‘I done it! I done it! I done it!’ as Bertha exclaims in my new novel, Octopus. And I have. It’s finally been released. It took me longer to write than I expected it would—twice as long as I’d planned, in fact—but our young Victorian detective’s second outing is now available to buy at all major online book stores. Phew! We’ll be celebrating its release, of course, with a glass or two of champagne: the wonderful Malane, who designs and maintains this website for me, Lara, my proofreader extraordinaire, Elaine, who helped me flesh out the novel’s northern character, Mr Willoughby, and yet another Elaine, who snapped me and managed to make me look presentable in my gorgeous new author photo.
It’s a double celebration, for the release date, March 1st, also marks the third anniversary of this website. Three years ago we started off with one published novel and one in the pipeline, and a website with six-or-so articles and a measly handful of pages. But we were determined that this should change, and, as you can see, it has.
Now the nail biting begins in earnest as reviews start to roll in. Will my loyal readers take it to their hearts? I'm glad to report that five already have, though I need to remind myself that it's still early days yet. But how will the LibraryThing Early Reviewers who are new to my work respond? It truly is nerve-racking! You might think—this being my fourth novel—that I’d be over such anxieties by this point. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since I try to do something different with each book, I’m never quite sure how it will be received.
In other news, the Crime & Thrillers reading group that I attend has suffered a major setback—we’ve lost the group’s leader, Alice King. She has been redeployed to one of Southwark’s other libraries. Alice, with her unparalleled knowledge of crime fiction, has steered the group for a number of years now, and has introduced us to a great many authors whom we would otherwise never have come across. She’s also responsible for us reading Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone—from whence springs my young detective, Octavius Guy—and The Woman in White. Alice will be sorely missed.
Finally, as a small token of my thanks for taking the trouble to find this page, I’d like to offer you a copy of my book Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts – An Illustrated Guide to 19th Century Spiritualism. Download it for free from Smashwords.com. When it comes time to pay, just use coupon code: TD22X. A word of warning: opt for the ePub version if that happens to be a format you can use; for technical reasons beyond my control it is vastly superior to the MOBI on offer.
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