Showing posts from June, 2013

Collaboration: fiction without friction

This is nothing to do with spying. This article’s all about how to collaborate on a book without coming to blows.

In my case, I worked with my husband Robert Deeth on a ‘film noir’-inspired mystery called Half Life set in Norway before the Nazi invasion. A group of scientists at a nordic research institute is set on cracking the ultimate mystery of nuclear fission, but darker forces are afoot …
Now, with a background is in journalism and languages, what on earth was I doing setting a story in Norway, during the 1930s and based on physics?
Rob’s a professor in inorganic chemistry. He had the chance to get involved the intricate proceedings of a Norwegian PhD thesis – at Tromsø. I’d always wanted to go north, not least because my Great Uncle Eddy, of the Paton clan on my mother’s side, was one of the many brave chaps who volunteered to do the Murmansk run. He survived to a ripe old age, although I never heard him tell of those days. I simply had to go.

From the moment I arrived, I was hooke…

Dark Interlude - out now


Winter 1918. A strange death ... a deadly mission ... a city on the brink. Who says the war is over?

DARK INTERLUDE is a post World-War-One romantic adventure inspired by the little-known revolution known as ‘Black Friday’ in Scotland in 1919. 

Winter 1918. In a sweeping story of social and emotional conflict, Alexandra Milton is a female academic who is ousted from her post at a tranquil university library, ending up in a small, post-war Scottish town which is struggling to cope in the aftermath of World War One. Her job is to archive a valuable bequest of 17th-century Spanish documents. 

Meanwhile, demobbed soldiers pour back in their thousands only to find there is no work. 

In Glasgow, many join a dockworkers’ protest in a turbulent Clydeside conflict that suddenly teeters on full-blown revolution causing the establishment to panic in a week of tension that became to be known as ‘Black Friday’. 

When it transpires the …

Ailsa Abraham shares a new YA story for the summer Solstice

In a first for the blog, sit down and enjoy some gripping new YA fiction from fellow Crooked Cat author, Ailsa Abraham.


Kez hurled his mobile phone across the garden in frustration. The broadband wasn't working in the house, he couldn't get a signal out here and he felt like walking over to where it lay and stamping on it. He took a slug of his half-cold instant coffee. He would have liked real coffee but he couldn't be arsed to use the machine. Like a spoilt kid he tipped the remains of his cup onto the ground and glared at it.
Nothing had gone right for the boy since they moved out of Plymouth.He'd had friends there andthings to do in the evenings, cinemas, even clubs if he could lie about his age. This place was a dump. 
It was all very well for his parents to bang on about the “blessing” of being surrounded by Nature but he didn't see it that way. Kez kicked a stone along the path in sheer frustration. Now he was not only lost …

All hail, Kathy Sharp

Welcome to new author Kathy Sharp, author of Isle of Larus, out soon through Crooked Cat. Thank you Pam. I’m very delighted to be here!
Hi, Kathy. Can you describe Isle of Larus in a few words?
The Spirit of the Sea sends a series of alarming events to test the inhabitants of the Isle of Larus – a fleet of impossible ships, a con-man in a jewelled turban, and the threat of foreign invasion in the guise of a pub landlady. The Spirit chuckles as he settles down to watch the show…
It’s such an intriguing idea. Wherever did it come from?
The idea came from an exercise we did at my writers’ group, Weymouth Writing Matters. We were writing a piece from the point of view of a plant or inanimate object. I loved it, and decided to take it further. I chose four buildings on the Isle of Portland, where I used to live – two castles, a church and a lighthouse – and imagined what characters they might have if they were people. It was a short step from there to wonder how these characters would interac…

Introducing Sarah Louise Smith ...

A big welcome to Crooked Cat writer Sarah Louise Smith, author of the delightful Amy & Zach. I caught up with her recently:
Can you describe Amy and Zach in a few words?
Amy & Zach is told in the first person, alternating between the two central characters, so you get to hear the story from both of their points of view. Amy is British, Zach American, and they both have secrets... it’s chick-lit: a love story with a little humour thrown in now and then.
It’s charming – and the reviews are great! Where did the idea spring from?
Thank you! I get inspiration from lots of different places; a film, a book, a daydream that runs away with itself; dreams... I read a lot of chick-lit myself so I was always going to write in the same genre that I know and love.
How long did it take you to write?
I had parts of the story in various forms over a number of years but I put them together to form one story. Once I’d committed to do that, it took me about six months to complete.
I can see from your …

Pam on the radio ...

If you have a couple of minutes, here’s a recording of my interview with Mark Smith on Alive radio, focusing on Dark Interlude and its Scottish connections.
It was great fun. Thanks, Mark!

A big welcome to writer Nancy Jardine

I've been swapping emails with Nancy for a while. It seems we are definitely kindred spirits when it comes to certain types of literature.She's managed to find some time in her busy schedule to answer a few questions and share her many enthusiasms. Welcome, Nancy. We'll try and keep up.

I can see from your website and blog that you’re a busy woman. When on earth do you find the time to write?
I write when I’m not child-minding, or gardening, or blogging, or writing interviews etc for other blogs, or doing social media/ marketing, or reading. It’s much the same story as every other writer, I guess. I’m pretty boring in that I’ve no time for other hobbies – except, of course, ancestry researching which is also spasmodic. I rarely watch TV and now watching a film is a novelty.
And the research! When does that take place? I did a lot prior to beginning my current writing, a sequel to my historical The Beltane Choice. Sadly, I’ve a rubbish memory so if I don’t bookmark, or make t…