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New year, new genre…


This time last year I had just published the first book in a new series. It was Against A Dark Sky, the first instalment of the Dani Bevan detective Series. There are now five more books and the series has been very successful. But the decision to switch characters, series or genre is not an easy one to make for an author. When we write a book it requires an enormous commitment of time and mental energy.

There is always a concern that you will be neglecting your regular characters and faithful readers by starting on something different. But there is something about the start of a new year that inspires us to embark on fresh ventures. The dawning of 2016 has proved to be no different. I completed the book I was writing for my ten year old daughter this week. It was the first time I’d undertaken a writing project in the children’s fiction genre. But my main aim was to produce a book for Shona, whilst she still wanted me too.

The writing experience was a challenge but it was a bonus to be able to use a more lighthearted tone and be freer with using colourful, expansive descriptions. This is a technique which is more acceptable now in YA than in adult fiction. Other than these aspects, I found the process surprisingly similar to writing one of my adult crime books. Mint Choc Chip is also a mystery story, like my adult novels, so the plotting was a familiar affair. I also endeavoured to weave in some historical references which are a feature of my Imogen and Hugh Croft Mysteries Series.

Ultimately, I’m not sure if I will return to the children’s fiction genre. I have the new DCI Bevan novel plotted and am looking forward to continuing with that. But I’m very glad I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone. Hopefully, my daughter will appreciate it. The process has challenged my writing in a new way. It helps to keep an author’s approach fresh to try something they’ve not done before. As long as it doesn’t distract us from the day job of course!


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