Hello and Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful festive break. I’ve just moved to a new home in Spain, right on the beach. I love living in Slovakia but I have missed the sea so much, so it’s been wonderful to wake up every morning and walk on the sand – so good for book writing inspiration.
I have commandeered a small bedroom in our new place as my office. I love writing on a comfy chair, preferably with room for my notebooks and a couple of dogs. Last week we found a sofa in a department store with the right amount of squish factor – not too soft but soft enough to sink into with a laptop- and we ordered it.
However, we made a mistake with measurements. When the delivery guys showed up yesterday, they were shocked that such a big sofa would go into such a small room. I wish I’d taken photos, but the poor delivery guys, who were so patient, ended up having to remove two doors and take the sofa to pieces with a drill to get it inside. And despite all of this, there was still a dicey moment at the front door when it got wedged and I thought we’d have to crawl under half a disembowelled sofa forever more.
I think they thought we were a little crazy to buy a three-seater sofa and place it in a small bedroom facing the wall, with no other furniture, but this is perfect for me (and my new office does have a stunning view of a beautiful exotic garden). It’s still a work in progress office, but good enough to start working on my new book!
This leads me to my current book, Devil’s Way, which is now published! This is the fourth book in my Kate Marshall Private Investigator series, where Kate Marshall’s investigation into a young boy’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path.
The location of the Kate Marshall series is inspired by my childhood holidays on the south coast of England in Devon and Cornwall. We always stayed in the same hotel every year, The Tors, in Belstone, where you can step out of the front door and onto breathtakingly beautiful moorland. Now, as a disclaimer, today The Tors has been completely renovated and is a stunningly beautiful and modern hotel, but back in 1995, it was somewhat rustic and, let’s say, atmospheric and rather spooky – an ancient stone building which overlooks a graveyard on one side. Back then, the hotel rooms didn’t have private bathrooms and if you needed to go in the night, you had to leave the comfort of your room and walk down this long, dark lonely corridor with creaking floorboards and windows looking out over the grave stones! I would try to avoid drinking anything in the evening as I was always terrified. The graveyard was often filled with fog and shadows that seemed to move…
The good thing was that every morning it would be bright and sunny and we would go walking on Dartmoor. There is so much history and atmosphere on the moors. And every day was different. I was fascinated by the ancient stone circles and the vast expanses of bogland you can inevitably stumble into. I remember the vast Tors – tall formations of stacked rocks – which always made me think of a giant who had assembled them as part of a huge game of Jenga. I loved to paddle amongst the moss-covered rocks in the rivers and streams, and some days we would walk out to ancient burial chambers carved into rock, spooky ponds surrounded by dead forests, and Roman aqueducts that were built hundreds of years ago – and yet they still worked, carrying fresh water across vast expanses of open moor. And layered on top of all of these places was the temperamental weather. I remember experiencing a whole year’s weather during one day on Dartmoor, changing from blazing sunshine to fog and then storms and sleet! Now, I’m writing this as a forty something who really appreciates these holidays, but at the time I would often moan and whine, and complain that we weren’t going to Disneyland like all of the other kids in my class at school. When I look back, I’m so glad to have these holiday memories.
I could go on and on about the strange and beautiful things I saw on Dartmoor, it certainly made an impression on me. I have chosen to put many of these experiences into Devil’s Way and Kate and Tristan’s investigation… Did the young boy who went missing stray into bogland, or fall into the Devil’s Way gorge which leads to a mysterious sinkhole – or was it the work of someone, or something, even more sinister?
I’m lucky enough to have the freedom to write my books for my readers, and I always think of you when I write. Thank you for all the wonderful support you give me, I have the best readers in the world. I hope you enjoy reading Devil’s Way as much as I enjoyed writing it ❤️
Devil’s Way is out now in all formats; ebook, audiobook, hardback and paperback and you can get your copy by clicking HERE (This is a location based link, which opens in a new window with all the store options in your country) And if you have Kindle Unlimited Devil’s Way is included in your subscription