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  • Writer's pictureA J McDine

I'm finally on the home straight!


It's been a while since you've heard from me, but that's because I have been holed up in my writing cave finishing the first draft of my new domestic thriller.

Sadly, typing The End doesn't mean the book is done and dusted. In fact it's just the start of the next stage - the editing process - which is equally as important if I'm going to make the book the best it can be.

I'm writing new scenes, spicing up others, working on character arcs, dropping in clues and red herrings and generally polishing up the prose.

Some people love the editing process. I'm not one of them. Give me a first draft to write any day of the week! But it's got to be done, so do it I must. And hopefully by the time I've finished the second draft the book will be in pretty good shape.

I hope to be in a position to reveal the title and cover in the next couple of weeks, but here's a teaser to whet your appetite...

I'm hoping that if the edits go well the book will be out at the beginning of November, so watch this space.

Meanwhile, my husband (and fellow author) Adrian, who writes as A J Wills, has finished the first draft of his latest psych thriller, too, and I was lucky enough to read it before it went off to the editor.

It's a fantastic read full of twists and turns - definitely one of those books that keeps you turning the pages well into the night. It's due for release in the New Year, but again I'll keep you posted.


One of the nicest things about writing for a living is meeting other authors (ones you don't live with!) so it was lovely to hook up with another fellow psych thriller author, Carrie Magillen, a couple of weeks ago.

Carrie and I first became friends in a Facebook group for indie authors over a year ago. Writing in the same genre means we have loads in common, and I'm a huge fan of her books.

We spent a lovely day catching up in person and talking about writing. Carrie even helped with a great suggestion to make a pivotal scene in my new book even more menacing, for which I was very grateful!

Carrie's new book, Stone the Dead Crows, is a fantastic read that follows the lives of three sisters: Rose, Maggie and Daisy.

Rose is newly-married to Nathan, a handsome doctor who swept her off her feet in a whirlwind romance.

Maggie is on a sabbatical in a cabin in the woods with her husband Luc and their young son Alfie.

And Daisy has spent the last three years in a coma in the very hospital where Nathan works.

Rose and Maggie’s lives are – on paper at least – picture-perfect. But Rose’s new husband is growing increasingly jealous and controlling, and Maggie is becoming fixated by a sinister hooded man in the woods who she is convinced is a threat to her little family.

At first, Rose and Maggie are following very different paths, and it’s hard to see how their stories will intertwine. Daisy is the common denominator, the link in the Venn diagram of their lives. So, when Daisy’s doctor announces that her condition is worsening and they must consider turning off her life support, the two sisters must come together if they are to save her.

Carrie weaves the threads of Rose and Maggie’s stories together so skilfully that you don’t even realise she’s doing it until she reveals the final, stunning twist.

The sheer cleverness of the plot took my breath away.

I listened to the audiobook of Stone the Dead Crows, which is narrated by Joanne Froggatt and Louise Brealey, who both did an outstanding job of bringing Carrie's carefully-crafted cast of characters to life.

Here are the links if you'd like to check it out:

It's been lovely to catch up, and I hope all is well in your world. For now, it's time for me to crawl back into the cave and work on those edits.

Hopefully the next time I'm in touch it'll be for the big cover reveal!

Happy reading!


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