Thursday, 18 July 2019

Audiobook special offer

I love audiobooks - I listen while running, doing housework, on trains, basically anytime I can put in my earbuds. It's a great way to reclaim time.

So of course I'm really pleased that my own books are all available in audio, and the latest, What She Saw Last Night is on special this week in the Kobo sale.

It's narrated by the fantastic Carolyn Bonnyman, and UK listeners can get it for only £6.99 this weekend (usually £19.99).

Enjoy!



Saturday, 13 July 2019

The Incident Room



Very pleased to say that I'll be appearing in the Orion Incident Room at Harrogate again this year, this time recording a Two Crime Writers podcast with a Just a Minute twist! I'm pretty good at talking for a minute, but deviation, repetition and hesitation is usually a major feature of my public speaking, so I'll have to do my best to rein it in...

Lots of other cool stuff going on in the Incident Room and at the wider festival (see below). Hope to see you there if you're in Harrogate next weekend.


Friday 19th July, Library Room, Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

9:30-11:00: Two Crime Writers Play ‘Just a Minute’ (Steve Cavanagh, Luca Veste, Mason Cross, Adrian McKinty, Stephanie Marland, Marnie Riches, Paul Finch)

11:30-12:30: A Journey to Publication with Tracy Fenton (Rob Sinclair, Alison Belsham, AJ Park, Amy McLellan, Louisa de Lange)

13:00-13:30: The Wreckage Proof Signing and Giveaway with Robin Morgan-Bentley

14:00-14:55: Desert Island Crime (Isabel Ashdown, Mari Hannah, Emma Kavanagh, Tim MacGabhann, Chris McGeorge, Oscar du Muriel)

15:30-16:45: Crime Girl Gang Podcast Live Event (Elle Croft, Niki Mackay, Victoria Selman, Emma Rowley, Lara Dearman, Elisabeth Carpenter, Isabel Ashdown)

17:15-18:00: Orion author meet and greet (All welcome)

18:30-19:15: One Night with Ian Rankin


Saturday, 6 July 2019

On libraries




I've just finished a mini-tour of libraries for What She Saw Last Night (also available in all good bookshops, since you asked) and had a brilliant time, visiting eleven libraries at my last count, including Dundee, Strathaven, Saltcoats, East Kilbride, Lanark and lots more.

It was lovely to meet so many people and talk to them about the new book, and it was cool to hear about other people's experiences of taking the sleeper train to London - almost without exception, somebody in every crowd had taken the trip, and had opinions on it.

Everywhere I went, I was struck by how uniformly awesome librarians are, going above and beyond the call of duty to drum up attendance, make posters, do the social media blitz, provide home baking, arrange displays, offer lifts from stations, and even organise cheese and wine at one event.


It reminded me of an article I wrote for a newspaper a few years ago about how important libraries are to me, and how vital they are to local communities.

Unfortunately, the piece was spiked when they ran out of room, as is the way, but I dug it out and thought I would post it here for anyone who's interested.

You'll have to imagine your own punning tabloid title, I'm afraid...

***


"I know a lot of people who say they're writing a novel or a script, but what they're actually doing is sitting in Starbucks with a laptop talking to everyone about writing a novel."

I was part of an audience of several hundred people. Despite that, I had the uneasy feeling that comic book legend Mark Millar was talking specifically about me.

It was October 2008, and I was attending Mark's packed event at the Encounters festival, hosted by North Lanarkshire Libraries. Encounters runs every year. It's a fantastic free festival which brings big name speakers to libraries across North Lanarkshire. People who would never normally consider attending a literary festival can see a Booker Prize winner or a celebrity chef speak at their local library, absolutely free.


I was working two jobs at the time, and on a tight budget with a young family and an impending wedding, so the free ticket was very welcome. The local libraries were a lifeline to me in other ways. They meant I had access to all the books I could read without having to worry about finding extra money in the budget. Airdrie Library had a particularly good audiobook selection, and I listened to dozens of novels while delivering pizza in the evenings. The libraries also provided a quiet, indoor space to get some writing done.

Only that was the part I wasn't really taking advantage of.

I had wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember. I had penned a few short stories, submitted some magazine articles, and had even started work on a novel a couple of times.


Actually writing a whole book, however, was one of those resolutions that gets renewed in vain every New Year. I wasn't worried, I knew one day soon I would knuckle down and start writing that book.

But sitting in that audience, I suddenly realised I was kidding myself. I was the guy Mark Millar was talking about. The guy sitting in a coffee shop thinking about writing a book without ever actually doing it.

I didn't want to be that guy.

 Mark's words really spurred me on. I had an idea for a novel, so I started writing a bit of it every day – 500 words at a time. I began submitting stories to competitions and magazines. Within six months, I had a literary agent. I kept writing. Three years later, I had a book deal.

I don't know if I would be a published author without that gentle kick in the ass from Mark Millar, but I'm almost certain I wouldn't be a writer without libraries. A room full of books that you can take away and read with no restrictions is an amazing concept that we sometimes take for granted – just ask any smart eight-year-old. It's why it's incredibly important that libraries are protected as a public resource, particularly the smaller community libraries that reach people who might not be able to make it to a bigger town.


Flash forward seven years to October 2015. I've published two novels and there's another on the way. I've just found out The Samaritan has been selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. I've been booked for big literary events like the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Bloody Scotland. But I'm just as pleased about my invitation to appear at Airdrie Library to speak as part of Encounters. Back where I started.

I read a chapter from my next novel, talk a little bit about myself and wait for the first question.

"How does it feel to be a proper writer?"

It feels pretty great.

***

If you'd like me to visit your library, just ask them to get in touch. If your library is located in Scotland, funding for author events is available through the Scottish Book Trust's excellent Live Literature programme.



What She Saw Last Night opens with a night train, a dead body, and a missing child. You can read more about it here, and it's available in the UK now:

Trade paperback (large format)

ebook

Audio


Thursday, 27 June 2019

Review round up



Some great blog reviews of the new one...

What She Saw Last Night is "a character driven thriller, with a hugely believable and relatable protagonist and strong supporting players. And unusual and cracking story line. An absolute winner" -  Suze Reviews

"Expertly plotted and perfectly paced What She Saw Last Night will have you racing full steam ahead all the way through!" - Chapter in my Life

"Great tension, plenty of twists and turns" - Independent Book Reviews

"Mixes old school glamour with a modern day mystery" - The Book Trail


Amazon and Goodreads reviews are pretty good too (well, except the one guy who's bafflingly upset that I wrote a book with a female protagonist).

If you read the book and liked it, I'd really appreciate if you could post a short review - it's lovely to read and really makes a difference.

If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? Get it right here...



UK trade paperback (large format)
Waterstones
Amazon
WHSmith
Hive
Big Cartel (signed copies)
UK audio
Audible

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

See you at Crimefest?



It's that time of year again, time to head south to sunny Bristol for the annual Crimefest weekend.

If you want to see me (and other, more interesting people), here's where I'll be...

The Plot Thickens: Where DO You Get Your Ideas? | Friday, 13:40 – 14:30
J.P. Delaney
Clare Empson
Laura Shepherd-Robinson
M.B. Vincent
Participating Moderator: Mason Cross

Missing: Characters Who Aren’t There Anymore | Saturday, 12:50 – 13:40
Mason Cross
M.J. Ford
Cara Hunter
S.W. Williams
Participating Moderator: Steve Mosby

The full programme is available here, and as always there's lots of great stuff on.

I've been doing a lot of events for What She Saw Last Night (photos soon) and it seems to be going down pretty well so far. If you haven't got it yet, it's available at the fine establishments below.

If you've already read it and enjoyed it, posting a quick review is always appreciated and is a big help!


Trade paperback (large format)

ebook

Audio


Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin ... but there's no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don't believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn't the truth...

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Presumed Dead - US publication


Presumed Dead is published this week in the USA, available in paperback, ebook and audio.  A change of publisher means the ebook should be a little less expensive than previous ones, which I hope means more readers will pick it up!

I hope you like this one. I think this might be my favourite of the Carter Blake series, and it's certainly my best reviewed. If you do like it, I'd love it if you would post a short review too.

Get it in all the usual places, and scroll down to check out the blurb...

Trade paperback

ebook

Audio





THEN

Adeline Connor was the Devil Mountain Killer's final victim. After she was gunned down, the murderer disappeared and the killing spree ended.

NOW

Carter Blake has been hired to do what he does best: to find someone. But this time he's hunting a dead girl - Adeline Connor's brother is convinced she's still alive.

But this town doesn't want an outsider digging up old business. And as Blake gets deeper into the case, it starts to become clear that the murders didn't just stop fifteen years ago.

The killer is on the hunt again.

***************

Praise for Mason Cross:

"My kind of book" - Lee Child

"Not to be missed" - Daily Mail

"Mason Cross is a thriller writer for the future who produces the kind of fast-paced, high octane thrillers that I love to read." - Simon Kernick

"Engrossing" - Publishers Weekly

"Terrific stuff!" - Ian Rankin

"So pacy I'm exhausted! Definitely one to read if you like your thrillers thrilling" - Emma Kavanagh

Thursday, 18 April 2019

What She Saw Last Night is published today in the UK!


What She Saw Last Night, my first ever standalone thriller after five books in the Carter Blake series, is published in the UK today.

The book opens aboard the Caledonian Sleeper train from London to the Scottish Highlands. It begins with a dead body, a missing child, and a mystery...

You can buy it now in trade paperback, ebook and audio - links to all the usual outlets are right here:

Trade paperback (large format)

ebook

Audio



I hope you like it. If you do, please consider leaving a short review. These days, customer reviews are more and more important in deciding what books are promoted, which get supermarket slots etc, so every one helps! 

Where's the best place to leave a review? The honest answer is Amazon - personally, I'm happy with whatever way you want to get my books: Waterstones, an independent store, the library, second hand shops, but if you're looking for the place where reviews have most traction, that's the one.

So without further ado, here's everything else you need to know about the book...




A secret that could kill her.
A truth no one believes...

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin ... but there's no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don't believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn't the truth.