of cover of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and list of her coming talks

Evesham Festival of Words (27th June)

At the time of writing, this event has yet to come! Tomorrow night I’l be chairing a panel of crime writers as part of the Evesham Festival of Words, with a fabulous trio of authors: David Penny (yes, as at Bleddfa, above!) who writes historical thrillers set in medieval Moorish Spain; Barry Faulkner, who writes contemporary police procedural novels; and Angela Buckley, who writes true crime. We’ll be discussing all different kinds of crime fiction, past, present and future, both as professional writers and as avid readers. The event is at 7pm in the enticing setting of Evesham Rowing Club on the banks of a beautiful stretch of the River Avon. Tickets are still available at £7.50, so if you are in town, do please come along on the night – it would be great to see you!

Photo of Evesham Rowing Club
Evesham Rowing Club is the congenial setting for our Crime Panel discussion

In Between Times: Lots of Writing!

I love doing events like this and am always open to invitations – so if you would like me to speak at an event for you, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m now taking bookings from mid-July onwards. At the moment I have no bookings for July and am looking forward to spending lots of time with my daughter, now on an extended holiday from school after completing her GCSE exams.

It’s also been good to have space to catch up with online activity, including this delightful review on YouTube of Best Murder in Show by vlogger J P Choquette.

However I’m also pleased when I can space them out in the diary to allow plenty of writing time – and this month I’m thrilled that I managed not only to finalise the manuscript of my next novel, Secrets at St Bride’s, due to launch next month, but also to write an 11,000 word short novella, The Pride of Peacocks, a bonus extra to my Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, and which also segues into the world of the new series! Also coming soon is the new audiobook of Best Murder in Show, narrated by Siobhan Waring, who I thought was the perfect voice for Sophie Sayers.

Thanks to my designer Rachel Lawston for creating the required square cover for the audiobook!

If you’d like to get an email telling you when Secrets at St Bride’s and the new audiobook of Best Murder in Show are available – and also to receive a free ebook of The Pride of Peacocks next month (it’s an exclusive gift for members of my mailing list – not available to buy in shops!), just leave your email address in the form below, and I’ll add you to my list.

Cover of Secrets at St Bride's by Debbie Young
Coming in July – join my mailing list to receive notification when it’s available to order

Like to Join My Mailing List?

To be among the first to know about my new booksspecial offerscoming events and free downloads, just type your email address into the box above and click the grey button. You’ll also receive a free download of a short novella, The Pride of Peacocks, a lighthearted quick read in the Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, available exclusively to my subscribers. I promise I won’t share your email address with anyone else and you may unsubscribe at any time. Thank you!