Well, we’ve done it! We’ve got through another year – and what a year it was. Almost everyone I have spoken to found 2016 a more difficult year than others with less of the good stuff happening. So here’s to wishing a bigger and better 2017 for everyone!

Looking back at 2016 as a writer, here are just some of the things that have happened for me this past 12 months, and some of the people I owe my thanks to:

The fantastic team at Bonnier Zaffre for taking a chance on me and flooring me with a three book deal. There’s nothing like a deadline to get that laptop switched on! The result was my first crime fiction novel Ash and Bones – a diversion from the literary (albeit police-based) novels such as Pocket Notebook and Ugly Bus that I usually write. The writing was surprisingly challenging and a real learning curve.

Following the launch of Ash and Bones in August 2016, I experienced my first Blog Tour. Now, I must confess to being a complete Blog Tour Virgin, so this was new and interesting territory.

However, thanks to the ever-patient Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre everything was organised for me – I just needed to make contact with bloggers Crime Thriller GirlReading Room With A ViewCol’s Criminal LibraryBy The Letter Book ReviewsCrime Book JunkieLiz Loves Books and Crime Worm who kindly agreed to be my Blog Tour Guides (thanks, guys!).  Their generosity and enthusiasm opened my eyes to a wonderful community of readers, reviewers and fellow writers, and made me want to become involved.

In the last few months this is what I have started to do with a very small blog where I round up the blog posts I have personally enjoyed (yes, I do read every single one). Next year, I plan to expand it with more reviews, interviews and general news and info that I hope others will find interesting.

I thoroughly enjoy compiling the ‘Which One Was Your Favourite This Week’ slot, which will continue, and the monthly 5WH interviews launch later this week with none other than Steph Broadribb, author of Deep Down Dead, kick starting it (if you’re an author or blogger and fancy joining me in the Interview Room, just get in touch).

I also started my ‘Book of the Year‘ feature. And, even though I am not the fastest when it comes to reading books (reading to me is a mixture of pleasure and pain – of escapism and research, of amazing inspiration and professional jealously all rolled into one – confusing, huh?), one book clearly stood out, and I know this has been echoed across many great blogs out there too. It simply had to be Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker.

dscf0583-1 In December I was involved in a book signing at the fantastic indie bookshop – The Wellfield Bookshop (if you’re ever in Cardiff, seek it out – it’s a real treasure trove). Hannah and Connor were great hosts and I’m hoping to get invited back for the next novel (hint, hint!).

Talking about next novels, I submitted the final edits to ‘Splinter‘ this week. Phew!! Another challenging novel to write, for many different reasons, but I’ll tell you more about that in the coming months. I’m already preparing the Tour Bus with some fantastic bloggers and it’s going to be packed with competitions, giveaways, sneak peeks, cover reveals, interviews and more.

Now I am really looking forward to getting stuck into novel three (where did the time go?); the story-line is exciting and one I have been wanting to tackle for a long time. There is also a chance for you to be part of it – so watch this space!

 

Well, that’s a quick round up of 2016 for me, I cannot wait to get stuck into 2017. Bring it on, I say!

And on a final, important closing note I’d just like to thank everyone for their kind support and wish every single one of you a happy, peaceful, book-filled new year!

 

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