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  • Writer's pictureA J McDine

What a load of baubles...


Well, blow me down with a feather - it's almost Christmas!

It's been a hell of a year. I lost my lovely dad to cancer in February, just a few weeks after one of our cats died. The pandemic then weighed in, changing all our lives, and not in a good way.

Our boys' A-levels and GCSEs were cancelled, as was our planned holiday to Switzerland. Lockdowns have meant we haven't been able to spend time with our friends and families, and we miss them heaps.

But it hasn't been all bad and there has been a lot to be grateful for.

Our oldest son, Oliver, secured his place to read wildlife conservation at university, and our youngest son, Thomas, did brilliantly in his exams, thanks to some fantastic mock results and stellar coursework. And I've had my husband Adrian and both boys home with me for most of the year, which has been lovely.

In fact, as my job involves writing from a desk in the corner of our dining room, my day-to-day life hasn't actually changed that much!

A highlight of the year was the publication of my second domestic thriller, Should Have Known Better.

To say I have been overwhelmed by its reception is an understatement. The reviews, the downloads and sales of the book have surpassed all my expectations.

Yesterday the ebook reached the giddy heights of number 39 in the whole of the Amazon UK Kindle store. And that's over six months after its publication. Just amazing.

Mind you, Adrian's second psychological thriller, My Wife's Sister, has done even better, and this morning was number two in the UK Kindle charts on Amazon.

So there is plenty of cause for celebration.

In other news, the audiobook of my first thriller, When She Finds You, has been selected by US audiobook service Chirp for their annual holiday promotion.

As a result, the audiobook, normally priced $19.99, is just $3.99, saving a whopping 80%.

The promotion runs until Saturday, January 9, and is only available in the US. Click here to find out more.

I am continuing to make fair progress on my third thriller. As of today I am almost 56,000 words into the first draft, and the story is definitely taking shape, although it still needs A LOT of work.

As Ernest Hemingway famously said: 'The first draft of anything is s**t.'

I set myself the target of having the first draft done and dusted by the end of the year. I'm not sure that's going to happen, but I will be pretty close. So in January you'll mainly find me locked in my writing cave, re-writing, editing, polishing and re-polishing, until the book is the best it can be.

It's hard to be objective about your own work, but I've certainly enjoyed writing this one, which is always a good sign!

And I'm glad to say I already have a title for this one, unlike the last two, which I chose very late in the day. I'll be revealing the title in the New Year.

So, all that remains is for me to put on a silly Santa hat, pose in front of our tree, and thank you for sticking around in this strange, eventful year, and for being the best readers an author could ask for.

Have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year, and see you in 2021!


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