What is the link between the abduction of a little girl and a dead prostitute?
When the body of a prostitute is discovered DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what first appears to be a simple murder soon turns into an international manhunt for the members of a twisted child trafficking ring.
McGuire who is suffering with problems of his own, he must pick his way through the web of deceit and uncover the truth in time before the body count rises. Can McGuire identify The Matchmaker before it’s too late? And can he trust those he is working with?
I’m delighted today to be joining the blog tour for Unquiet Souls by Liz Mistry, the first in a gritty new crime thriller series based in West Yorkshire, featuring DI Gus McGuire. The book was published yesterday (30th July) by Bloodhound Books, and is available for kindle (just 99p for a limited time) and in paperback (£8.99).
Described as “dark and compelling”, I’m really sorry that I just couldn’t fit in a review of this one – but I do have a great guest post from author Liz Mistry with her top five tips for writers…
Writing my crime fiction novel, Unquiet Souls, combined with studying for an MA in Creative Writing taught me a lot about the writing process and about me as a writer. So, when Bloodhound Books offered me a two book publishing deal earlier this year, I was over the moon (understatement of the year!). So here are my Top 5 Tips for writers, no matter their genre.
1. Being part of a writing community
Writing by its very nature is a solitary occupation, which is fine… until it isn’t. Writers need to have a network of people around them to bounce ideas off and share their work with. What I found invaluable was that the MA at Leeds Trinity University provided me with a willing and able group of fellow writers, happy to share, discuss and offer advice about each other’s’ work. So, if you can find a writing group locally or online go for it! It might be just what you need to take your writing to the next level.
2. Filtering Advice
It took me a long time to write my novel Unquiet Souls and every bit of advice I was given during that time was stored away for future reference. The secret though is not to get bogged down by everyone’s advice. Every writer writes as an individual, so some advice may well not suit you – there is no perfect way to organise your time, do your plotting or structure your narrative. It depends on you and only you will know what works or doesn’t for you. So be prepared to reject some advice, try and reject some and accept the bits that work for you.
This probably seems a bit obvious but in order to produce fiction you need to write. The best advice I was ever given was to ‘get it down’. On a first draft the important thing isn’t finding that perfect word, or spelling everything correctly or structuring a paragraph properly… that’s what the second, third or fiftieth draft is for! Initially, it’s important not to let a desire for perfection get in the way of the flow of your writing… keep on scribbling1
4. Call yourself a writer
For a long time, I didn’t have the confidence to call myself a writer. I had this feeling that if I wasn’t published then I couldn’t claim to be a writer. That’s just not true. Being published is great, but it is not what defines your identity as a wordsmith. If you write, then you are a writer and you should give yourself credit for that.
5. Write What you Know…?
I’m a great believer in writing about what you know on the whole; in my case it’s Bradford and crime fiction, However, I haven’t experienced everything I write about (thank god!) and after all we are fiction-makers, therefore we can employ creative licence in our work as we want. Never has it been easier for us to research and explore things outside our experience. The internet, friends and books make the world smaller and our ability to understand things much wider.
Thank you Liz – and I wish you every success with Unquiet Souls and the series to follow.
Here are the other stops on the Unquiet Souls blog tour:
Liz Mistry was born in West Calder, Scotland and educated at Stirling University before moving to Bradford for her PGCE, where she settled with her husband, Nilesh, her three children, Ravi, Kasi and Jimi and her two cats. Liz taught in inner city Bradford schools for many years. Suffering from depression for many years, Liz used her writing to help her through the darkest times. She is currently part-way through an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, which she acknowledges as being instrumental in developing her confidence as a writer. Liz is co-founder and main contributor to The Crime Warp Blog.
Liz is available to write articles on many subjects including; ‘Writing with depression’, ‘Why choose an MA in Creative Writing’, ‘Why crime fiction does it for me?’, ‘Creating a villain’, ‘The cross-genre nature of crime fiction’ … and more.
Contact her via email, Twitter or her Facebook page: she also has an excellent website.