If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you’ll know I’m working on a new crime thriller, which hopefully will be the first part of a series of books.
Crime novels aren’t easy to write. They need a mystery, of course, and an investigation. They need a LOT of research to make the police procedural aspects credible (but not dull). And they need clues and red herrings seeded throughout the story – enough to keep the reader guessing but not so many that the solution bashes you on the head with a hammer in chapter two (even if that’s what happens to the poor victim).
This is why I’ve steered clear of crime novels in the past. Despite not being seen as a form of ‘high fiction’, they’re one of the toughest genres to write.
I’ve now written eight novels, including one cozy mystery under another pen name and plenty of suspense under this pen name, and I believe that the time is right for me to write a crime novel.
I wanted to write something set in my home city of Birmingham and I wanted the city to be a character all of its own. Birmingham is a seriously underestimated place – I want to show the gritty side of the city, but its heart too. And it has plenty of that.
My heroine will be an intelligent, ambitious but damaged detective called Zoe Finch. Yes, I know a detective with a flaw is a trope of crime fiction. But all of my protagonists have been damaged or vulnerable in some way, and it’s what makes a character interesting.
But don’t worry. Zoe isn’t an alcoholic. She isn’t a rule breaker (most of the time). And she doesn’t hate her colleagues (not all of them).
She had a tough childhood, and she blames the wrong people for that. The events of her first story, Deadly Wishes, will set her on the path to realising that, although she won’t see the light fully in this story.
She also did something very stupid early in her career, which had results she doesn’t regret in the slightest but doesn’t like to tell people everything about.
If you want to find out what it was she did, well you’ll have to read the book!
And you can.
If you sign up as one of my patrons, you can read the book one chapter at a time while I’m writing it. The version you’ll get will be an early draft, so there may be some typos and it’ll be subject to change before it’s published. But you’ll get to read Deadly Wishes before anyone else.
You can become a ‘keen reader’ patron for as little as $2 (£1.50) a month. For that, you’ll get a chapter every week from now until you’ve read it all or the book is published, whichever happens first.
But if you sign up as an ‘avid reader’, you’ll get the ebook when it comes out, and if you’re incredibly generous and become a ‘insatiable reader’ you’ll get a signed copy of the book. Not just this one, but every book I write while you’re supporting me.
In the meantime, I’ve made the first chapter of Deadly Wishes public to give you a taster.
See what you think – I hope you’d like to read more. And if you do decide to support me, I’ll be incredibly grateful. Every penny helps me get closer to my goal of becoming a full-time writer.