Writing

My Book Deal

My Book Deal

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed a three book deal with Bookouture for my new crime series, featuring DS Ruby Preston. This will take me up to six books published with Bookouture, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with such a fantastic team.

It’s been an exciting week as the third in the DC Jennifer Knight series, The Silent Twin has been released for pre order on Amazon. Lots of people have asked me if I plan on adding any more books to the trilogy. Never say never is my answer, it’s quite possible that I will be lured back into the dark side of Haven one day.

Having said that, I’m really excited about introducing DS Ruby Preston into the world. This is a straight crime series, with no hint of the supernatural, however it is dark, gritty and still carries my signature ‘creepy crime’ style of writing. Based in Hackney in London, this series comprises of some very rich characters, and I draw upon my personal experiences in the police to provide the gritty authenticity of someone who has experienced the darker side of human nature.

I adore DS Ruby Preston as she’s unlike any character I’ve written. She adapts a work-hard-play-hard attitude, and is fiercely protective of her team. Ruby doesn’t break the rules, but has been known to bend them, and is the most unconventional police detective I’ve written. I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil the story, so do sign up for my newsletter where you will be updated with further news.

My Book Announcement

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My Book Announcement

I’m so excited to announce that book three of the DC Jennifer Knight series is now available to pre-order. Twins have a special meaning for me. Growing up with an identical twin for a mum, I was able to see her special relationship with her sister first hand. When I met my husband Neil, I was pleasantly surprised to discover he was an identical twin too. I’ve been fascinated ever since. With book three in the DC Knight series, I wanted to pull something entirely different out of the hat. I’m satisfied I’ve accomplished that with The Silent Twin. Researching the plight of missing children in the UK was a harrowing but necessary task. As a police officer, I’ve dealt with plenty of cases involving missing children and high risk missing people. As a mum of four, I see it from a different viewpoint. I dread to imagine the sheer panic parents feel when their child disappears. Yet I have come to learn that not all people react as you would expect. And some families hold secrets. 

The Silent Twin can be written as a stand alone novel, or part of the series. Like to know more? Here it is:

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

A darkly gripping, page-turning thriller that will enthrall fans of Rachel Abbott, Alex Marwood’s The Wicked Girls and Mark Edwards.

An interview with Sam Eades – Senior Commissioning editor at Orion

Some great writing advice for newbies.

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I’m very happy to welcome Sam Eades, senior commissioning editor and associate publicist at Orion, to the blog today, answering some questions and offering some great advice!

Hi Sam, and welcome. Can I start by asking you to give us an insight into your day to day role?
I am a senior commissioning editor and associate publicist at Orion. I’ve been here seven months now, following stints at Transworld, Headline and Macmillan in the publicity department. I have an unusual role in that I both commission fiction AND publicise it! And no, I don’t publicise my own books, I think I’d annoy myself too much. No day is the same but some of the day to day tasks I might do include on the pr side: circulating coverage to agent, author and sales team; pitching for media; accompanying an author to interviews and events; pitching a book at an…

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Five Things That Made 2015 Great

Happy New Year! New Year’s Eve is a time of reflection for many. What were your best bits in 2015? If you’re human, then your year will have been filled with highlights, and some lowlights too. For me, Christmas has been a time of sad reflection for absent loved ones, but also a time to be grateful for the fantastic friends I have encountered.

It was hard to pick just five highlights of 2015, but here we go:

1. Bookouture & my Fellow Authors

From the moment I first met with my editor Keshini Naidoo, I knew my relationship with the Bookouture team would be a special one. Thanks to the amazing team at Bookouture, I’ve been welcomed into the world of writing, and gained a fantastic network of fellow authors I’m proud to call my friends. My books have gone from strength to strength, and I’ve gained an audience which would have taken me years to find on my own. The Bookouture team have been a virtual powerhouse over the last twelve months, and I’m proud to call them my publishers.

2. Book Bloggers

I have so much admiration for these fantastic people. I was going to do an individual shout out, but there’s been so many bloggers that have helped me since the launch of my books, I’m too scared I’ll miss someone out. Besides, you know who you are. I’m always conscious that bloggers give up their free time to read and review our books. Their ‘to read’ list is huge and they take precious time from their daily commitments to sit down and type up their reviews, even when they are in ill-health. I wish I could give them all an individual hug. I’d like to impart this message instead. You are life changers. Never underestimate the good work you do. I wouldn’t be here without you.

3. Readers

Not all readers are reviewers. So I’d like to give a special shout out to the tens of thousands of readers who have bought my books worldwide, and the friends, family and colleagues that I harassed into buying a copy too. It’s mind-blowing to think that so many people have read my work. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love hearing from my readers, and it gives me a special glow when someone goes to the trouble to leave me a review, and I read each and every one. While I know you can’t please everyone, every positive review has given me a warm glow inside, and encouraged me to keep going when things got tough.

4. THE Book Club

I joined this group on Facebook after being invited by a fellow author. Over the course of the year I’ve watched it grow, and have nothing but admiration for the people behind it. Tracy Fenton runs the club with her hardworking teams of admins, several of which I was lucky enough to meet at a recent event in London. I mentioned THE Book Club in the acknowledgements of my last book, Time to Die. A fantastic bunch of book lovers, I look forward to spending time in 2016 with you, and all the other fab book clubs that have taken the time to read my novels.

5. My Agent

When I started my writing journey, having an agent was nothing but a pipe dream. Seriously. You have no idea how hard it is to obtain an agent in this competitive world. That’s why I was over the moon to sign with Madeleine Milburn and her team. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. The new year is about new beginnings, I’m so excited about the future. I’ve got lots of news for 2016 and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Sorry if you’ve not made this list, but as I’ve said, it was tough. Thanks to everyone for all your support. I hope 2016 brings you everything you wish for. In a couple of hours time I will be raising a glass to you all as I ring in the new year. (I admit, I’ve already started.) Here’s to the year ahead. xxx

My Christmas Gift to You

Can you believe Christmas is almost upon us? It’s really crept up on me this year. I’m facing into the season of goodwill with a sense of gratitude, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me in the last year; my publisher Bookouture and their fantastic team, my agent, editor, readers, bloggers, book clubs, friends, family, fellow authors and colleagues. 

As I’m unable to send you all a Christmas card, I’d like to gift you this poem instead. Ignore the mild, wet weather outside and indulge yourself in this beautiful piece by Robert Frost. It perfectly captures the essence of a wintry night, bringing you deep into the heart of a haunting woodland scene. 

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Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening – Poem by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I wish you and your family a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year. 

xxxx

Caroline

Images courtesy of Stocksnap.

My Agent Signing

Christmas is almost upon us, and I’m really pleased to kick off the season of goodwill with some news. I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed with literary agent Madeleine Milburn. Below is a recent picture of us taken at her Christmas party, photobombed by the delightful author Holly Martin!

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When I began my journey as an author, signing with such a well respected agent seemed like a pipe dream. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Perhaps I should be calm, professional, and slightly aloof. But I’ll never take my position for granted and I know how fortunate I’ve been over the last year. I’ve met the most fantastic bunch of authors and readers, and am proud to call many of them my friends. I also work with a wonderful editor, Keshini Naidoo, who has helped my writing come on in leaps and bounds while working on my DC Jennifer Knight novels. As for my publishers Bookouture, they have exceeded all my expectations, and it’s been thrilling to watch their meteoric rise to success. Below is a picture of a recent Bookouture meet up, with Kim Nash, Sue Watson, Christie Barlow and Holly Wilson enjoying a tipple in London.

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Of course this has not just landed on my lap. It has come with lots of hard work, self belief and determination. For the last few years, my routine has involved getting up at 5.30 every morning, writing on the train during my two hour work commute every day, working in a demanding role, writing during my lunch break if possible, and after I got home after work, up until midnight. My days off would be spent writing, editing, reading and marketing. My kids have had to see a little bit less of me, and my husband has taken on the lion’s share of running the household. But I’m sure they would agree it has all been worth it, and my dream of writing full time will soon become a reality.

My top tips for being signed by an agent or publishers.

  1. Believe in yourself, be the person you want to be. One of the most motivational programmes I’ve ever watched is called The Secret (and currently available to watch on Netflix and iTunes). Watch it. Then watch it again.
  2. Set goals and stick by them. It takes a lot of hard work. Keep going, even when you don’t feel like it.
  3. Get out there. Meet people, go to events. It’s incredibly rewarding. I’m a total introvert and have a terrible sense of direction. But I’ve managed to overcome my fears by using the tube system in London on my own, and travelling throughout the UK to attend crime writing conferences. Can’t get out? There’s a vast network of authors, readers and book bloggers online.

I’m very excited about 2016, and now that I’m working with agent Madeleine Milburn, there will be lots of exciting news ahead. Watch this space for further announcements and do sign up to my mailing list to be kept in the loop. As always, your comments are very welcome. Thank you so much for your support in 2015.

 

My 1st Bookouture Anniversary

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Today I’m celebrating a very special anniversary. On 12th November 2014 I signed my contract with Bookouture to produce my DC Jennifer Knight series. At the time I was nervous, excited, and somewhat unsure about what lay ahead.

DC Knight was a cross-genre series, and excited as I was, numerous worries floated around in my head. What if readers hated my writing? What if things didn’t work out with my publisher? And what if I couldn’t keep up to my promise of producing a new book every six months?

It wouldn’t be easy, working full time and writing to such tight deadlines, but I had a good feeling about Bookouture, and it would be worth sacrificing my days and evenings off to pursue my passion.

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Now, a year later I couldn’t be happier. Both books in the DC Knight series were released in 2015, and book three is due out early 2016. Kindle sales have been way beyond my expectations, and reviews have been amazing. Being self published gives you great control, but can be a lonely business. With Bookouture, I get the best of both worlds. My feedback is taken into account and I’m part of a massively supportive team of professionals and authors. I’ve been introduced to some wonderful readers too, all people I’m proud to call my friends. 2015 has been an amazing year for Bookouture, and they deserve every success. I for one, am grateful to have been part of that journey. Here’s to 2016. Who knows what lies ahead.

Would you like to get exclusive previews of my books and be in with the chance to win signed copies? Why not join my reader’s club. It’s free and we will only send you relevant updates. Join here.

News For 2016

Caroline Mitchell

Anniversary

November 12th sees my first anniversary with my publisher Bookouture. When I signed my three book contract for the DC Knight series, I never realised how much my life would change. It’s all very new and exciting, but the best thing about it has been the wonderful people I’ve come into contact with. I’m a typical introvert author. I have no problems chatting people online, but when you put me in a room of people I don’t know, I have to push myself really hard to mingle. It’s totally out of my comfort zone. 

Bloggers

But thanks to the wonderful readers, authors, and bloggers I’ve met over the last year I no longer have that fear. I can’t wait to meet them at events, and recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to THE Book Club Facebook party in London. I’ve also got engagements to meet bloggers in December, as well as courses and crime writer’s festivals throughout the UK. I’m confident that my dream of working as a full time author will become a reality in 2016, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me. It’s a bittersweet celebration because sadly, my mother passed very suddenly in October 2014. It was devastating, and I miss her every day. But I know she would have been thrilled to see how well I’ve done, and I know deep down that she’s still around, watching over us all.

Giveaways & News

A recent trip to Ireland gave me time for reflection, and I’ve planned some exciting things for 2016. I regularly get asked for updates on our true story, Paranormal Intruder, since it was published two years ago. It hit me when I was trying to think of a way I could thank people for their support. Why don’t I publish a short sequel and give it away to my readers? I regularly hold prize draws, but I always feel bad for the people that don’t win. This way, everybody receives an exclusive gift from me. All members of my Reader’s club will get a copy. If you haven’t signed up already, just click here. (I hate spam so I won’t share email addresses with anyone.) Reader’s club members will receive a copy of Paranormal Intruder 2 as soon as it hits the press. 

And Finally …

I’ve been working on a new website. One which is easy to navigate, with lots of room for all the books I hope to write. It still needs work so it’s not been officially launched, but if you’d like a sneak peek then here is my Author page. I’ll be advertising it when it’s all ship shape, but I’d love to know what you think in the meantime. As always, shares, comments and tweets to this post are very welcome. 

Time to Die

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What a week it’s been! I’m delighted to announce that the second in the DC Jennifer Knight series, Time to Die launched last Friday, and has received a fantastic response to date. I’m so grateful to all the bloggers, readers and reviewers who have taken the series into their heart, and I look forward to releasing the third book in the series soon.

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As a special thank you we have temporarily reduced the price of the first in the series, Don’t Turn Around to just 99p / $1.49 on Amazon, so if you haven’t read it yet, now is your chance. Both books are now available in paperback and the covers look amazing. In the meantime, here’s a snippet of Time to Die. But watch out for those ravens!

He will predict your life… and your death.

Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your life … and your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.

Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.

As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …

Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.

Time to Die is an absolutely gripping serial killer thriller with a breath-taking supernatural twist.

Top Ten Ways To Scare People In Paranormal Fiction

As an author, I know the importance of writing what you love. I first began my writing career after a life changing experience when we encountered a paranormal entity in our home. What sounds like a horror movie became real life as we battled through this bewildering experience. When we finally came out the other side, we knew we could not let such an occurrence pass us by without sharing it with the world. After a year of writing, my true story, Paranormal Intruder was born. As a full time police officer, I was nervous about releasing it. I need not have worried, as the response was fantastic and it became an instant best seller in all three Amazon categories. Soon the writing bug bit again. I wanted to experience the thrill of writing a fiction novel infusing my personal experiences of the police and paranormal. The idea for the first of the DC Jennifer Knight series came to me one sleepless night and refused to go away. I have been asked many times by aspiring authors the correct way of approaching writing about the paranormal. I am happy to share my top ten tips with you today.

Make it authentic. I infused my personal experience of police and the paranormal to write my latest book, but if you have never experienced the supernatural then my advice is to make your writing as authentic as you can.

Master the art of suspense. Imagine you are being watched but are too afraid to turn around. Feel the hairs prickle on the back of your neck as your name is whispered in a cold empty room. If you’re struggling to find those emotions, go on a ghost hunt or read true-life accounts of the paranormal. Put yourself in the zone, and then describe exactly how you feel.

Make your writing fresh and original. If you are writing your true story then allow your readers to get to know you as a person. Opening up about a traumatic experience is not easy, but your readers will thank you for it.

Creepy Music is a terrific way of darkening your writing mood. The backdrop of Hanz Zimmer’s Batman, Inception, and other dark pieces has spurred my DC Knight series.

Make your story more authentic with a dose of reality. Your characters shouldn’t just accept what is bestowed upon them. Don’t Turn Around is primarily a crime thriller, and DC Jennifer Knight is bewildered when strange things begin to happen. When I first encountered paranormal occurrences in my home, it took me a very long time to get my police officer brain around what was happening – even though it was right before my eyes.

When the going gets tough, friends may get going – or at least find it difficult to understand how a victim of the paranormal feels. The biggest thing I found about my own experiences was the feeling of being alone. It is worth remembering that just like crime, paranormal activity affects more than one person. Like a stone being thrown into a pool of calm water, it sends shockwaves out to friends, family, and even the community. The problem comes when people don’t know how to deal with it, and shun you for fear of ‘catching’ your problem

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It’s hard to believe, but parts of a paranormal investigation can actually be quite boring. There is lots of waiting around, things never show themselves when you want them to, and parts of the activity can be quite repetitive. This is where you invest in your characters. Explore their relationships with each other. Whether you write fact or fiction this is something to be explored. In my true story, I went into depth explaining how I felt about the priests and investigators that tried to help us. In the DC Knight novels, I go into a lot of depth exploring the antagonist’s character and what makes them tick. People aren’t born evil. They are made that way. Never underestimate the power of human nature when writing.

There is so much more to the paranormal genre than ghosts and ghouls. Explore every possibility, but my advice is to keep it as close to real life as possible. It’s fine to go off on a tangent when you’re writing fantasy, but most thrill seekers in the crime / paranormal genre want to read a situation that could happen to anyone. It certainly happened to me.

Find your audience. For whatever genre of paranormal you write, meet your audience. There is a huge community of paranormal enthusiasts online and there’s no excuse not to get out there and meet them. I found mine through the power of social media. It’s probably what led you to reading this very article.

A word of warning about writing about the paranormal. Once you are bitten with the writing bug it is very hard to stop. You will find your reading habits will change, and you will always be thinking ahead to what if … Embrace the darkness and enjoy!

Originally published on Female First: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/caroline-mitchell-dont-turn-around-752027.html#ixzz3d3M9fdLp

Have you any writing tips? We’d love to hear from you. Comments are welcome below.