It’s the law, apparently.

Well hello there.

Just thought I’d drop you a note to bring you up to date on what I’ve been doing, am doing and am going to be doing soon.

Last weekend I hoped on an Edinburgh-bound train from London Euston station and headed North towards Morecambe, a seaside town in Lancashire in the Northwest of England.

The plan was to take a train to Lancaster and change for the short transfer to Morecambe. Unfortunately, the railways, some signalling which hasn’t, seemingly, been updated since Queen Victoria was a young lady, and some really inclement weather* meant that my train was taken out of service at Preston and I – along with every other soul on the crippled carriages – was dumped onto the platform.

“Well that’s it,” I thought, lugging the suitcase containing my outfit for the night as I limped along the platform (pulled Achilles tendon. Long story. Teach me to try to get back into sparring for fitness. Teach me more not to back away from a punch with quite such speed). “I’m never going to get to Morecambe in time now.”

And at the very moment when I was about to hunt down a man with a handcart and negotiate for passage to Morecambe (knowing it might well mean I’d be declaiming my oeuvre through early stage consumption, but figuring the show must go on), it was announced that there was a Glasgow-bound train due three minutes later that would get me to Lancaster.

Which was lucky.

Unluckily, the said Glasgow-bound train was already packed to the rafters with passengers so when my fellow refugees and I piled on (all with cases, bags and various ailments and gripes) the train quickly moved from full to are-you-fucking-kidding me?

The view from my room at Morecambe & Vice – grandeur and menace
The Midland Hotel Morecambe.

Still, undaunted, I made it to Lancaster and, having shared a taxi with the most gorgeous Bulgarian mother and son combo I made it to the Venice Beach of the Northwest, and thence – after unpacking, a short nap, pre-reading ablutions and a quick moment to marvel at the amazing view from my room, it was off to the mega glamorous Midland Hotel, an art deco palace restored to it’s thirties grandeur (and where one would be unsurprised if Hercule Poirot were sitting in the lobby) to read at the Award-winning Polari Salon alongside Lesley Thomson, Lilja Sigurardottir, and the maestro himself Paul Burston.

l to r: Lesley Thomson, Lilja Sigurardottir, Paul Burston, and yours truly

I read from “Death of an Angel.” The scene where Danny & Caz discover something awful on a building site, and if you don’t know that scene then you should probably pop over to Amazon or Fahrenheit Press and get yourself a copy of Angel forthwith.

Go on; I’ll wait.

Shoes are important to crime authors
Me Declaiming whilst wearing a selection of castoffs from Elton John

Reading done, it was time for a Q&A with all the authors and the audience had some really great questions for us, though I’m still chuckling at getting away with responding to a question about the presence of Crime in fiction through the ages by pointing out that “Macbeth” without murder or the threat of same is just a play about a man whose wife bitches at him incessantly.

Anyways, Rachel Sargeant wrote a lovely review of the whole festival – which is fun and inclusive and genuinely filled with nice people (and lots of readers) at the CRA website, so go read it here (oh, and she said nice things about Danny & Caz so she’s clearly a woman of great taste and literacy): As did The Visitor, which also gave me the joy of seeing my face and name in print. I’m a staaaarr mama.

“And now I shall sing ‘My heart will go on,’ for Barry, Beryl and all at the Ship and Handbag…”
The Q&A brought forth some genuinely interesting questions

Other than Festivals, I’ve been gearing up for the release of the next Danny book, which is out this month. I know, right? I’m as surprised as you by how that publication date  seems to have just sort of landed. This one (Death of a Sinner) is possibly the most fun I’ve had writing a Danny since “Death of a Diva” (also still available for those of you who need to get on at the start of the journey) and – although it’s a Novella – it’s got enough plot, comedy, and character development to make me very happy indeed. Plus, it’s got my favourite monster in ages – one Cartier Cobb, but you’ll all be hearing more about it and her soon.

And it’s made me really enthusiastic about the next Danny Novel (which currently has the catchy title of “The next Danny Novel,” which I think is probably going to change before publication). That one’s about explosives, secrets, lies, family scandals, jewel thefts,  and love – young love, old love, and love that surprises even the lovers – and I’ll be getting on to that as soon as I’ve finished a standalone about a woman who… ah, but that would be telling.

And then, in a couple of weeks on the 19th October from 11am to 2pm I will be appearing at Crawley Library to sell and sign copies of the Danny Novels. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please pop in; it would be LOVELY to see you, and I may have some surprises too for any Danny Readers who bring their collection in. It’s free, you don’t need to book, and you and your friends may just discover some books you’d missed out on by authors from your neighbourhood. Plus: Christmas is fast approaching, and books are so easy to wrap. The address is Southgate Ave, Crawley RH10 6HG.

Other than that, it’s all quiet here. I’ll leave you with a few more shots from Morecambe and look forward to updating you all on new books and new ventures soon.

The Pier Bookshop, of which more next time.

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