I'm very pleased to welcome author Michelle Kelly to my blog today. Michelle is talking about her latest book, a crime novel entitled When I Wasn't Watching. Michelle also writes romance and erotic fiction under the name of Kelly Lawrence.
I asked Michelle how she first got into writing. Here's what she said:
“I've been writing stories since I was tiny really. I used to write them for my friends at school when I should have been working! I've only been writing professionally for just under two years however. I was made redundant from my job as a literacy teacher and I thought 'now's the time to give this thing a go.' I was really lucky, or perhaps it was Fate; I had an agent and my first book deal within six weeks of making that decision.”
Her first book, Wicked Games was released in June 2013. It's an erotic romance published by Black Lace. “I caught the market at the right time, in the wake of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon,” added Michelle.
“After Wicked Games I got a contract to write a series of novellas for Mills and Boon. As a reader however, crime is my first love. Then I was reading an article about the recent re-release of a notorious teenage child murderer, and the characters and main plot for When I Wasn't Watching just came into my head. It was a story I just had to write, and I was about a third of the way in when I realised 'this is the stuff I really want to be writing.' I still write romance though, my latest novella Borgia Heat is published in November.
Michelle's crime novel is set in her home city of Coventry and I wondered if that made things easier or more tricky for her when writing the book.
“It was easier in that I knew my setting, but difficult in some ways,” said Michelle. “Knowing what to keep and what to change, and there's always the worry of offending someone...”
Asked what she was working on at the moment, Michelle said: “I've just finished the first round of edits on my first cozy mystery Murder at the Yoga Cafe. It's the first in a series and will be released in the US next year by St Martins Press. I'm now in the planning stages for my second crime novel, a loose sequel to When I Wasn't Watching.”
Wishing Michelle every success for her future books, here's some info about When I Wasn't Watching and a short extract.
Every parent’s worst nightmare…
About When I Wasn't Watching.
Eight years ago, Lucy and Ethan Randall’s little boy, Jack, was abducted and murdered by teenager Terry Prince. A moment’s distraction had ripped a family apart – and with the loss of their son came the collapse of the Randalls’ marriage. Tortured by memories, Lucy was left to battle her grief while raising her remaining son alone.
Now, Jack’s killer has walked free, giving him the second chance at life that little Jack never had. Lucy’s wounds newly opened, her world is turned upside down a second time when another child goes missing – and she can’t shake the suspicion that Prince has struck again.
When DI Matt Winston, the same officer who found Jack’s body, is assigned to the case, the echoes of Lucy’s past grow ever more insistent. Bound by their tragic shared experiences, Matt and Lucy grow closer – and become fixated on bringing the culprit to justice. But now history has repeated itself, answers seem even further out of reach. And for Lucy, it’s time to face her ghosts, and ask the most terrible question of all: can she ever really forgive herself?
When the phone had rung Lucy had expected it to be Susan from work. They had arranged a movie night on Saturday and she had been looking forward to it; even treating herself to a new pair of jeans. So she answered cheerfully enough, then frowned as a throat cleared on the other end of the line before asking, after a slight hesitation, for Mrs Randall. She paused before realising the voice was asking for her.
‘It’s Ms Wyatt now,’ she said firmly. There was after all a new Mrs Randall. ‘I got divorced five years ago.’
‘I do apologise.’ It was a male voice, quite official sounding and also, Lucy thought, nervous. As soon as she thought it a sense of dread twisted low in her belly.
‘But you were Mrs Lucy Randall? Jack Randall’s mother?’
Lucy felt as though her throat was full of sand as she spoke.
‘Yes, who is this?’
She hoped to God it wasn’t the press. They had hung around enough in the days after Jack’s death and the weeks leading up to the trial, and then again when Ethan had left her. They had been sympathetic but still intrusive and she had always refused to comment, an instinctive need for privacy taking precedence over the urge to talk, to share and to rail against the injustices Fate had dealt her. But why on earth would it all be dragged up now?
Lucy realised she was gripping the phone so hard her knuckles were white, and she couldn’t process the words coming through.
Until she heard ‘Parole Board’ and her guts twisted further.
Ethan and herself had been asked to attend a meeting with them a few months before, but she had let Ethan deal with it. Afterwards, he had seemed pretty certain that the general consensus was that Terry Prince wasn’t getting out any time soon. But then Ethan always had the knack of hearing exactly what he wanted to hear and no more.
‘I’m sorry, can you repeat that please?’ Lucy said, her voice sounding far away. Inside she was screaming no no no, because she didn’t want to hear what she suddenly already knew.
If you'd like to read more or buy When I Wasn't Watching, here's the Amazon link:
Thank you Michelle.