First Monday Crime Spotlight: Erin Kelly Q&A

Hello fellow crime lovers,

It’s nearly time for the monthly First Monday Crime event run by Goldsboro Books, and I get to share my first First Monday Q&A with one of the panelists, Erin Kelly. You can catch that further down in the post.

Here’s all of the information on website for the panelists for the forthcoming First Monday Crime event taking place on March 6th:

The brilliant Erin Kelly will be telling us all about her belter of a novel He Said/She Said and then former RSPCA officer Daniel Cole – who has well and truly let the dogs out with Ragdoll, a novel so enticing it’s being published in 35 countries – will be revealing all. Did we mention the wonderful Julia Crouch and her chilling new novel: Her Husband’s Lover? She’ll be with us and you won’t want to miss her, nor MJ Arlidge who will be in one of our hot seats, talking about Hide and Seek – the sixth in the awesome DI Helen Grace series. It’s going to be a tough job to keep that lot in line but Barry Forshaw – aka “Mister Noir” – will be making sure our fabulous four sparkle and entertain.

First Monday Crime will be taking place in Browns – The Judges Court (82-84 St Martins Lane London, WC2n 4AG United Kingdom) from 6.30-7.30pm.

Buy your First Monday Crime tickets by clicking HERE!


About Erin Kelly (via author website):

I am the author of the critically acclaimed psychological thrillers The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose and The Burning Air. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama starring MyAnna Buring, Matthew Goode and Ophelia Lovibond. It was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011, and was longlisted for the 2011 CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger Award. The novel has been translated into eleven languages.

I was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. I read English at Warwick University and have been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle. I continue to write about health, lifestyle, women’s issues and parenting.

I live in north London with my husband and daughters.

About He Said/ She Said:

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In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden… something she never could have guessed.

Out in April, click HERE to pre-order your copy!


Q & A with Erin Kelly

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in London with my husband and two daughters. After I left university I was a journalist for years, writing for women’s magazines. I’ve been writing fiction for a decade now and I also teach creative writing.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t know this would be my career. I never had a plan B. Being a journalist helped as I was used to earning my living from words.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

If you need to ask, you wouldn’t understand.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

I’ve written six psychological thrillers, and also wrote the novelization of Broadchurch. They’re quite literary and gothic. I love stories about long-buried past incidents that come back and haunt people just when they think they’ve got away with it. My biggest influences are Daphne du Maurier, Barbara Vine, and Patricia Highsmith.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?


Up to a point, but you have to be careful not to spend too much time online. It fries your brain.  

 

What’s your favourite thing about being an author?

The work. I genuinely love spending hours on my own in my imagination.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

The RSI. Seven hours a day at a desk is not good for you.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

I’d like to keep writing books I’m proud of, and maybe branch into screenwriting too.

 

What’s next for you?

I’m writing another psychological thriller, about a Victorian asylum.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

Yes! I still read a couple of books a week; fiction in all genres, and I’m increasingly drawn to memoir and non-fiction. I get sent a lot of psychological thrillers but the more I write them, the less inclined I am to read them; it feels too much like work. My favourite recent books have been Instrumental by James Rhodes and The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

It would be more like a top 100 but here are a few from that list: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine, Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

All of the above!

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Slumped motionless in front of Netflix.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

I like to go running to clear my head.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Cornwall

 

Favourite food?

Curry

 

Favourite drink?

Gin


Huge thanks to Erin Kelly for taking the time to answer my questions! 🙂

*First Monday Crime* Spotlight on Alex Marwood

Hi everyone,

Next Monday (December 5th), Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime *Christmas Cracker* is taking place in Browns – The Judges Court from 6.30 to 8.30 in the evening. The line up includes Mark “Dasher” Billingham, Yrsa “Dancer” Sigurdardottir, Alex “Prancer” Marwood, Paula “Vixen” Daly, Daniel “Donner” Pembrey and Corrie “Blitzen” Jackson are going to be in harness and event chair, Barry “Bad Santa” Forshaw at the helm of this sleighful of authors!

Tickets to see Bad Santa and his criminally good reindeer are available, as always, from Goldsboro Books for £7. At the time of writing this, the tickets are sold out but you can click HERE to find all the relevant information!

I’m shining the spotlight in “Prancer” aka Alex Marwood today and re-sharing my review for The Darkest Secret which I reviewed way back in January!

About the book:
When three-year-old identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco during her father’s 50th birthday weekend?

Set across two weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second, at the funeral of Coco’s father, where at last, the darkest of secrets will be revealed…

Click HERE

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About the author:

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She is the author of the word-of-mouth sensation The Wicked Girls, which won a prestigious Edgar Award and The Killer Next Door, which won the coveted Macavity Award. She has also been shortlisted for numerous other crime writing awards and her first two novels have been optioned for the screen. Alex lives in south London.

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My thoughts:

I don’t know where to start with this review. First off, I read this book in about four sittings over two days, which in itself is a good sign. I just feel a little unsure about it though.

It took me a while to get into the authors style of writing, as well as the chronology as it switched between characters and years which was confusing to me for the first quarter of the book.

The characters in The Darkest Secret are some of the most hate-inducing people I’ve read about in a while. Egotistical, narcissistic and scathing are just some of the words I would use to describe them. The only characters I actually felt any emotion for were Camilla and Ruby, two of Sean’s daughters. Sean being Coco’s dad and Ruby being her twin sister. Mila is one of his daughters from a previous marriage.

By telling the story of Coco’s disappearance, and Sean’s death years later, in alternating chapters, the reader gets to see the characters better and gauge how they have changed over the years.

This review is a bit disjointed as I don’t want to go into any detail about the plot. It’s hard to get some of my points across without revealing things the author skilfully reveals in the course of the novel.

The way Marwood has written this book, it unfurls slowly, like an animal stalking prey. It is definitely a great book, there’s no denying that fact. It left me feeling uncomfortable, angry, shocked and saddened in equal measure. Not many books evoke these sorts of feelings in me, I think that’s why I find this review hard to write. There’s a lot I want to say, but I can’t without spoiling some of the twists and turns.

Sufficed to say, Alex Marwood has the perfectly crafted novel, despicable characters written alongside innocent children, and the events that bring their worlds crumbling down around them.


 

First Monday Crime: Spotlight on… Adam Hamdy

Hey everyone,

Next Monday (November 7th), Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime is taking place in Library Club from 6.30 to 7.30 in the evening. The line up includes Belinda Bauer, Cathi Unsworth, Jenny Blackhurst, Adam Hamdy and event chair, Barry Forshaw.

The event is a steal at £5! Honestly, if I lived nearer I would be at all of these! You can get your tickets at November First Monday Crime. Sponsored by Headline, it promises to be a brilliant event!

Anyway, seeing as how I’ve read and LOVED Pendulum by Adam Hamdy, I figured with publication day this week too, what better time to shine the spotlight on Adam! 🙂

About the author:

Adam Hamdy is the author of the forthcoming Pendulum trilogy, which will be published by Headline in November 2016. New York Times bestselling author, James Patterson, said: “I read Pendulum in one gloriously suspenseful weekend. Definitely one of the best thrillers of the year.”

As a screenwriter, Adam has worked with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic, and is currently developing original TV dramas with networks in the UK and US.

In addition to his film and television work, Adam is building a reputation as an author. After garnering critical acclaim, Adam’s self-published second novel, Out of Reach, was republished by Endeavour Press in 2015.

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.

Adam has a degree in Law from Oxford University and a degree in Philosophy from the University of London. Adam is a seasoned skier, rock climber, CPSA marksman, and is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organisation, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association, and the Writers Guild of Great Britain.

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About the book:

You wake. Confused. Disorientated.
A noose is round your neck.
You are bound, standing on a chair.
All you can focus on is the man in the mask tightening the rope.
You are about to die.
John Wallace has no idea why he has been targeted. No idea who his attacker is. No idea how he will prevent the inevitable.
Then the pendulum of fate swings in his favour.
He has one chance to escape, find the truth and halt his destruction.
The momentum is in his favour for now.
But with a killer on his tail, everything can change with one swing of this deadly pendulum…

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My thoughts:

I had seen Pendulum pop up on social media weeks ago, and that cover really caught my eye so when there was a proof up for grabs I immediately asked if I could read and review and I am SO glad I did!!!

Pendulum is a high-octane game of cat and mouse, stretching from the UK to the USA and back again. This transatlantic book is one of the most interesting crime novels I have had the pleasure of reading lately.

When we meet John Wallace, he is literally at the end of his rope. Put there by a masked and armoured man, he has no idea why he has been chosen and what is going to befall him. What follows is a pulse pounding rollercoaster filled with some very intriguing characters along the way.

I’m not going to dissect the book, but I will say this, Adam Hamdy has created a superb beginning to a series. It is full of mystery, action and it asks the reader so may questions along the way that it will make your head spin.

I loved Pendulum. I loved the characters, the way the story plays out, the interwoven threads that the author begins to unravel without the reader even noticing. So subtle, yet so brilliant and unexpected.

I may sound like a weirdo, but I loved the antagonist! The way Adam Hamdy has written the killer makes it possible to visualise them completely, and I have to say, if this was a movie it would be AMAZING to see the killer on-screen!

Pendulum is a promising beginning to this series, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!!!! Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!!

Pre-order your copy here. Happy reading!🙂

So there you have it, all the info you could possible need! Just in case though, here’s the ticket link to get yours: First Monday Crime-November 7th