I am delighted to be joined today by author B.A. Steadman, on the final day of the amazing #blogtour for her latest novel, Death and the Good Son, and what a tour it has been! My fellow #BlogHounds have done a sterling job! And in case you missed any of it, here’s the line up . . .
Anyway, back to the final post of the tour and I am delighted to hand over to Bernie to find out how she became a writer . . .
Like many people, I just didn’t find time to write when I had a full-time job. I taught English up to A level. The prep and the marking were phenomenal, plus I had many other responsibilities as Deputy Head to do with safeguarding and child protection. Life was full. The best I managed was the odd play or comic poem for an event.
Then I attended a ‘preparation for retirement’ seminar, and my life changed. The nice man said that if I was able to manage on a smaller pension, I could leave early, because teachers can do that. No point hanging about in a job you find stressful, he said. True, I said, and had a little cry.
So I handed in my notice and left in the summer. It’s the first job I have walked away from without a single regret, much as I loved the students and the staff. ‘You’re too young’, I heard, ‘what on earth will you do with your time?’ I already knew; I would write.
I took the following few months off as much-needed recovery time, and began my first novel, that eventually became Death and Deception, in January 2012. Straight in, no practice, no learning, just had a go. Well, it’s the best way to get words on the page. At least I didn’t have angst and performance anxiety – that all came later.
I wrote and re-wrote that MS (manuscript), tried it out on friends, re-wrote more, and finally decided, in early 2014, to take the ‘ten-minutes with an agent’ option at Bristol Crimefest. I got good feedback, but no offers. More re-writing was needed. Life was a bit bleak. Six standard rejections from agents followed. They just weren’t taking on unknowns in the crime field. It was too risky for them. Bless. So I stuck in the drawer and wrote a YA thriller. I also joined a writing group and had a go at different genres, went on several courses, and to some festivals. All very enjoyable and I felt my confidence as a writer grow. It is a craft you really do have to practise.
Then, in 2015, just before hubby and I were about to fly off to Australia for six weeks, a new publisher, Bloodhound Books, put out an ad asking for crime submissions. Without getting too many hopes up I dusted it off and sent it along. I got the call the day before we were due to fly – send the rest, we like it. Heart pounding, I did. We were in Perth when I got the message – they would publish me! I had to somehow print, sign and copy the contract from twelve thousand miles away. It was odd celebrating without the usual gang at home, but we managed. Australian champagne is as good as any!
Since then I have had several short stories published in charity anthologies, and have completed my second novel in the DI Dan Hellier series. Life is good, and I’m really excited about Death and the Good Son coming out on the 9th December. Dreams really can come true; you just need to have a story you’d like to tell, and then you just have to tell it, one word at a time.
Thanks so much for joining me today Bernie! Thank goodness for the brilliant team at Bloodhound Books eh?! They certainly know how to spot fantastic talent!
Death and the Good Son is available to buy now over at Amazon UK
Here’s the blurb . . .
Life is good for DI Dan Hellier. He has made several successful drugs’ busts and even the Assistant Chief Constable is smiling. But the discovery of two headless, handless corpses buried in the bog on Dartmoor will test his team to their limits. How are they expected to identify the bodies when nobody has reported them missing?
The pressure mounts when the death of a teenager from an overdose of Mephedrone plunges Dan into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and drug-dealing?
Just how far will people go to get what they want?
And what links death to the good son?
This investigation will challenge Dan’s decisions and beliefs as he races to catch a criminal before another child dies.
About the author . . .
Bernie taught English for many years and completed her debut novel, Death and Deception, when she escaped the classroom and could finally stop marking essays.
She lives in Devon with her husband and two marauding cats which do not help her concentration at all.
In her spare time, apart from walking and yoga, Bernie is a Trustee for an animal sanctuary in Somerset, a role she finds rewarding, except for the moment when she brought home the cats, at which point she questioned her sanity.
She has just completed book 2 in the series, Death and The Good Son, which will be published on 9th December, just in time for Christmas. What a nice idea for a present…
In book 2, we learn more about Dan Hellier and his life, and get caught up in a bizarre set of murders involving bodies in the bog on Dartmoor. All in a day’s work for Devon police.