Wednesday, 25 November 2015

I have some great news - I've inked a deal with Caffeine Nights!

I have some great news - I've inked a deal with Caffeine Nights!






In 2011, I entered my Glasgow crime novel, Vile City in a crime writing competition for a first novel. I won and thought now I've got a great chance of finally getting the thriller published. 

I sent it out to agents and publishers, had some great responses but all so close and no cigar. The closest I came was a publisher who wanted to do it as an eBook only. 

Now a publisher I have long since admired, Caffeine Nights, who have one of my all-time favourite authors on their books, horror king Shaun Hutson, have offered me a publishing deal. They loved the book and the humour. 

The book is the first in the Detective in a Coma series and won't be out until 2017, but I'm so freaking excited. I'm already halfway through writing the follow up, Cannibal City


One of the crime scenes from Vile City 


Meet DI Duncan Waddell 

Vile City features DI Duncan Waddell who's starting to hate the city he once loved because of all the horrors he's seen. He's overweight, borderline diabetic, but it's his wit that gets him through the day. 

Vile City also tells the story of Shelley Craig and her battle to escape after she's drugged and kidnapped by a sex gang. Shelley's a modern girl, battling to get home and will do anything to reach her goal. 

One character didn't so much as yell for my attention as grab me by the arm and bark: "GET WRITING."

He was DC Stevie Campbell and since he was attacked by a suspect with a broken bottle, he's been in a coma, but his friend DI Waddell is able to speak to him. 


Is Stevie really in a coma?

Can Waddell really speak to him, or is he losing the plot? 

Or, is Waddell the one in the coma? 

At this point, I don't even know myself, but I hope this Life on Mars type twist will intrigue the reader. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

It's called fiction not fact - What I learnt from a Gotham recap

The brilliant Robin Lord Taylor


And here he is in The Walking Dead.
The new season of one of my favourite shows, Gotham was starting (isn't Walking Dead star Robin Lord Taylor great as Penguin) and I couldn't remember what happened in the season finale so I decided to look for a recap.

I came across this recap
Titled a recap, it was more like a hatchet job.

Honesty, you'd think the show had slept with the writer's mamma and he had his dad had caught them at it, because they tore into the show in what was meant to be a recap and not a review. 

The main beef seemed to be that it wasn't real to life.

Of course, the writer forgot one key thing - GOTHAM IS FICTION!


It's not a documentary, or a self-help guide: its fiction. It ain't real!

I had a similar experience when Throwaways first came out, when a prison officer reviewed it and complained that my two intrepid detectives would never have been allowed to interview a prison teacher in the prison. Of course I do my research, but I'm writing fiction. 



I'm currently working on Cannibal City where a serial killer is abducting men and eating their livers. Once its published maybe the person who savaged Gotham will read it and realise its not meant to be a manual aimed at cannibals! 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Don't Let the Bullies Win - How to Get your confidence back is out now


Don’t Let the Bullies Win: How to get your confidence, back is aimed at a much neglected group, the adult survivors of bullying, whether that bullying took place at school, in the workplace or in the confines of a relationship.

This book was written by a bully survivor and is part misery memoir/self-help and will aim to do exactly what the title suggests.

The emphasis is firmly on dealing with the aftermath of bullying, whether it’s still going on or happened years ago, and making the bullied person feel more confident using a mixture of chatty advice, humour and fun exercises.

Inside this book there are tips and strategies on:
•           How to stop blaming yourself for what happened
•           How to stop bullying and bullying behaviour from ruining your life and your relationships
•           Learning to like yourself 
•           Standing up for yourself, including how to say no to people
•           Learning to let go of what happened to you
•           Helping yourself to feel better without relying on others
•           Facing up to the bully

Also includes tips on dealing with difficult people.

Note - to keep the cost down so the book can help as many people as possible, Don't Let the Bullies Win is currently only available in eBook form. 


Friday, 14 August 2015

Secrets to getting published - from someone who knows

You can have a love in with your book or send the damn thing out.

Okay, you've written the best book you can. What next?

You could shove it in a drawer, gathering dust, until you’re dead and a relative finds it, gets engrossed in the wonderful words you've created and says, "Wow, great Aunt Matilda or Grandpa Harry could really write."

Or, you could actually send it to a publisher or agent. What have you got to lose - your dignity, self-respect and confidence? But, hey you won't get published without putting your work out there.

So, you will feel defeated if you get a flurry of rejection letters, but what is defeat? It's never trying and never putting yourself in a position to fail.

Repeat after me - Defeat is never trying and never putting yourself in a position to fail.

When it comes to sending out your work, up your odds of success by -

Sticking to the word count. They've asked for the first 2 chapters or first 5, 000 words, don't send 70, 000 words.

Sending it to the right publisher. If a publisher is looking for quality, literary fiction, don't send them erotic fiction or horror. They don't want it.

Yet you'd be amazed how many writers waste their time and the publishers by sending completely unsuitable manuscripts either because 1. They haven't done their research, or, 2. They think their writing is so blindingly brilliant that the publisher won't care that the book's a fictionalised account of a dog's life when the publisher's looking for historical fiction.

Making sure your work is laid out properly. Check out the publisher's guidelines. If it says to use Times or Arial point 12, then do that. Make it double spaced, typed on one side of the paper only with wide margins in case its printed out.


Make sure your work is printed out legibly so it can be easily read. No fading print, toilet roll thin paper or words written in using felt tip pen, because the ink's starting to fade.

Don't get fancy or wacky. No coloured paper, cut into fancy shapes or fancy paper clips. No weird gifts for publishers, like cakes or a chapter written on a piece of toast using jam (the submission was a crime novel).

Come up with one sentence that sums up what your book's about. For How KirstyGets Her Kicks, I had - A one-legged Glasgow barmaid goes on the run with a gangster's cash and gun after she kills one of his henchmen. One publisher said it was the best one line pitch they'd ever read.

Footnote - Sometimes, no matter how good your work is or how well presented, you will still get a "no" or no reply at all. This could be for a number of reasons; none of which you can do anything about.

Stick in there. The difference between a published writer and an unpublished one, is the former never gave up. I know that can be you:)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Editing for authors - Have you bawled at the muddle with your puddle?




Going through your work, bit by bit can be a long and laborious process, but you have to get it right. 

Who wants to press that SEND button and then discover after that you've used there instead of their, or changed character names halfway through a chapter? 

Here's some examples from my latest book, the 2nd Detective in a Coma book, Cannibal City. Read them and weep with laughter fellow writers and readers -

His fist bawled into a fist.


Oops, sounds like his fist was crying.


It's not a puddle it's a muddle.

He landed his size 12 loafers in a muddle.


It was me that got in a muddle because I meant puddle. 


He shoved tape over her mouth and she could hardly breathe and she screamed.


That takes some doing screaming when you're gagged. Of course, she could scream under the gag.


I've also had people coming out of doors they never went in. My personal favourite was a dead man coming back to life and, no it wasn't my zombie novel The Restless Dead. This was another crime novel:) 


I'd love to hear what mistakes you've spotted in your work. Have you bawled at the muddle with your puddle? 


Please leave a comment so we can chortle away together. 


Monday, 29 June 2015

Get Hell to Pay (Crime Files Book 1) by Jenny Thomson FREE for a limited time



Starting on the 29th of June and lasting 5 days, Hell to Pay is FREE to download on Amazon. 
 Cometh the hour

Cometh the woman

Cometh the revenge



Glasgow's about to get meaner with Nancy hell-bent on revenge. 


You won't believe what she does.





It’s the first book in a 3 book series called the Crime Files. Books 2 and 3, Throwaways and Don’t Come For Me, are already published.

Click HERE to take you to your country's Amazon. 

Thanks for reading my post! And if you do download the book, I would be really delighted if you'd leave a review even if its to say you thought the book sucked:) 

Friday, 5 June 2015

She was wearing a violent jumpsuit...

Yes, really.


The kind of jumpsuit that'd banjo you if it saw you.


Aim a karate chop to your throat.


Kick your head in.


Strike you down.


At least it would have been a violent jumpsuit if I hadn't noticed it during editing my novel.
Watch out, her jumpsuit might be violent!

You see, that's why editing's so essential. Without it, you make mistakes and if a publisher/agent/reader spots that mistake, they will start to doubt every single word they read.


Editing that novel or article can be a lengthy process, but it's a vital one unless you want a woman in a violent jumpsuit instead of a violet one.

Editing Tips
Look out for words you use excessively often. Me, I'm a just gal. With most words, you can delete them or replace them. It may help to use a word cloud or a tool that counts the instances of words.

Speech marks. Decide on single or double and stick to that. Give yourself a style guide and stick to that.

The more descriptive the words the better. For instance, trudge is better than walk, mumble is better than talk quietly. Are there words you can replace for better words?

Do you have speech tags for every, single bit of dialogue? You shouldn't need to say 'he says/she says' all the time. Often you can let people know who's speaking with them doing something. For instance - Sally wheezed. 'I'm giving up the cigarettes.'
Note - this piece first appeared on my writing blog http://ramblingsofafrustratedcrimewriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Introducing Broken Survivor by Jennifer Labelle - Guest Post

Broken Survivor
by
Jennifer Labelle




Holly Hewitt is a survivor…
After witnessing her mother’s murder, Holly was returned to her abusive father. Resorting to drugs and alcohol, she ends up landing herself in foster care, where she is separated from her sister and utterly alone.
Zander Harrison is the light to her darkness…
Zander is young, athletic, and carefree, with the support of a loving family. But when Holly is placed in foster care with his brother’s in-laws, she turns his world upside down.
He’s driven to protect her, and to show her the past has made her strong, life is worth living, and love is worth fighting for. If only he can convince her to trust him and stop resisting their mutual attraction.
But sometimes even love isn’t enough to heal a shattered soul.
And all the hard work in the world can’t save…
A broken survivor.

BUY LINKS

AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Labelle resides in Canada with her husband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stay at home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down time engrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance, mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she's decided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, as she shares some of her imagination with all of you.

AUTHOR LINKS
Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter |

Excerpt 
Pink and orange hues filled the sky with a warm beauty while the sun set. Holly wrapped her arms around herself and lifted her face toward the sky to soak in the last few moments of the sun before the chill of the night descended upon them. This was definitely not going to be an easy talk to get through. She just hoped they’d both be okay when it was done.  Zander stepped up behind her, and she felt the heat of his body before he wrapped his arms around her from behind. The way she was drawn to him made her wonder if he had a magnetic pull, and it kind of scared her a little bit. Holly tried to enjoy the view as they were silent for a few moments.
“As much as I hate to let go, I think maybe we should sit so we can finally talk,” Zander said.
 She hesitated a moment before taking his hand while they walked back to his house and sat beside each other on the patio. This is it.
“First, I want to clear up earlier,” Zander said. “She was just a friend, nothing more. She has only ever been a friend.” He lifted their linked hands and kissed the top of hers.
“This isn’t any of my business, but does she realize that? I got the impression there was much more than a friendship there.” Holly held her breath and didn’t exhale until after he answered her.
“Not for a really long time, and we were never a couple.” His posture slumped. “Before today, I hadn’t heard from her in months. She just showed up out of the blue, but I swear nothing happened.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Holly shifted to face him. “So you and she were friends with benefits a while ago. I have to admit I didn’t like seeing you with her, but I don’t have any right to be mad. We’re taking things slow, remember?”
“That’s just the thing. I want to be with you, Hol. As in, I’d be staking my claim. You’d be my girlfriend, exclusive.”
“I’m actually kind of glad you said that. I’ve recently figured out that I’m not made for casual.” She bit her lip nervously. “I don’t even care about your friend anymore because I sort of have some huge news, which throws going slow out the window anyway. That is, if you don’t freak out and feel like you want nothing to do with me after this.”
“Okay, now you’re making me nervous,” he joked nervously and playfully nudged her with his shoulder. “What’s up?”
“You probably should be.” Holly smiled weakly and then exhaled long and hard. “I didn’t want a relationship when you came into the picture, and I didn’t want to care for someone so much. But then there you were all sweet, caring, and persistent and screwed up my original plans. So let’s get that out there.” She smiled and leaned into him. Her head lay on his shoulder and she looked up at him needing to be close. “That’s the best part by the way because I’m glad I’ve let you in. I care for you a lot. I’ve messed up, though. We both have. Do you remember the night at my sister’s?”
“How could I forget?” His eyes lit up and she snorted.
“It was a good night, huh?” She licked her lips just thinking about it. “Well, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately, so Lauren decided to take me to get a checkup…”
“O-okay, you were sick and…?” Zander’s brows scrunched together in confusion, but as if he sensed her discomfort, he gave her a quick reprieve to pull herself together before she had to spit out the big news. He captured her mouth. His soft, plump lips caressed hers, then he moved to nip and suck on her bottom lip. His tongue coaxed her mouth open farther, and she tasted his mutual arousal as he probed the slit of her mouth with his tongue. One of her hands fisted in his shirt and held him closer, while the other massaged his nape and into his hair. They both moaned in the heat of the moment, and she could feel his chest rise and fall more rapidly before he pulled away.
“God, I’ve missed this,” he said. “You get sick again and I’m coming over with some chicken soup and taking care of you.
“That sounds amazing.” She smirked. “I’ve missed you too.” Holly shifted so that she was facing him now and rested her forehead against his while they caught their breath.
“Don’t go home yet. Call Lauren and let’s recreate that night.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
“You are such a goofball. As tempting as that sounds, I need to finish what I was saying before you distract me too much.” She gave him a quick peck on the lips and leaned back.
“But the distraction is so good. I can’t help myself.” He lifted a sexy, dark eyebrow in question. “Can we fool around a bit while you talk? I’m a great multitasker.”
“I’ll tell you what, if after I tell you everything I need to, you still want to fool around or more, then yes, we’ll go inside your place and I’ll make it worth your while.” She wiggled her brows back at him and smiled as she caressed the side of his face. I just hope I don’t ruin things first.
“Deal.”
“Lauren might not be too happy if she finds out the truth.”
“Really?” He looked at her in shock. “I find that hard to believe after her and Shelby practically pushed us together.” He smiled and kissed the back of her hand. “Remind me to thank them for that one day.”
 “I really hope you still feel that way after you hear what I have to say.”
“Quit stalling and just tell me already.”
“So you know I haven’t been feeling well lately, but what you don’t know is why she’s been on my case. She had some concerns that drove her to take me to the doctor in the first place.” She leaned way back in her chair and closed her eyes.
“Is she still hung up about the new apartment?”
“In a way, I guess, but right now what’s bothering her is her assumption that I might be pregnant.” She peeked in his direction to gauge his reaction.
He stiffened a bit on the seat next to her and sat straighter. “Wait, what?”

GIVEAWAY
The author is offering e-copies of “Broken Survivor” to 4 winners of the Rafflecopter. Click on this link to enter. 



Saturday, 16 May 2015

Can you hear the Thunderclap?



I’ve started a Thunderclap campaign for Hell to Pay, the first book in my Crime Files series. I’d love your support and if you would like some author love in return (or have a humane cause of your own to support) please let me know.

The book's set in Glasgow and features feisty Nancy Kerr and as well as being described as a "thrilling read" the book looks at violence against women. 

What’s Thunderclap? Well, until I started one of my own, I thought it was a sign a storm was coming. What it actually is, is a way of spreading the word about something on social media. Sign up and on a specific time and day a Tweet or Facebook post will go out.

Being an author can be such a lonely business, as we all know, but if we support each other, it doesn’t seem so lonely. 

Here's the link 





Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Why I wrote Throwaways - a novella about murdered sex workers in Glasgow





I've written stories, ever since I was little and always used to keep a diary. One of my first ever sales was a short story to Jackie magazine when I was 15. A friend of the family cashed the cheque and posted the money through the letterbox. It was such an exciting moment finding £60 in three twenty pound notes waiting for me when I came downstairs in the morning.

I got fed up with the lack of strong female women in fiction, so I decided that I wanted to write entertaining books with tough women (and male characters) and that's how I came up with the Crime Files books featuring Nancy Kerr and Tommy McIntyre. The first book was Hell To Pay and focused on Nancy Kerr who gets revenge on the men who killed her parents and left her bleeding to death on the kitchen floor.



The inspiration for Throwaways came from the unsolved murders of a spate of sex workers in Glasgow in the 1990s. They were treated like throwaways and even when one lady was murdered in her own home that had paper thin walls, her neighbours claimed they hadn't heard a thing.

I wanted to write a book about people who did care about the disappearance and murder of women like them and who decided to carry out their own investigation. Although Throwaways is set in Glasgow, it's completely fictional.

My best time to write is in the wee small hours. That's when inspiration hits. I do have a tendency to spend too much time on Twitter. 

I tweet as @jenthom72 and @The_CrimeFiles and also have two blogs - about my writing and also one about zombies (my not so secret passion).

I'm a huge fan of the George Romero movies and The Walking Dead and I had a zombie novel set in Scotland published called The Restless Dead

My main writing influence has been Stephen King. For me, he's the best living writer and his books are always entertaining. I also love Sue Townsend, Shaun Hutson, Mark Billingham, Craig Russell, Stuart MacBride, Margaret Atwood and Marian Keyes.



If I'd to offer any advice to budding writers it would be to never give up. It's so hard to get published, but the more you write and hone your craft, the more chance you have of being successful. You also have to be able to take criticism on the chin, from publishers and reviewers, which for me is the toughest thing.

The third book in the Crime Files series, Don’t Come For Me, is out on May 26th and unlike the first two books that are novellas, it's a novel. 

At the start, Nancy finds herself in a nightmare situation – he boyfriend Tommy has gone and in his place is a puddle of blood and a knife. Then the police arrive and think she’s killed him…


the Crime Files series

Saturday, 2 May 2015

CAPTION CONTEST – WIN A $10 or £10 Amazon voucher and a free eBook

****THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
THE WINNER WAS OLIVIA SNOW
WELL DONE, OLIVIA, YOUR PRIZE IS ON ITS WAY***



It was my rescue dog Benjy’s birthday yesterday. Here’s a picture of him at 17 months old when he first came to live with us. 



As you can see from the pic, we greatly overestimated his size. Hence the huge bone. 
Once you come up with a caption, head over to my book launch party at 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1417899068518517/ and write your entry underneath the same picture on that page. 





I can’t wait to read your entries:) You can enter more than once.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO GET REVENGE? Hell To Pay (Crime Files Book 1) is out today



An extract from Hell To Pay (Crime Files Book 1) 


She took a few more steps into the living room and walked straight into hell…



Chapter 1


I’m cold, colder than I’ve ever been in my entire life and I don’t know why. Slowly, I open my eyes, tentatively at first because even opening them a fraction feels like someone's shoving red-hot pins into them. The light is so bright.


What’s with the light anyway?


Has Michael wandered in, blootered on some poncy new beer and left the light on, after collapsing in a heap onto the bed?  I’ll brain him if he has. I’m no good to anyone when I don’t get my eight hours.


Pulling myself up in bed, I reach out my arm to nudge him awake so I can give him a right mouthful. My hand finds empty space.


Where is he?


My eyes sting as I prise them open – it’s as though there's been an accident with false lashes and I've glued my eyelashes together - and that’s when I realise I’m not in our flat. The reason I’m freezing is because I’m wearing a tracing paper thin hospital gown: the kind that shows off your backside when you’re being whisked off to x-ray.


A tidal wave of panic hits me and I jerk into full consciousness.

What’s happened to me?

I try to remember, but my brain’s all bunged up as if the top of my head's been removed and the cavity filled with cotton wool.

My arms are bandaged up. Have I been in an accident?  If I have, I don’t remember. Maybe I hit my head.


I take in my surroundings. If I’m in hospital, it’s no ordinary one. For one thing, my room’s more like a cell. There’s a bed and a table bolted to the floor, but no personal stuff: photos, or cards, or stuffed animals from people wishing me well. Does anyone even know I’m here?


I grope for a call button to get a nurse, but there isn’t one. What the hell? This place is a prison.


Staggering out of bed, I fight the wave of nausea and dizziness that make me want to yell at the world to stop moving because I want to get off the carousel. The tile floor is stone cold and there are no slippers by the bed. My feet are ice blocks. Why don’t I have any socks or tights on? 


Before I reach the door, there's a jingle of keys, then a key scrapes in the lock. Holding my breath, I brace myself for what’s coming.


A woman I don’t recognize with brown hair tied back in a ponytail appears. She’s dressed in a nurse’s uniform and there’s a small smile playing on the edge of her lips.

"Good, you’re awake, Nancy."

She sounds pleased, as if we’re bosom buddies, when I’ve never seen her before in my life.

"Where am I?"

My voice comes out as a rasp as though my throat’s been sandpapered down.


The nurse puts a hand on my shoulder. "Let’s get you back into bed, Nancy."

I do as she says. I’m worried if I don’t lie back, I’ll faint.

"You’re in Parkview Hospital," she says, as she fixes the pillows so I can sit upright.

I know all the hospitals in Glasgow, but I haven’t heard of that one. I ask her what kind of hospital it is and she tells me it’s a psychiatric facility. The reason I haven’t heard of it, is because they don’t publicize it. Perhaps because it’s full of nutters they want to keep away from society. The prospect terrifies me because that would mean they must think I’m cuckoo. Why else would I be here? 


I suck in my breath. When I ask her if this is a nut house, she presses her lips tightly together as she tells me no one refers to psychiatric hospitals in that way any more. Suitably chastised, I mumble an apology not because I think one’s needed, but because she’s the one with the keys.


"Why am I here?"

I’m dreading the answer, but I need to know. I don’t feel any different. Surely if I’d lost my mind, I'd know.

"You had a breakdown."

The way she says it, she could be talking about the weather.

She asks me if I want anything and I tell her a pair of proper pajamas, a dressing gown and slippers would be nice because I’m an ice block. If she gets in touch with Mum, she’ll bring me in some stuff.


Her smile’s still there, but breaks down around the corners of her mouth. There’s something she’s not telling me, because she’s worried how I’ll react. There’s fear in her eyes. I notice she’s wearing a lucky heather brooch, the same one I got for Mum. I’m staring at it as she tells me she’s going to fetch a doctor, when a memory stirs inside me and no matter how hard I try to push it away, someone’s taken their finger out the dyke and the water’s rushing in.


Blood, blood everywhere. Dad’s slumped in his favorite armchair, head bent forward as if in prayer (he never prayed a day in his life); a single bullet hole in his head. I know it’s him, even although his face has been beaten to a pulp: his blood staining the fireside rug my mum was so fond of. Even in death, my dad has a presence. He fills a room with the sheer weight of his personality. Discarded nearby is the baseball bat they used on him. It’s covered in blood and something sticky and dark brown, resembling raw mince.


All material is copyright of the author Jenny Thomson (C) 2013



RELEASED APRIL 28TH FROM LIMITLESS PUBLISHING 





Order links for Hell to Pay (Crime Files Book 1) on Kindle

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

****Coming soon in paperback***

Books 2 and 3 coming out on May 12th and May 26th.






Friday, 17 April 2015

Guest Bloggers required



I’m doing a release day promo for the first book in my Crime Files series, Hell To Pay and I’m looking for fellow authors and bloggers to post on the day the book is released – April 28th. Is that something you think you can do?

I could either send you something of your choice or there’s a release day blog post, please sign up here. 

If you sign up there, html will be provided for quick and easy post by the PR company I’m using. I know, I’ve gone all Hollywood, mainly because my head isn’t really in the game. My dad recently passed away and after a long battle with cancer (he was brought home to die and I helped to look after him) and I only got back from looking after my mum a few days ago (my dad's funeral was on April 1st, which would have appealed to his sense of humor).

I’d really appreciate it if you could do a blog post.



Order links for Hell to Pay (Crime Files Book 1) on Kindle

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

****Coming soon in paperback***

Books 2 and 3 coming out on May 12th and May 26th.