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Sam Carrington

Sam Carrington By James Huntley‘Saving Sophie’, was Sam’s debut psychological thriller, published in September 2016. It became a Kindle eBook bestseller, with the paperback hitting ‘The Bookseller Heatseeker’ chart at #8. Sam was named an Amazon Rising Star of 2016. Her next psychological thriller, ‘Bad Sister’, publishes in October 2017 in ebook and December in paperback.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing
    I live in Devon with my husband and three children. I worked for the NHS for 15 years, during which time I qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree I went to work for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. My experiences within this field inspired my writing. I left the service to spend time with my family, and to follow my dream of being a writer. I began writing short stories, then decided I wanted to move on to novels. The first manuscript I produced is now my ‘novel-in-a-drawer’ one, as although it gained agent interest, it didn’t get published. I entered the opening chapters of my next novel, ’Saving Sophie’, into the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger award and it was longlisted. This novel became my debut psychological thriller, published by Avon, HarperCollins. My second, ‘Bad Sister’ was published in ebook on October 5th and will come out in paperback 14th December.
  2. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    I’d love to have authors of varied genres at my book club. I used to only read crime and psychological thrillers before I joined my local book group seven years ago. Now, thanks to the members putting forward an array of books, I have pushed myself and sometimes read out of my comfort zone! So, with that in mind I’d like some crimies – Val McDermid would be great, Sharon Bolton – as she’s one of my favourite authors, then from the psychological genre, Louise Jensen and Lisa Hall (who is hilarious) and from the historical genre, Anna Mazzola, whose novel ‘The Unseeing’ proved to be one of the most-talked about novels in our group (we spent a long time discussing the book club questions, rather than just drinking wine!) I’d love some dark, horror types too – so Stephen King would be fab, alongside Chris Carter, whose novels I found to be pretty scary.
  3. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    When I get that germ of an idea that grows and takes shape in my head – then the early excitement of getting the first chapters down on the page (or on screen!) The first draft of a novel takes me about six months – I enjoy this first stage more than editing.
  4. Was there ever a book that you read, that didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it and left you disappointed?
    I hate mentioning books in a negative way – so won’t name it! But yes, there was a particular book that everyone I knew was raving about and I couldn’t wait to read, then when I did, it kind of fell flat for me. I’m not sure quite what it was, the style of writing, or the ending that didn’t work for me. It was made into a film and it was one of those very rare occasions where I preferred the film to the book.
  5. If you were starting your writing journey again, would you do anything differently?
    No, I don’t think I would. Looking back, the way my journey progressed was about right – I learned about rejections, I wrote a novel that is now in ‘the bottom drawer’ and kept at it until I had written something I was proud of. Everything that happened along the way either made me a better writer, or helped me develop personally. I also had time to learn more about the publishing world along the way. I wouldn’t change it.
  6. Bad Sister

  7. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    Ooh, I’ll often pick up books in shops and read the first lines, deciding there and then whether I’m going to buy it. So, there have been a lot of favourites, or ones that have gripped me from those opening few words. An example would be:
    ‘When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily’.
    This is the highly shocking and emotive beginning to Alice Seabold’s ‘The Almost Moon’. I was never sure how I felt about the novel, but that opening line stayed with me.
  8. From books and films, who has been your favourite bad guy?
    All-time favourite has to be Hannibal Lecter (from the books, film and TV series!) I think Hannibal’s complex character is pure brilliance and for me, he’s the most chilling character ever written. He is closely followed by Joe Carroll (played by the excellent James Purefoy) from the TV series, ‘The Following’. Charismatic, intelligent, completely creepy – all of which makes for compelling viewing!
  9. What do you think makes a good crime book?
    An unusual crime, lots of red herrings, pacey and suspenseful writing, great characters (I don’t have to like them, but I do need to be intrigued by them/their motives), an ending that leaves some things to the imagination.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    I’d take some from my TBR pile – I have about one hundred on my various shelves at home that I need to read! Three I haven’t got to yet are:
    ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep’ – Joanna Cannon
    ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ – Gail Honeyman
    ‘Broken Monsters’ – Lauren Beukes (Although that might set my nerves on edge if I was alone on a desert island!)
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I think that’s going to be personal and specific to each individual writer. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. For example, one thing I need to develop is my description – I often leave out details in favour of faster pace, however for my reader to build up a picture and visualise the place and characters, this needs to be weaved in. I do have several ‘how to’ books on writing and there are plenty of writing courses to help develop your skills. Ultimately, I feel the more you write, the better you’ll become and if you take on board feedback and constructive criticism, then the process might be quicker!
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Coffee.
  13. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website.
    I’ve written book three – it is due to go to my publisher very soon! This story follows Alice and Deborah – who are both mothers trying to find their way through a tragic event. Alice is the mother of a young man who is responsible for the death of Deborah’s son, who he came into contact with through an online gaming community. Connie Summers returns as the psychologist who is helping Alice manage her guilt – but Alice is convinced she can help Deborah through her grief, because in her mind they have both lost their sons.

Follow Sam Carrington on Twitter Sam Carrington for updates or check out her website at Sam Carrrington

Jaime Raven Writers Tips

The MotherJaime Raven, author of ‘The Mother’ shares her writers tips for aspiring authors.

I always advise budding writers to read as many books as they can in their chosen genres. And while reading make notes. Study the different styles of writers, especially structure and descriptive prose. And they should keep telling themselves that they will eventually write much better books than any of those they’ve read.

Sam Carrington Reveals New Book – Bad Sister

Bad SisterSam Carrington is back with a new book called ‘Bad Sister’ and it sounds like a thrilling story.

What the back cover says –

Stephanie is scared for her life. Her psychologist, Connie Summers, wants to help her face her fears, but Connie will never really understand her. Stephanie’s past has been wiped away for her own protection. Stephanie isn’t even her real name. But then, Dr Summers isn’t Connie’s real name either.

And that’s not all the women have in common. As Stephanie opens up about her troubled relationship with her brother, Connie is forced to confront her own dark family secrets.

When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it will have devastating consequences for both women.

Who is the victim?
Who is to blame?
Who is next?

Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Bad Sister will have fans of Sue Fortin, B.A. Paris and Linda Green hooked till the final page.

You can pre-order Bad Sister from Amazon .The ebook will be available from 5th October and the paperback will be available to buy from good bookshops from 14th December 2017.

Her Last Breath Book Tour – Extract

Her Last BreathOn the book tour for Tracy Buchanan’s new book ‘Her Last Breath’, enjoy an extract from the story.

Estelle’s doorbell went, shattering the memory.

‘Do you mind just waiting a moment while I answer the door?’ she said, wondering who it might be.

Louis nodded. ‘Of course.’

She skipped down the hallway, adrenaline buzzing from her interview. It made it all feel even more real, having a national newspaper journalist in her kitchen, talking about her life. Maybe she wasn’t such a fraud after all.

She opened the front door, surprised to see the son of her local butcher on the doorstep. Then she remembered she had a delivery due that day. ‘Of course! Come in, William,’ she said, leading the young red-cheeked teenager to her vast kitchen. He smiled shyly as he carried in the large wooden crate, various meats wrapped in white crinkly paper inside it. ‘Just here will be great,’ she said, gesturing to the kitchen top closest to the fridge. He placed it down and Estelle pulled out a five-pound note, handing it to him as a tip.

Louis smiled. ‘You get your meat delivered?’

‘They don’t usually do deliveries, but it’s impossible to lug around all the meat on the back of my pedal bike,’ she said. ‘So I sweet-talked the owner of the local butcher to do a weekly delivery. I think it’s important to support independent businesses whenever possible, and I’m lucky enough to be able to do so. Plus, it’s mega cheap,’ she added with a wink.

Louis turned to the butcher’s son. ‘How does it feel delivering meat to a soon-to-be published chef?’

‘Cool,’ William replied as he took the money. ‘Dad’s going to the book launch too, he’s really looking forward to it. Even got a new suit and everything.’

Estelle smiled, hiding the slight note of worry she felt. Her publicist Kim had been the one to come up with the idea of inviting her local suppliers to the launch. What better way to highlight just how clean and local Estelle was by having her butcher and greengrocer at her launch party to mingle with journalists? But now she was wondering if it would seem a bit contrived. Would people see through it?

Would they see through her?

You can buy Her Last Breath from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

If Ever I Fall Book Tour – Extract

If Ever I FallToday, I’m hosting the book tour for S.D Robertson’s, emotional new book called ‘If Ever I Fall’ and I’ve got an extract for you lucky people to enjoy.

Dan stood at the lounge window of his crappy flat and watched the snow overwhelm the communal garden. It was coming down thick and fast: a torrent of fat flakes racing each other to the ground.

Getting into the office tomorrow – deadline day, of course – would be a nightmare, although better from here in the suburbs than it would have been from out at the house. Then, once he got to work, he’d have to squeeze in all those weather-related stories: the sledging snaps; the inevitable school closures; the traffic chaos.

Perfect weather for Valentine’s Day. How romantic for all those lovebirds, he thought, envious of their happiness. There was a time, long ago, when he and Maria used to be like that: a happy young couple out on a date to celebrate Valentine’s. He could even remember the two of them walking home through falling snow one year, early on in their relationship, arm in arm and stuffed with expensive restaurant food.

Back then, they had been utterly content in each other’s company. It made Dan’s head hurt to think how great they used to be together. It gave him hope that they could still fix things, while also frustrating the hell out of him that they’d drifted so far apart. Once upon a time people used to call them the perfect couple. With hindsight, Dan could see why: they’d had that magic combination of being in love as well as best friends. They’d enjoyed a lot of the same books, films, pubs, clubs and restaurants. They’d largely liked and disliked the same people – and realised they didn’t need or want a big social group, since they were both happiest when it was just the two of them. And when their views had differed, such as on the topic of religion, each had respected the other’s opinion rather than trying to change it.

That was a million miles away from where they’d ended up. And whether it was snowing or not, Dan knew for sure that neither of them would ever again view Valentine’s Day the way they once had.

February the fourteenth was Sam’s birthday. Everything else paled into insignificance. She should have been turning sixteen. They should have been celebrating her milestone as a family. Instead, she was gone.

Absent again on her special day. Frozen in time. Fourteen forever, like the date.

Dan walked over to the coffee table and poured himself another drink from the open bottle of vodka. He’d not even bothered to replace the lid. What was the point? He’d be drinking it all tonight. And whatever else it took.

The pain was always there. It never left him. But days like this tore at the wound; they poked and prodded at it, allowing no respite.

He’d barely done a thing at work. Even Maurice hadn’t been able to keep up with all his cigarette breaks. Several people had asked if he was all right, sensing that something was wrong; he’d said he was fine, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. And then at 2 p.m., unable to bear it any more, he’d left for a fictional hospital appointment.

It was 6.30 p.m. now. He’d been drinking for four hours: first in a quiet corner of a local pub and then, once the after-work crowd arrived, he’d returned here. Not home. He couldn’t bring himself to call it that. He still held out hope that he’d be able to reconcile with Maria and move back to his real home. He had to believe that was possible for the sake of his own sanity.

If only Maria was on the same page. Last week she’d flown off the handle because he’d not found time to call in and fix a leaking tap in the downstairs bathroom.

You can buy If Ever I Fall from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.