Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Someone Else's Skin UK paperback cover reveal

Here it is, starring Marnie Rome in all her secretly-inked glory... I love it. What do you think? Better than the original? Not as good? It's certainly very different. This version will be out in August.

You can buy the large-format paperback, or an ebook or audiobook (narrated by Abigail Thaw, daughter of John Thaw) right now.

I'll be blogging about the different cover designs (five so far, counting UK, US, Holland and Sweden) so do check back here in a little while. Thanks for reading

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Someone Else's Skin, Thriller of the Month

After a week of excitement - launching my first book, sharing the stage with R4's Jim Naughtie at Dulwich Books, being told that Marnie Rome is like Saga Norén during an interview for Audible (!!) - I opened today's copy of The Observer to find a HUGE review by Alison Flood, in which Someone Else's Skin is described as the Thriller of the Month and "a superbly disturbing debut". The review is pretty much what every writer dreams of: thoughtful, incisive, packed with quotes from the book. My head is still reeling, and I'm so very happy. Alison Flood absolutely *gets* what I was trying to do in the book. What a wonderful way to end an amazing week.
It's the story that really drives this novel, though, and this is a corker: twisty, tricksy and, on occasion, seriously scary. There is a moment when it is almost impossible to keep reading, the scene Hilary has created is so upsetting, but almost impossible not to, the story is so hell-for-leather compelling. This is a rare thing, for any thriller, and extraordinary in a debut, but then this is an extraordinarily good debut, slipping under the skin of the bad things that happen every day and everywhere. "The house was quiet again, and now she remembered how, from the outside, it had looked like every other house in the street." Utterly creepy, without being gratuitous, and an exciting start to what is intended to become a series about Rome.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Someone Else's Skin... finally here

On Friday, at Foyles in Bristol, I thanked my friends and family for all their support (and patience) as I worked to get where I am: a published author with a debut novel on the shelves. It finally hit home, as I was getting changed into my party clobber in the back office where I used to eat my cheese sandwiches when I worked as a bookseller, about four years ago now. The office smelt just the same and triggered an intense memory of being there, somewhat impoverished and with terrible shelf envy as I stacked and sold books, always hoping that one day mine would be amongst them but without real hope, back then, of such a day arriving. Certainly not in such style. Around eighty people rocked up to help me celebrate, and Foyles sold stacks of books, making it their most successful launch ever. I arrived to find a beautiful box of lilies and roses with a good luck card from Caro Ramsay - just one more piece of proof of the generosity and kindness of other writers. I was overwhelmed by the love and support, not just in the room but on Twitter and Facebook; everywhere. One guest asked me to sign a copy of the book for his brother, who is a writer. 'Can you put, "Never give up writing"?' I was asked. I did, and hope that my story of perseverance will strike a chord. You can buy Someone Else's Skin from Foyles or Amazon or from your local bookshop. If you've read it and liked it, please do leave a review/rating.
Yesterday The Guardian ran a piece I wrote about my mother's life as Emperor Hirohito's poster child. So many people commented or tweeted to let me know how much the story moved or touched them. One wrote that my grandmother would be proud of me, and reduced me to tears. So much to be grateful for; I doubt I shall ever stop counting my blessings. You can read the story here.
On Monday, I shall be Dulwich Books with Jim Naughtie, chatting about debut novels. I'm officially on tour now and will post a list of appearances here shortly. I hope to see some of you very soon. In the meantime, thanks again for the support. I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Keeping the Mythic Distance over at Crime Time

Barry Forshaw invited me over to Crime Time to talk about why I started writing crime and what I'm plotting for the Marnie Rome series. Do pop across for a read about zombies, bouncing cop cars, being intimidated by my own heroine and refusing to feel numb about the stuff that matters.
As DS Noah Jake points out in Someone Else's Skin, trying to pick a fight with Marnie Rome is like digging your fingers in marble; you just end up with an ache in your fists.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Someone Else's Skin - new review

Excuse the silly photo of myself aged eight; I thought it was time for a change from the cover of the book. It's such a relief and a pleasure when a reader grasps exactly what you're trying to achieve as a storyteller. I'm delighted with this new review, thanks, Mrs K!
While, as readers, we are trying to discover the truth, what is underneath the skin of the characters, I feel the same could perhaps be said of the book as a whole. We gradually peel away layers, finding surprises, twists and turns, and the truth underneath.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Someone Else's Skin : What's My First Draft Like?

Here's an interview I did for Rebecca Bradley's crime blog. The eagle-eyed among you can spot clues to Marnie Rome book two in my notes... This is one of several interviews where I'm asked about my rituals or superstitions when writing. I don't have any, but am starting to think I should acquire some, to give less boring answers. Suggestions on a postcard please (or in the comments box below).