Five years ago today I was published for the first time, launching my writing career with the first book in my Blackthorn series. I marked the day today by working on Blood Broken, the final book.
Anyone who has been supporting me for a while will know I always celebrate Blackthorn’s anniversaries with blog posts and giveaways. I’m holding back on all of that for now though until our finale’s release, especially with it not being far around the corner.
In some ways it feels a long time since Blood Shadows was published, in other ways time has passed so quickly. I now have eight books out there (Haven: A Lowtown Novel included in that), am almost at the end of Blood Broken, and am underway with the second Lowtown book too.
It’s been a unique journey from day one. It’s certainly never been short of twists and turns, some to even put my Blackthorn and Lowtown plotting to shame! I’ll share more about that when I mark the end of Blackthorn though.
However, a new twist has made a very timely appearance today. I can safely say I’ve never been able to mark a Blackthorn anniversary this way before! I’ve actually had a character in a book named after me! Not only that, but the book has been published by Blackthorn’s publisher today of all days. This was in no way timed. Bookouture didn’t even know about it.
I want to say a huge thank you to Kierney Scott for making the decision to name a supporting character after me in her debut crime thriller, Now You See Me, the first book in her Detective Jess Bishop series (click on the book for a link to Amazon).
Although we’ve never met, Kierney and I have known each other for six years, both having entered the New Voices writing competition back in 2011 – the competition that led to Bookouture discovering and selecting me to be their launch author. This will be Kierney’s first book with Bookouture and I’m beyond thrilled to see her realise her dreams of being published by them too.
It was a few months ago that Kierney first got in touch to let me know she was naming Detective Jess Bishop’s best friend after me, but was uncertain whether to use my married or maiden name. When I found out I’d be “playing” a clinical psychologist, we opted for the latter.
You may not know that I studied psychology for my degree, having strongly considered becoming a clinical psychologist afterwards. Back then I had a fascination with Forensic Psychology, particularly abnormal behaviour and psychopathology. I even managed to arrange to get my copy of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon/The Silence of the Lambs signed by Welsh legend Sir Anthony Hopkins, aka Dr Hannibal Lecter in the film version, when he was back home in my neck of the woods visiting his mum (no, sadly, I didn’t get to meet him). As if that wasn’t enough, I named my first car that I used to drive back and forth to university Clarice (after Clarice Starling). Well, the number plate did start with CL.
A couple of years into my degree I’d resolved I would be much more at ease exploring my fascination through fiction rather than fact though, and turned my attention to the safer option of working on psychological thrillers in the background instead. To be honest, I thought that was the genre I’d launch my career with, even after Blackthorn was already several years underway in the background.
So now, more than twenty years later, to finally be a clinical psychologist working with the FBI, even if only in fiction, is such a fun twist of events for me. OK, so after I’ve read Kierney’s book “fun” might no longer be the word I choose to use!! I’ve heard it’s more than a little brutal in there!
Here’s wishing Kierney a wonderful publication day and every success with her book. I truly am flattered that you did this, Kierney. And if anyone reading this dives in to read the book before me, no spoilers please!!
For now, it’s back to Blood Broken. Thank you so much for your patience as you await news on its publication date, something I will share as soon as it’s confirmed. And talking of Caleb, hopefully now you understand a little more about why I love writing the dark and complex characters that I do.
And, of course, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported Blackthorn – whether for 5 years, or 5 days so far. Team Blackthorn, I couldn’t do this without you.
Take care. ❤️