On the Edge

On a perfectly normal family holiday to the south coast of England, I wandered to the edge of this cliff. It was the silence that drew me there - not until you get right to the lip of the land does the sound of the surf warn you of the danger ahead. After a few seconds - enough to film this video - my vertigo kicked in and I scurried back to the path. The sheep who sleep on the edge watched me retreat with disdain.

Later that day, I wrote a short story about a woman who stands on this spot, looking for her family, scared she may fall. Little does she know that she's already fallen.

The story, called The Lily Stains White, is available for free by clicking the orange banner at the top of this page. 

Cliff top near the Smugglers Inn, Weymouth UK

How a short course helped my publishing career

A strange thing occurred while I was taking the Professional Writing Academy’s Introduction to Writing Crime Fiction course. 

I was working on an exercise for the first class—we had to write about a detective—when a woman walked into my office and sat on the pull-out sofa bed. She was slight and reserved, but commanded my attention. She crossed her legs and bounced one child-sized foot on the parquet, allowing me time to jot down a backstory that followed her like perfume.

At the time, I was also writing a novel, a domestic thriller that didn’t feature a detective, but as I settled down each week to tackle another exercise for the course, this woman came back. She wanted in on my novel.

For the rest of my guest post about how a crime-writing course helped secure my publishing deal, visit The Professional Writing Academy.