Tuesday 18 October 2016

Happy dance time - Vile City gets a publication date


Today it's happy dance time as the wonderful Darren Laws at Caffeine Nights has told me that Vile City will be published on May 11th, 2017. 

It's the first novel featuring tough Glasgow detective Duncan Waddell who is fast starting to despise the city he loves because of all the horrors he sees. 

I'm over the moon that my novel will finally see the light of day. 

It's been a long and winding road for Vile City. 

In 2013, I won the Scottish Association of Writers award for a novel and was delighted to win the Pitlochry Quaich ( a quaich is a Scottish drinking cup). 

The battle to find a publisher began and over the years I improved Vile city. 

Why Detective in a Coma? 

I've dubbed the book the first in the Detective in a Coma series. When I was writing the book and then re-writing it, one character wouldn't stop talking to me. A peripheral character called Stevie Campbell. 

He was a colleague and friend of Duncan Waddell and he'd been in a coma since he'd been attacked by a suspect and left bleeding to death. 

Tony Soprano spoke to his therapist, Waddell speaks to his friend who's in a coma. What's surprising is that Stevie talks back to him, but only when no one else is in the room.

Has Waddell gone mad? Or is Stevie playing mind games?

You can decided when you read Vile City when it comes out on May 11th, 2017. 

You can read an extract from Vile City here. 

Update - Vile City is now available to pre-order on Amazon. 

Thursday 22 September 2016

Get the Crime Files box set for 99c or 99p (Limited offer)

For a short time only, the Crime Files box set featuring the first 3 books (Hell To Pay, Throwaways and Don't Come for Me) is just 99cents on Amazon.com
and 99p on Amazon.co.uk

A bit about the box set 


Nancy Kerr refuses to be a victim—even when she walks in on her parents’ killers and is raped and left for dead…

Fourteen months later, Nancy wakes up in a psychiatric hospital with no knowledge of how she got there.

Slowly, her memory starts to return.

Released from the institution, she has just one thing on her mind—two men brought hell to her family home.

Now they’re in for some hell of their own…


Huddled in a doorway, in a blonde wig, and my best Pretty Woman outfit, I'm already soaked to the skin. As downward spirals go, this was bad.

But I wasn’t here because I was reduced to turning tricks for a living. I was here to catch a killer…


That's the word they're using for the four Glasgow sex workers who've gone missing. But two people do care.

When Suzy Henderson was found dead in a landfill site, her eyes pecked out by crows, they found the finger of another missing woman wedged in her throat.

Nancy Kerr and Tommy McIntyre are on the case and they won’t stop until they find the missing women.

But, how can they trust anyone when they can’t even trust each other?


What if you were charged with your boyfriend’s murder, but you knew he wasn’t even dead?

That's the position rape survivor Nancy Kerr finds herself in. Now, she faces a race against time to find Tommy before she’s convicted of his murder.

But, someone doesn’t want her or Tommy’s Special Forces buddy, Eric from finding out the truth.

And getting too close could get them killed.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

An extract from Vile City - what made me write the crime thriller.

Vile City tells the story of abducted Shelley Craig and DI Duncan Waddell's attempts to find her.
The inspiration for Vile City 
The idea for Vile City came to me one day when I was walking through Glasgow city centre. In my mind's eye, I could see a young woman walking with her boyfriend. He's caught short and goes down an alleyway to relieve himself. 
When he hasn't returned after five minutes, the young woman goes looking for him. 
She sees him lying on the pavement as though he's fallen and leans down to check if he's okay. That's when a figure appears and grabs her and injects her with something.
It was trying to figure out why that would happen that Vile City came about. 
Who was this woman? 
What was going to happen to her?
Has she been targeted or was she simply unlucky? 
Would she live to tell the tale? 
I kept asking all these questions and like anybody would, I wanted answers.
I hope you'll be as interested to find out the answers as I was. Hey, I'm nosy like that:)
Yay, publication! 
It's been a long, long path to publication for Vile City. At one stage I was convinced the book would never see the light of day.
Yet in 2011 when I won the Scottish Association of Writers Pitlochry Quaich for a first crime novel, I thought it would help me win a publishing contract or an agent or both. I came close a few times.
One top publisher loved it, then turned round and said there were too many Scottish crime novels. Another only wanted to publish it as an eBook. But I love real, physical books. The feel and smell of them, so I turned down the contract offer.
Thankfully, Caffeine Nights came along and I was delighted. They write the kind of books I love to read and publish one of my favourite authors Shaun Hutson.
Vile City will be published in 2017. Stay tuned for the exact date.
Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek - 

Chapter 1
Stuart was hiding something. Shelley could tell. She was always the one who'd had to wake him because he could always block out the shrill of the alarm clock, but these days he was up before her, grabbing the mail whilst she slept. And, he’d started making breakfast – nothing much, just tea and toast, but that was more than he’d ever made her in their two and a bit years together.
When she'd calmly ask him if anything was wrong, he’d shrug his shoulders, give her a wee smile and say everything was fine. But, she knew he was lying because his face went even paler, making his freckles stand out as if they'd been drawn in by a kid with a coloured pencil. She never pushed it, maybe because deep down she was worried that he’d tell her he’d met someone else.
The No.76 bus was empty when they clambered onboard - one of the benefits of working until 11 at night in a call centre, was that there was no need to scoot past a sea of legs and become a contortionist to get on and off a bus.
Their cold breath filled the air with ghosts as they walked towards Waterstone’s, Shelley pausing to take a peek at the new crime fiction releases showcased in the illuminated windows, whilst Stuart fidgeted with his watch. He was always footering about with something since he’d given up cigarettes and it drove her mad, but at least it didn’t fill his lungs with tar and make the house smell like an overflowing ashtray.
“I need to have a pee,” he announced, as they came to the dimly lit lane off Mitchell Street that reeked of eau de Glasgow: decomposing takeaway, urine and other bodily fluids.
She groaned. “Can't you wait until we get home, Stuart?” She knew she’d pronounced his name “Stew-art” as she always did when she was annoyed with him, but she couldn’t help it. What made men think it was okay to urinate in public?
Stuart looked pained. “Sorry, I can’t. Too much coffee tonight.”
She let him walk on ahead of her and whilst he scooted down the alley, she stood outside the amusement arcade, pretending to look in so she wouldn’t be mistaken as a prostitute. Around here, at this time of night, unaccompanied women were likely to be mistaken for prostitutes. It'd happened to her once when she'd got off the bus alone. Stuart hadn't been working that night.
Five minutes later, she was so cold she couldn't feel her nose and Stuart still wasn’t back.
She turned the corner to look for him, fully expecting to see him ambling back towards her with that jaunty walk that always made her smile. But, he wasn't there.
Where was he?
Anger welled up in her chest. Had he started smoking again? He swore he wouldn't.
There was one way to find out.
She headed down the alley. The sole light was provided from some nearby buildings so visibility was poor.
She’d walked a few steps when she spotted a bundle of rags on the ground. Was someone sleeping there?
She moved closer. Squinting into the dim light, she realised it was Stuart. He was lying motionless on the ground. He must have tripped and knocked himself out after hitting the concrete.
She ran over to him, calling out his name, the squeezing in her chest waning slightly when she knelt down and heard him groan.
She pulled her mobile phone from her bag to call for an ambulance.
She didn’t make it to the third digit. A gloved hand clamped across her mouth and nose, cutting off her airways and the phone fell from her grasp, clattering onto the cobbles. Terror gripped her and she couldn’t breathe.
As she struggled, her assailant pressed his mouth to her ear. He was so close that it occurred to her that if anyone saw them they would think he was her boyfriend whispering sweet nothings in her ear.
“Your man’s been given a strong sedative. He’ll wake up with a sore head and nothing more. But, if you scream, I’ll kick him several times in the head and he’ll never get up again. Do you understand?”
She didn’t recognise the voice, but there was an accent. Not from around here. His voice was cold and emotionless.
She nodded under his hand. Then she did something he didn't expect: she back-heeled him in the groin.
There was a satisfying yelp as he released her.
She ran, arms pumping away like Usain Bolt’s, down towards the cafĂ© at the end of the alley and safety.
She'd almost made it when he grabbed her arm and hauled her back. An electric shock shot from her elbow to her shoulder as she pulled herself free. He was too strong.
She could offer little resistance as he dragged her towards him.
Before she could scream, he punched her fully in the face and she went down with a thud jarring every bone in her body, momentarily stunning her.
As she fought to get up, he punched her in the back and she fell again.
The last thing she saw was the pavement rushing towards her before she blacked out...

Saturday 16 July 2016

Vile City - Detective in a Coma Book 1 is on the way

I was delighted to be featured in the latest Writing Magazine where I spoke about the origins of Vile City and in particular Stevie Campbell, the character who just wouldn't stop talking to me.

If you're a writer I would recommend that you subscribe to this great magazine so you can hear about markets and opportunities.

Vile City will be published in 2017 and will appear under my full name Jennifer Lee Thomson.

Before my dad passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer, he expressed some regret that I’d never used my middle name Lee in my writing as I’m named after his great-grandmother.

Here's the blurb -

DI Duncan Waddell has big problems. He’s borderline diabetic. The paperwork is piling up faster than the underwear at a porn shoot.
Now his best pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s in a coma after being attacked by a suspect, has started to talk to him. Trouble is, only Waddell can hear him.
The last thing he needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap.
Three women have gone missing in the city he’s fast coming to despise, victims of the GLASGOW GRABBER, as their assailant has been dubbed by local hack and all round thorn in Waddell’s backside, Catriona Hastie.
Shelley Craig is his latest victim, snatched as she and her boyfriend took a shortcut through Glasgow city centre.

And she’ll do anything to make it home. 

Who kidnapped Shelley Craig? 
Vile City is also the story of Shelley Craig
and her battle to make it home after she's kidnapped. 

Thursday 7 July 2016

Things I've Learnt From Watching Crime shows like Snapped and Psychic Detectives

Like a lot of people I binge watch TV crime programmes with names like Deadly Intentions, Psychic Detectives and Snapped: Women Who Kill.

I like the fact that in the majority of cases the victims get justice.

And it never ceases to amaze me how the truth is stranger that fiction. I mean if I were to write about some of these life crimes in one of my books, people would say they were too far fetched.

I've also learnt a few things -

If you don't want your partner to murder you, don't get a life insurance policy. If you must get one DO NOT make them the beneficiary.

Does your husband hunt? Have a gun collection? Be wary, one day you could be their prey. If they know how to gut an animal, gutting you won't be a problem.

Just because your husband or wife are churchgoers/Sunday school teachers doesn't mean they won't cheat on you or even try to kill you.

If you suspect your partner is going to kill you, they probably are. Trust your intuition. 

If you suspect your partner is going to kill you, report your suspicions to the police. At least then when he does kill you the police will know who to question.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Coping With Rejection sucks but you can get through it

It used to come as the sound of your manuscript in a brown envelope thudding as it hit your doormat.

Now its more likely to come as an email which in a way makes it worse because until you've read it there's this tiny glimmer of hope that its going to be a yes and that in a minute you will be dancing around the rooming yelling, "Ya, beauty." (I'm Scottish and that's how I celebrate).

They'll be no happy dance:)
You read the email and usually the phrase you get is "it's not for us" or "thanks for sending this to us but you weren't successful on this occasion." Your head dips, your heart sinks and all the other cliches happen.

So, how do you get through this crushing sense of failure?

First off, don't see it as failure. Its usually someone's opinion - just one person. Do we all like the same things? Nope. So, why would we like the same books?

Besides, failure isn't trying and getting knocked down. Failure is not trying and putting yourself in a position to fail.

How many people do you know who say they're writing a book who never actually write a book?

Too many.

What else helps when you get that disappointing no?

Well, I like to watch comedies. After yesterday's thumping disappointment I binge watched Parks and Recreation.

Laughing away the tears helps.
Chocolate also helps. Probably so does wine but I'm teetotal and it would be too easy to drown your sorrows. If you know when to stop, you go for it.

Talking to other writers might help. My favourite forum is the TalkBack one from Writer's News. You'll find it here

Most importantly if you got any feedback at all treasure it. Publishers and agents don't say things they don't mean. My latest rejection said they liked the idea behind my submission.

Be kind to yourself, folks. Remember the path to a writer's success is paved with rejection slips and emails. It shows you've been brave enough to get your work out there.