The Crimewriting ‘Oscars’

Hi, All

I had a great time last night. I went to the annual Diamond Dagger Dinner. This took place in a very nice hotel near Tower Bridge in London and we had the chance to meet and greet old friends and make new ones over a nice glass of fizz before sitting down to a sumptuous meal. After dinner, of course, came the business of the evening. The presentation of the daggers. The event is hosted by the Crime Writers’ Association and the daggers are awarded to authors who’ve excelled in the field of crime writing. I had a special interest in being there this year because my friend and fellow Lion Fiction author, Fiona Veitch Smith http://fiona.veitchsmith.com/ had been shortlisted for the Endeavour Historical Dagger with her novel The Jazz Files (set in 1920 – and it’s a very good read). As it happened the dagger went to David Young for his novel Stasi Child https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi_Child_(novel) but making it to the short list is no mean achievement and I’m thrilled for Fiona. That’s Fiona with me in the picture. As you can see, she came dressed in the period of her novel, which was a lovely touch.

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The Diamond Dagger, the supreme award of the evening was given to Peter James:http://www.peterjames.com/books/ and if you haven’t come across him, he’s well worth checking out.

All in all it was a great evening. I hope to be there again next year.

Paddington Book Festival

I had a great time the other night. I was invited along to Paddington Library to give a talk, primarily about my first novel, Game, Set and Murder and writing in general. A nice mix of people came and they turned out to be a very lively crowd, they asked lots of interesting questions and together we all had a very jolly, friendly time, as I think you can tell from the photographs, which were taken by the librarian,Laurence Foe. paddington1 paddington2 I found it very exciting to see my book set up as a library book, complete with the date stamp page on the inside. Growing up I wouldn’t have had anything to read if it hadn’t been for libraries and I’m grateful for their presence and very glad to support them. They’re absolutely vital to any community. This event was part of the Paddington Book Festival https://www.westminster.gov.uk/library-events and it looks as though things are going very well.

Publication Day

Whoo-hoo! The day has finally arrived. End Of The Roadie is now OUT THERE, on this side of the Pond, at least. Readers in The United States will have to wait until September 27th until the book is available. I must admit I jumped the gun a bit and had the book launch last night on the 14th July. It was hosted by the Arts Centre Group https://www.artscentregroup.org.uk/ at a very nice venue in Covent Garden and it was great fun. After nibbles and a mingle We had a kind of chat-show type question and answer session. Gordon James, the ACG Chair was in the . . . well, chair; with me in the hot seat (pun intended). Lots of questions about the new book in particular and writing in general came up from the floor and I think it’s true to say that an interesting and entertaining time was had by all. Gordon Adams and myself 14.07.16 Taking care of business 14.07.16 And I received a wonderful publication day gift! The Lovereading site has included End Of The Roadie in their Summer Reading campaign with a wonderful review. You can check it out here: https://www.lovereading.co.uk/book/16117/The-End-of-the-Roadie-by-Elizabeth-Flynn.html

Back To The Present

I might not have mentioned this but part of my day job involves running a mortuary in hospital. It can be fascinating work and not, as you might think, morbid. It’s an honour to be able to help people at a difficult time in their lives and to guide them through the process of dealing with a death in the family. It’s also proved to be very useful for background and research for my novels.

But there’s a side to running a mortuary you might not be aware of. Film and television companies often need to use such a place because of the need for authentic locations.

And that’s what’s happening today. A crew from the BBC are here filming part of an episode for the twentieth anniversary series of ‘Silent Witness’. I’ve got people crawling all over the place with light metres, clip boards and mouth-pieces, giving and receiving instructions from yet more people out of sight. They’re rehearsing and shooting and doing it all again – and again (with different lighting or some other variation). It’s all great fun. I can’t give away any details but it looks set to be an exciting story and well worth watching.

It also takes me back to when I was an actress. I did my share of hanging around on location waiting to be called to the set. I did more hanging around than acting, of course, but that’s the nature of the beast.

Thinking about this also makes me aware of a very sweet irony. I’m sure you know that there are many more actresses than there are acting jobs for them and it was no different when I was treading the boards. The one golden rule is that you have to be pro-active to get work; you’ve got to have a lot of drive because no job ever, EVER, falls into your lap. Well, the tables have turned for me on a few occasions in that regard because now and again the director has asked, ASKED, if I’d mind playing the part of the mortuary attendant. Yes, the show-business unthinkable has happened – I didn’t have to hustle for the work. Here’s a picture from one of those times to prove it.084 OK, silence everybody please . . . and action.

The Pride on the Move

Whoo-hoo! Let me tell you about last Saturday. Two of my fellow lionesses, C F Dunn (http://cfdunn.co.uk/), Fiona Veitch Smith (http://fiona.veitchsmith.com/) and myself have decided to move on from statues of lions (see: previous post – Lionesses on the Prowl) and head off in search of the real thing. We hot-footed it down to deepest Kent to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation (www.whf.org.uk). We had a really exciting time making the acquaintance of some very impressive beasts, as you can see. Lion
There we were jumping up and down and going ‘wow’, ‘look at that’ and ‘ooh-er’ but the big cats themselves were . . . (yawn) ‘yeah, whatever’. Unimpressed by us humans? Yes, I think so. Anyway we got some great shots which we hope will help us to get some useful publicity for our books.
We crowned the occasion with the, now obligatory, selfie. This was taken on the banks of the Medway, across from Rochester Castle, not that you’d know.
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Those little cuddly-toy lions come courtesy of Fiona and mine is now sitting by my computer at home. I’m afraid he hasn’t got a name yet but I’ll sure he’ll get one soon.

Anyway, we had a great time and, hopefully, there’ll be more news about books and lions very soon.

The End Of The Roadie – is in sight

Mucho excitement chez-moi today. I’ve now got a firm publication date for The End Of The Roadie, the third D.I. Angela Costello mystery. Also . . . Ta-raaa! Here’s a picture of the front cover.

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I think it’s lovely. Artist, Lucy Davey has done Lion Fiction and me proud once again.

It’s due out on 15th July and, as I’ve already said in a previous post, this murder mystery leads Angela and her team behind the scenes at a very famous London music venue and she finds herself becoming involved in the life of a mega-star.

Having worked back-stage at a few London theatres myself, writing this story gave me a bit of a trip down memory lane – happy days. For more detailed information about how pop/rock road crews work I sought the assistance of an old buddy, Richard Bryce, an ex-roadie, who was enormously helpful – Thanks Richard.

Lionesses on the Prowl

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Hi everybody,   I had a great time on Saturday.   I got the chance to make the acquaintance of, writer, Sue Russell (A Shed in a Cucumber Field: http://www.slrussell.net/) and hook up again with two of my fellow Lion Fiction authors, C F Dunn (The Secret of the Journal, a five-book serial: http://www.cfdunn.co.uk/) and Fiona Veitch Smith (The Jazz Files:http://fiona.veitchsmith.com/tag/poppy-denby/) and  we hit the West End.   We were actually hoping for a photo-opportunity with the Lions in Trafalgar Square to help promote our novels but a huge festival was going on there and we couldn’t even get close.   The music sounded good, though, and it all looked very lively.

So we came back along the Mall to check out the lions opposite Buckingham Palace.   Big thanks go to Sue for her patient photography but, alas, the lions themselves are a little too highly placed and we had to content ourselves with sitting on the wall beneath them.   Never mind, we’re resourceful ladies so . . . watch this space because we’ve got the pride of our, er, ‘pride’ to uphold.

A Third Angela Costello Novel Is On Its Way!

Hi, everyone,

Just wanted to share with you the good news that, today, I’ve signed a contract with Lion Hudson, publishers, for a third Angela Costello Novel to be published next year under the Lion Fiction imprint.

The title is: End Of The Roadie

I’ve teased you a little in the past with the setting for this story and I can now tell you that it’s set in the Pop/Rock world.   Angela and her team are called to one of London’s foremost concert venues in Hammersmith, in London, to investigate when the roadie for a mega-star is murdered.   Is the pop singer involved?   Could it be another member of the road  crew?   Or perhaps the culprit is somebody connected with the supporting act?   Once again there are no shortage of suspects and Angela finds herself backstage in very unfamiliar surroundings.

Watch this space for more information.

Dining in Mystery Style

IMG_0102 (2)Last night (30th June) was one of the highlights of the mystery writer’s calendar. The Crime Writers’ Association celebrated the Diamond Dagger Awards in Central London.   The event, as you can probably imagine, involved a meal, some fine wines and plenty of stimulating conversation.   I went along with my friend, Cindy Kent and we had a load of fun.   Cindy used to be a pop-singer who later became a broadcaster and is now a vicar.   She keeps her broadcasting hand in on Premier Radio quite often, though, and she still sings a mean song.

Writing, as you’re probably aware, is mainly a solitary occupation, so it can seem very odd to find yourself in a room surrounded by other writers.   But it’s a great experience to compare notes with others in the same line as yourself; we might all be doing a similar thing but everybody has a different story to tell – oops!   No pun intended.

The event takes place every year and a variety of awards are given out: The CWA International, Short Story, Non-Fiction, Endeavour Historical and the CWA Debut Dagger. The highlight is the presentation of the prestigious Diamond Dagger Award, which has been won this year by Catherine Aird, whom you can read more about here: http://www.catherineaird.com/