It’s a Wild Crime Writing Life by guest author Wendy Jones
I am delighted to host my friend and fellow crime writer, Wendy Jones on the blog today. Here she talks about her writing career, her new novel Antiques and Alibis and her new publishing contract. Over to you, Wendy.
Life sometimes takes strange twists and turns, and mine is certainly testament to this. My career started off in the usual fairly mundane manner. I joined the Royal Navy as a student nurse and served for 6 years. When I left, missing the military life, I promptly joined the army as a nursing officer where I served for a further 17 years and reaching the rank of Major. This is a rank I hold to this day. So how did I end up as a crime writer?
After leaving the military I worked in Academia. Whilst working as the Deputy Director of a University faculty I ended up very ill with lung problems. Deciding that life was too short not to be following your dreams, I moved back to Scotland and started writing books. Or one book to be precise. During a time when it rained consistently for 12 solid weeks. I’m not talking minor drizzle here but flood level rain. The type that keeps you indoors and your mind focused on your writing. Thus, Killer’s Countdown, the first book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries was born.
My writing didn’t come from nowhere. I had been writing academic books and articles and also wrote down all my wild adventures as I travelled around the worlds in the military. However, I’d always had a hankering to write a novel. And write novels I have, with there now being six books in the series. A publisher approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing a series of Young Adult books, and I signed a three book contract for the Fergus and Flora Mysteries. The first in the series is The Dagger’s Curse. The second, The Haunted Broch will be released in September 2018.
It’s been a thrilling ride since I started. I’ve spoken at conferences locally, nationally and internationally, been appointed as the President of The Scottish Association of Writers, and co-founded a new Crime Festival, Crime at the Castle. I’ve done book signings all over the world and will be doing a tour of the States next year. The books have been very well received in many countries, which always makes a writer’s heart thrill.
Six books in to my first series, I decided to try my hand at another. I’d always had a hankering to write humorous crime. Thus I came up with the concept of a red headed, motor bike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private detective agency and accidently hires an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Cass Claymore was born, and launched into the world in her first adventure, Antiques and Alibis.
‘Cass Claymore, a red headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina inherits a Detective Agency, and accidentally employs an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Hired by a client who should know better, Cass has no leads, no clue and a complete inability to solve a case. Still a girl needs to eat and her highbred client’s offering good money. Join her as, with bungling incompetence, she follows a trail littered with missing antique teddies, hapless crooks, a misplaced Lord of the Realm and dead bodies. Will Cass, and Scotland, survive?’
In a further twist, I was asked to write a series of picture books based on the real-life story of a young buffalo that went missing in Fife. I signed a publishing contract and Bertie’s Great Escape will be released in October 2018, with Malcolm Down and Sara Grace Publishing. I’m excited about this new venture. From Crime to Buffalo, who would have thought? Certainly not me when I first started on this wild adventure.
Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning Scottish Crime Writer who lives and sets her books in Dundee, Scotland. She is also an International Public Speaker talking about writing and marketing. Killer’s Crew, the first book in her DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries was the Winner of the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in her Young Adult mystery series, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award 2017. She has signed a publishing contract with Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing for the first book in a children’s picture book series, based on a true story about a little Buffalo in Scotland. The first, Bertie’s Great Escape will be released late October 2018. When she’s not writing, Wendy spends her time travelling the world. She is also President of the Scottish Association of Writers and co-founder of Crime at the Castle, a Scottish literary festival held at Glamis Castle Scotland
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