Sunday, 1 December 2013

It's launch day for Blood Guilt...again!

Just under two and a half years ago I self-published Blood Guilt. Now, over 120000 sales later, Head of Zeus's rebooted version finally hits the virtual shelves (the paperback is launched on the 5th of December). For those of you who've already read Blood Guilt, a huge thanks for helping me achieve something that had begun to feel like a pipe dream. For new readers - and fingers crossed there'll be a few - I hope you enjoy the novel.

Can you ever atone for killing someone?

'Last night, eight-year old Ethan Reed was abducted at gunpoint from his home by an armed intruder. We are urging members of the public to get in touch. A coordinated search of the local area will be carried out.'

Four years ago, Detective Inspector Harlan Miller killed someone. Now - divorced, alone, consumed by guilt - the world outside his prison walls holds little for him. Until, mere days after his release, an eight-year-old boy is abducted. Ethan Reed. The son of the man he killed.

Frustrated by a police search that finds nothing, driven to desperation by repeated appeals that bring in no new leads, Ethan's mother knocks on the door of the man she has reason to hate most in the world. She has one question to ask - beg - of Harlan Miller. Find her little boy. Do whatever it takes.

Click on the links below to pick up your copy:

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Finally got my hands on the real thing!

Look what arrived in the post today hot off the press. Absolutely gorgeous to look at and feels wonderful in the hand too. What else can I say? I love it!

Friday, 5 July 2013

The end of one road, the beginning of another.

It’s been a long time coming – more years (and rejection letters) than I care to remember – and there’s a little while to go yet. But come the end of this year – December 1st, to be precise – I’ll finally be able to consider myself a fully-fledged author. And here’s the proof in all its glory – the full jacket layout for the paperback edition of Blood Guilt, which I received this week from the wonderful people at my publisher Head of Zeus.

I think, and I hope you agree, that it’s a thing of beauty – subtle, moody and intriguing. A perfect window into the story. It’s great, too, to see my hometown, Sheffield, looming in the background.

For those of you who haven’t already heard of Head of Zeus, they are, in their own words, a small publishing house with big ambitions. Launched in the autumn of 2012 by Anthony Cheetham (no relation) and his son, Nicolas, Head of Zeus has already gathered an incredible pool of writers, from newcomers to literary heavyweights. It’s a real honour, and somewhat daunting, to find myself in such company.

And for those of you who enjoyed Blood Guilt, you’ll be glad to know there’s a follow up in the pipeline. Angel Of Death will be published as an e-book and paperback in early May 2014. More on that as the publication date nears...

Looking at the original cover I created for Blood Guilt, it's almost surreal to think how far things have come. It really is surreal to think back to when I first started writing fiction in the late nineties. Like I said, it's been a long time coming, but it's been well worth the wait.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Blood Guilt joins the 100000 copies sold on Kindle club.

It's taken almost a year and a half, but Blood Guilt has finally passed 100000 sales on Kindle. Coincidentally, and with a nice symmetry, the novel has also hit 200 days in the Amazon Kindle overall top 100 bestsellers chart.

To say I'm surprised Blood Guilt is still hanging around in the top 100 fourteen months after it first broke into it, would be an understatement. Sales dropped off somewhat in the summer months, and I began to wonder whether the life of the novel on Kindle had run its course. But in the last four months sales have really picked back up. Being relatively new to this game, I'm not entirely sure what to put this down to. Part of it, of course, is simply due to the increase in sales everyone experiences over the Christmas period. But there's more to it than that. Someone I spoke to recently who has vastly more publishing experience than me mentioned their theory that novels with snow on their covers always sell well. I'm sure the comment was slightly tongue in cheek, but I reckon there's something to it. When you think about it, it's actually quite obvious that readers are going to be more drawn to a snowy cover image at this time of year.

There are other elements which I think give Blood Guilt a lasting appeal. Firstly, as well as (hopefully) being a thrilling read, it raises hard questions about moral dilemmas. Secondly, one of the main points I've picked up from readers' emails is how much they appreciate Harlan's human qualities. He's not someone who simply takes the knocks and gets back up. He's subject to the same frailties as all of us. He's also someone who struggles to comprehend human nature's capacity for committing terrible acts. Which brings me to my third point. One of the themes Blood Guilt deals with is child abduction and abuse. Sadly, it's almost impossible these days to turn on the news without being faced with stories concerning these crimes. The crime fiction I most enjoy reading holds a mirror up to the society of its time. It attempts to make some kind of sense of the world's darkness and insanity. This point was uppermost in my mind when I wrote Blood Guilt, and the sales figures seem to bear out its importance.

On a final note, I'd just like to thank everyone who's bought Blood Guilt, especially those who've left reviews, emailed or tweeted me to let me know how much they enjoyed it. We writers are a sensitive bunch, so it's always a big boost to know that someone out there really gets what you're trying to do.

One final final thing. A follow-up to Blood Guilt is set to be released later this year. But this time I won't be the one doing the publishing. More on that to come soon...