Friday 10 October 2014

"How I Became A Writer" by Leigh Russell.

I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for Leigh Russell and her latest novel, Race to Death, published by No Exit Press. Today, Leigh will be sharing why and how she became a writer and if you check back on the 24th, I will be reviewing the book too.

Title: Race to Death.
Author: Leigh Russell.
Publisher: No Exit Press.
Genre: Crime.

Purchase: Amazon UK

'Moments before, he had been enjoying a day out at the races. Now he could be dying…. As he fell a loud wind roared past his ears, indistinguishable from the roar of the crowd. The race was over'.

A man plummets to his death during the York Races. Suicide or murder? Newly-promoted DI Ian Peterson is plunged into a complex and high-profile case, and as the body count increases, the pressure mounts for his team to solve the crimes quickly.

But the killer is following the investigation far more keenly than Ian realises and time is running out as the case suddenly gets a lot closer to home...

One day, around seven years ago, I was walking through my local park. It was a typical rainy day in June, so the park was deserted. As I approached a bend in the path a man appeared, striding towards me. Our eyes met briefly before he looked away and hurried on. Although he was a stranger, I saw his face clearly enough to be able to recognise him if I saw him again. As I walked on, I happened to glance down and saw something poking out of the leaves beneath the bushes. It took me a few seconds to register that I was looking at a human hand.

Of course there is a point at which that account deviates from reality. It's true that I walked through my local park on a rainy day in June, and passed a stranger on the path, close to a tangled copse of trees and shrubs. Our eyes met before his slid away. But I didn't see a hand under the bushes. There was no body in the park.

Still, the idea had occurred to me. Purely by chance, someone could observe a man leaving a park where a body was discovered, and so become a key witness in a murder enquiry. I started to write the story down. Had the victim encountered her killer by chance, there in the park, or had they planned their meeting? Either way, I wanted to explore what had motivated him to kill her.

The idea spun itself into a story that went on to be published as Cut Short, the first in a bestselling series of crime thrillers. Seven years on, Cut Short continues to be popular, along with other titles in the series which have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, been nominated for several major awards, translated into French, German, Italian and Turkish, and published by Harper Collins in the US. Following the success of the Geraldine Steel series, I am writing a spin off series for Geraldine's sergeant, Ian Peterson, the second of which has just been published as Race to Death. As if that wasn't enough, a major television production company recently bought both series... and all that from a walk in my local park!


You can read more about my books and find links to amazon, facebook, my blog and twitter on my website

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. For many years a secondary school English teacher, she is a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London.

Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel's sergeant, Ian Peterson, followed by Race to Death. Leigh is a bestselling author on Kindle, iTunes, Waterstones and WH Smiths.

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