I didn’t expect to feel so excited about the publication of my second book, but I’m finding it as thrilling as the publication of CUT SHORT last year. I enjoyed writing ROAD CLOSED as much as I enjoyed writing CUT SHORT and am now enjoying writing DEAD END… I just love writing! One advantage of being so busy with writing and promotion is that I haven’t had time to stress about how the second book in my series is going to be received, but I hope it proves as popular as CUT SHORT which sold out twice in six months and has just had its third reprint in a year.
ROAD CLOSED wasn’t due to be published until the end of June but WH Smith’s Travel wanted to do a promotion in June so the printing was brought forward to accommodate that. As a result, I was thrilled to find myself signing copies of ROAD CLOSED at CrimeFest before the book was even scheduled for publication.
After the success of CUT SHORT I felt more confident when writing ROAD CLOSED. Apart from that, the process of writing hasn’t changed for me, although the plot is quite different in ROAD CLOSED which doesn’t involve a serial killer:
When a man dies in a gas explosion, the police suspect arson. The case takes on a new and terrible twist when a local villain is viciously attacked. As the police enquiries lead from the expensive Harchester Hill estate to the local brothel, a witness dies in a hit-and-run. Was it coincidence – or cold-blooded murder?
Although plot drives my narrative, it is the characters who interest me most. I have no idea where they come from when they appear on the page through the medium of words, but I have been giving more thought to my main character, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel. Geraldine is introduced in CUT SHORT. In ROAD CLOSED her story begins to unfold and her character develops. Her story builds further in DEAD END and I’m playing with ideas about what’s going to happen to her in my next book. There are so many possibilities for her. I was very pleased when Publishers Weekly gave CUT SHORT a starred review describing Geraldine as: “a compassionate and complex heroine who’s sure to win fans,” and Jeffery Deaver wrote of her: “you’re just plain going to love DI Geraldine Steel.”
As for the future – who knows? I’m under instructions from my agent to “unleash my dark side” – an exhilarating prospect. My publisher has asked for a fourth book featuring Geraldine Steel, so I know my series is set to continue. But if anyone had told me two years ago that I was going to be a successful author, I wouldn’t have believed it, so the future now seems more exciting and mysterious than ever. I can’t begin to predict where I’ll be two years from now. One thing is certain, however: now that I’ve started writing, I’ll never stop. I’m absolutely hooked.
Road Closed is published by No Exit Prss