They call it the “blurb”

They call it the “blurb”

My ninth book is being edited and the draft of the front cover is ready, so now I have to write the “blurb”.

  • Posted On: 18 June 2018

It is what goes on the back cover and in my case that means a paragraph or two to tempt the reader with a flavour of the storyline without giving too much away. AND IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT! I agree with an author who said she would rather write the entire novel than produce the blurb. How do you tempt your readers with a dead body when any mention of it seems to give away who the victim is? You don’t say who but there are clues in the where and the how and the when. I guess the trick is to provide a flavour of the story. When browsing in a bookshop I will read the blurb and return to the shelf any book that mentions a nude found horribly mutilated – clearly it is a winner for some readers but not me. I will similarly reject any book that has a cat solving crimes or if detection involves knitting. So it’s back to the drawing board. What about starting my blurb with: "The nuclear bunker at Tan Hill has remained locked for over fifty years – or so Dr Mills Sanderson believes..."  Let me know what you think.


Now it's Spring

Now it's Spring

So it’s officially Spring and suddenly every sheep in the dale appears to have given birth and after just a few days the youngsters actually bounce as they play together.

  • Posted On: 31 March 2018

The snowdrops are dying and wild garlic is in leaf on the river banks, a sign that we will soon be mass producing pesto for the freezer.  Despite the promising signs of the new season, recent light snow covers the tops and there is still a chill in the air.  I am ignoring the weather and spending Easter writing #9 in my ‘Yorkshire Dales Mysteries’.  I am finishing the last chapters and expect to have completed the first draft in a couple of months.  A number of edits will follow and then publication. By then the buttercup meadows will have come and gone, and farmers will be contemplating the first mowing of the summer.  Meanwhile, ‘Purple Shroud’, #5 in the Yorkshire Dales Mystery series, is available free for download on Kindle until 2nd April.


Stocking up for christmas in Wensleydale!

Stocking up for christmas in Wensleydale!

  • Posted On: 23 November 2017
My novels are distributed through the wholesaler to bookshops worldwide and, of course, on Kindle. But there are many small outlets in the Yorkshire Dales that hold stocks of my books and it is my job to ensure they don't run out. It is a pleasant trip into Leyburn to top up the shelves before travelling over the River Ure to Swinnithwaite to sign copies for my shelf at Berry's Farm Shop. The final stop is Hawes to top up the shelves in the Wensleydale Creamery, ready for the...

A grand day out!

A grand day out!

  • Posted On: 9 September 2017
The first time I visited the Muker Show was in 2005. My first novel had just been published and I remember the excitement of seeing it on the shelves of Ottakar's bookshop and being interviewed by the Northern Echo. I also remember visiting the Sedbergh book festival that month and giving Reginald Hill a copy of 'Corpse Way' - he asked me to sign it 'To Reg'. I took a box of books to the Muker Show and shared a table in the history tent. On that occasion it poured with...

Where do you get your inspiration?

Where do you get your inspiration?

  • Posted On: 18 August 2017
I am often asked by readers where I get my ideas from. The internet is a wonderfully random way to get ideas, particularly local news and social media. For example, as I was beginning my last book I knew that it would be based at a posh boarding school and that there would be a school production of Hamlet. I was on twitter and offered my 1,000th follower the opportunity to be named in the book. A certain Jo Rhodes came along and it turned out she was an expert in medicinal plants – and...

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