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Coming March 22, 2018. 

Nobody understands the many faces of cops better than Mari Hannah. Val McDermid

Mari Hannah's already assured command of the crime fiction idiom has even managed to grow incrementally, as The Death Messenger proves. It's a reminder of how appropriate her recent CWA Dagger win was. Barry Foreshaw: 

A vivid new hero in this satisfyingly dark and tense thriller. The Independent 

This award winning crime thriller series has evolved into one of the best in the market. 

They're just great reads. Stephen Fry, Sprout Pictures 

 

If proof were neeed that Hannah's DCI Kate Daniels is a great addition to the crime scene, then here it is. Peterborough Telegraph

Brutal and engaging. Mari Hannah writes with a sharp eye and a dark heart. Peter James 


DCI Kate Daniels: a Northerner to join the roster of top literary detectives. The Times 

Solid plotting ... a satisfying and meaty read. The Guardian

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Stephen Fry and I are thrilled to be working with Mari on bringing the extraordinary Kate Daniels to life - Gina Carter.
Friday
Nov232012

Blimey!

Yes, that's really me talking to Ian and Rachel in an ITV studio about Settled Blood! http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/story/2012-11-23/north-east-author-pushes-people-to-read-local/

Friday
Nov162012

The Next Big Thing ...

I've never met steampunk writer Liesel Schwartz but I feel like I know her really well through her hilarious tweets. When she asked me to take part in The Next Big Thing I have to admit I didn't know what it was. But I've since found out that it's just a game of tag for grown-ups (or not in my case) who have to answer a set questions and then tag other writers and so it goes ... 

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Deadly Deceit. This is now a confirmed title as it's all ready to go off to the printers. The book opens with a horrendous car crash and, on the other side of Newcastle upon Tyne, a fire that claims two lives - two seemingly unconnected incidents. But are they? You'll have to read the book to find out.

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

A conversation with an elderly relative, a postcard from a prisoner of war, a throwaway remark by my partner who is an ex-murder detective. These three unrelated snippets of information seemed to gel inside my head and I couldn't get rid of them. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Depends who you ask: crime fiction, crime thriller, police procedural. I'm not a fan of labels but those three best describe what I write.

4) What actor would you choose to play the part of your character in a movie rendition?

My series is set in the north east of England, an area full of talented actors. I've been asked many times who would play my protagonist DCI Kate Daniels should the series ever be commissioned for TV. My editor suggested Jill Halfpenny and I think she would be a perfect choice. She's the right age and physically very like the Kate I see in my head as I write.

5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Two people crave a better lifestyle but only one is prepared to kill to get it.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

I'm represented by a fabulous man and talented agent, Oli Munson. Deady Deceit will be published by Pan Macmillan on 11th April 2013. I've already written book four in the series and I'm currently writing book five.

7) How long did it take you to write a first draft of the manuscript?

It took me a while to do the research, a couple of weeks to knock up a road map for the book, almost like a film treatment that set out all the major plot points. After that, it took maybe six months. I edit as I go along, so by the time I got to the end it was almost ready to show to my agent.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

The style of my writing has often been compared to that of Peter James. No complaints there then! But I like to think that I have my own voice, that my Kate Daniels series stands out as having a unique selling point. All writers strive to be different.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

In 2010, I won a Northern Writers' Award for my second novel Settled Blood which has been out less than a fortnight. Winning the award gave me the confidence to push on with Deadly Deceit.

10) What else in the book might pique the reader's interest?

Without giving too much away, there are some suprising developments in Kate Daniels' backstory! My lips are sealed as to what they might be.

That's it from me. Thanks to Liesel for tagging me. The rest of you should get over to her blog and read all about her. But now it's my turn to tag other writers who will make up my Next Big Thing. Flexes fingers and narrows eyes ... 

David Jackson (Dave to his mates) whose protagonist NYPD Detective Second Grade Callum Doyle I absolutely love. Dave's books are all set in New York. Pariah was the debut, then came The Helper. Both had me gripped from the first to the last page. I really can't wait for the third in the series, the title of which is Marked. It will be out on 3rd January 2013. Check out his website for more details. 

Mel Sherratt who has had so much success in the last year. First with Taunting the Dead which received rave reviews, then a change in direction, a new Estate series: Somewhere to Hide and Behind a Closed Door. Mel writes so fast, I can hardly keep up. She's currently enthusing over a new psychological thriller and the words are flowing out of her she tells me. That's great news for me as she's promised I can read it when it's finished. Get over there and check her out!

David Mark with whom I share an agent. If you haven't come across this writer yet, you're in for a real treat. His debut The Dark Winter is superbly written, set in Hull, and features DS Aector McAvoy. David is an ex-journalist and his experience as a crime reporter on the Yorshire Post shine through in his writing. I'm luckly enough to have copped a proof copy of his second novel Original Skin which I am currently reading. Wow! You're going to like this one.

Niel Bushnell - winner of the Northern Writers' Award 2011 - is one to watch for the future. Niel writes children's fantasy adventure, the debut Sorrowline will be published by Andersen on 3rd January 2013. The premise is wonderful and I'm counting down the days until this book comes out. Do yourself a favour: save up your Christmas book vouchers and treat yourself. Niel's second book Timesmith will follow in 2014.

Anya Lipska whose book Where the Devil Can't Go was one of the most assured debuts I have read in a long time. I'm immensely proud to have been asked recently by her new publisher, Harper Collins imprint (The Friday Project) for a quote for this book. I jumped at the chance. Anya's experience as a scriptwriter and docu-drama producer are written all over this book, a pacy thriller set in London amongst the Polish expat community. It will be out in February 2013.  

Friday
Nov092012

Settled Blood launched by Forum Books

On Wednesday 7th November, Settled Blood was launched by my local independent bookshop: Forum Books. It was standing room only in Tea & Tipple, a venue that lent itself to mingling with guests over a glass of wine beforehand. We were a bit late kicking off but no one seemed to mind, such was the informality of an evening with Mari Hannah! 

Thanks for being such a brilliant crowd. There were lots of lovely books signed. Three cheers to Helen Stanton and her wonderful staff for working so hard to make launch night such a huge success. It seemed to me that the whole village turned up to meet their very own crime writer.

Thursday saw a double celebration in my house, publication day and a family birthday! More books to sign and fun to be had, topped off with a lovely bottle of bubbly sent by Pan Macmillan. You shouldn't have ... oh, go on then - if you insist!

 

Friday
Nov022012

Settled Blood is getting the #TAIR treatment. 

What is #TAIR? 'It stands for tweeting my Thoughts As I Read,' Pam Mcllroy explains. And #TAIR she will through Settled Blood ahead of publication. This is no spoiler. Pam, a friend who runs the Broadway Book Club, is the only one I know who can read a novel in a few hours and tweet her thoughts in real time. You have no need to worry. She can whet your appetite for a novel without giving it away and she has set aside her Saturday to do just that. I'm slightly apprehensive. I've never been inside Pam's head before. 

In addition to this #TAIR session - it begins at 1pm today - Pam has kindly agreed to run a competition to win a signed copy of SETTLED BLOOD. To be in with a chance to win, log on to Pam's website here: pamreader.blogspot.co.uk and leave a comment or RT her blog post. 

If you would like to follow Pam on Twitter, click @Pamreader

There is still time to grab a Kindle version of my debut The Murder Wall at the knock down price of £1:19 as part of Amazon's Autumn Deal - click here: Amazon

Good luck everyone! Let the fun begin ...

 

Wednesday
Oct312012

Durham didn't disappoint ...

Last weekend, I appeared at Durham Book Festival with Sophie Hannah and Dreda Say Mitchell. That's me on the left. The Cruel to be Kind event was chaired by Peter Gutteridge in a packed town hall.

It was bitterly cold on Saturday in Durham but there was a great atmosphere, a real buzz about the place. In the streets outside, a food festival was also going on and my senses were hit with wonderful smells from around the world as I approached the venue. Durham did its best to impress and it didn't disappoint.

I'd like to thank New Writing North for inviting me to speak and congratulate them for putting together another fantastic Durham Book Festival. It just gets better and better. The city loves its festivals. Roll on 2013!

Sunday
Oct212012

Book Launch news!

For those of you who enjoyed The Murder Wall, I just wanted to let you know that Forum Books are going to launch the second book in the Kate Daniels series, SETTLED BLOOD. The launch will take place on Wednesday 7th November at 7pm at Tea and Tipple in the market square in Corbridge.

Tickets are a fiver but there will be wine/fizz and nibbles. Please note: tickets must be reserved by calling Forum Books on 01434 632931. I hope some of you can come along and share my special day.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Mari

Sunday
Oct142012

A night of crime in Beverley.

On Friday, I travelled to the East Riding of Yorkshire to take part in the Beverley Literature Festival with fellow Pan Macmillan author, David Hewson. The venue for 'Crime Night' was the beautiful Toll Gavel Methodist Church, the green room the vestry! What a lovely crowd greeted us there. Thanks to the organisers for their hospitality and hard work, especially Rebecca Stokes who chaired the event so well and everyone who attended. It was a real pleasure ...

Friday
Oct052012

Meet the Author ...

Earlier this year, I shared the news that The Murder Wall had been chosen by North Tyneside Council as its Summer Read. The idea behind it was to get everyone in that area reading the same book at the same time - and boy did they respond!

Last night, a 'Meet the Author' event was held in The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth to mark the end of the summer read campaign. I was slightly nervous as I arrived - you never know how these things will go or how many people will turn up - but I needn't have been. As you can see from the photograph below, we had a full house and a wonderul evening.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank the organisors: Steve Bishop who chaired the event brilliantly; Joanna Simpson and all the North Tyneside librarians who worked so hard to make it happen over the summer; and Rebecca Wilkie from New Writing North who did such a great job on the bookstall last night.

I'd also like to thank my publisher Pan Macmillan for making Settled Blood available in advance of its official publication date, and of course the readers who turned up and made my night so special. I thought I'd never stop signing! Thank you all. 

Monday
Oct012012

Richmond Festival Rocks!

Many thanks to Richmond Walking and Book Festival, in particular Anne Wicks of Castle Hill Books who invited me to take part in the Macmillan Murder Mystery Panel last Friday night, along with fellow authors, David Jackson, Matthew (MR) Hall and Susan Parry, our brilliant chair. I enjoyed the event immensely and wish to thank everyone who turned out at Richmond School - Sixth Form Centre - in torrential rain and gave us such a warm Yorkshire welcome. Thanks also to Tim Culkin and Austin Lynch of Millgate House for accommodating us in such style. This was my first trip to Richmond but it won't be the last. 

Wednesday
Sep122012

Read Regional 2012

I'm so proud to tell you that my debut - The Murder Wall - has been chosen as one of the Read Regional titles this year. For those who don't know, Read Regional is a promotional project set up and managed by New Writing North and funded by Arts Council England. It seeks to connect local authors and poets to readers through events at libraries, festivals and bookshops right across the north of England. 

The writers selected this year are very diverse - eight novelists and five poets - but we have one thing in common: we were all readers first. So taking part in Read Regional is a wonderful opportunity to meet local people who are as passionate about reading as we are.

I live and work in Northumberland but my books are set right across the north east. I'm a firm believer that location is as important as any character in a book. A shared sense of place can add so much to the reading experience - and it seems others agree with me...

I recently asked my followers on Twitter why they like to read local books by local authors and got a huge response. @northernjon said: with a mix of truth and fantasy it provides a different perspective on a familiar landscape. @GarrySnaith said: because you know the locations it gives a better feel for the characters and the stories. I feel I can walk in their footsteps, and it makes for a much more enjoyable read. @Suzi187, an avid reader of crime fiction said: it's easier to picture and you can concentrate on the story.

A while ago, local journalist, David Whetstone, commented that he liked the fact I was not afraid to use real place names. He said, 'You can follow the route taken by her (my) heroine, DCI Kate Daniels, as she drives around Tyneside and the Tyne Valley. The pizzeria at the end of my street even gets a mention, as does the deli not far away.' @elizashworth - herself an author of historical fiction - summed it up perfectly: It's the little thrill of familiarity. Nuff said.  

I jumped at the chance to take part in Read Regional which is launched today. If you wish to follow the progress of the project, check out www.readregional.com or www.newwritingnorth.com or follow the #readregional hashtag on Twitter to see which writers are taking part and where they are appearing. My own events are spread right across the north of England. They are also listed on my events page and will be updated regularly. Congratulations to all taking part! 

Thursday
Sep062012

Making movies this p.m.

I'm about to head into town to be interviewed on a promotional video for the Northern Writers' Awards, one of which I won in 2010. And next month I'm off to Manchester Literary Festival to talk about them. In the meantime, if you want to know what I'm up to prior to the publication of Settled Blood, do check out my events page. Next up: Macmillan Murder Myster Panel at Richmond Festival on 28th September. 

Friday
Aug172012

Great way to finish the week ...

A few minutes ago, I signed off on my third book DEADLY DECEIT feeling exhausted but very proud of myself. Seconds later, a lovely email arrived in my inbox, an offer for audio rights for the first two books in the Kate Daniels series: THE MURDER WALL and SETTLED BLOOD. I may crack open a bottle to celebrate!  

Tuesday
Jul242012

Harrogate 2012 

It’s hard to put into words how I felt walking through the doors of the Old Swan on the morning of Creative Thursday for my panel: The Road to Publication – Success Stories. I was nervous, yes. Not the gut-wrenching unease I’d experienced the first time I walked into a court cell to face a man sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. That was really scary, although in reality he was a perfectly reasonable and rather sad individual who seemed more nervous of me than I was of him. No, when I followed my fellow panellists into the room, I felt happy, like a bride arriving at a wedding reception. I was among friends. This was my opportunity to celebrate a long relationship with Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, a time to welcome the guests and lift a glass afterwards.

Appearing with me on the panel were Mark Edwards, Louise Voss and our respective editors, Wayne Brookes of Pan Macmillan and Kate Bradley of Harper Collins. The event explored different routes to publication. It was well received and over all too quickly. So many writers approached me afterwards, I was punchy by teatime. But it was clear from what they had to say that the discussion had inspired them to finish that all important work in progress, to share their writing with others, before deciding on their own route to publication.  

A drinks reception on Thursday night gave me the chance to catch up with fellow Blake Friedmann authors - Peter James, Claire McGowan and David Mark. I also got to meet the cream of South African crime fiction, Margie Orford and Deon Meyer. Then it was back to the frenzy of the Old Swan for one of the highlights of the weekend, celebrating the wonderful work of Colin Dexter at the Festival Opening Party. 

We were also celebrating festival itself, it's tenth anniversary to be precise, and boy did it live up the hype. The panels were lively, the audiences appreciative, the atmosphere, for the most part, like that of a big noisy party without music. Such was the buzz around the festival, the hashtag TopCrime2012 began trending on twitter before it even got started. 

On Friday night, I was whisked off on a bus to Rudding Park for the annual Macmillan Dinner. I glanced at the mantelpiece on the way in where books were displayed last year, disappointed not to see them lined up. Then I noticed that they were actually on the table itself. One orange cover drew my eye. Can't think why . . .

I was surrounded by men as I took my seat: David Jackson, Ryan David Jahn on my left, Kerry Wilkinson on my right, and the man himself directly opposite, the inimitable and very entertaining Peter James. 

Next morning, he was 'Special Guest' in conversation with Paul Blezard. Sharon Canavar, the festival's director, either has no soul scheduling them at 9am or she's a very astute women! I think I know which.

A day of panel discussions and book signings followed, before it was time to host a table at the Festival Dinner. An Anne Cleeves' murder mystery kept us thoroughly entertained. My dinner guests, a mix of readers and writers, were great company and more intuitive than I when deciding upon the culprit to a very gruesome murder. I did point out that I usually know whodunnit before I put pen to paper!

I'd just like to applaude Theakstons Old Peculier who sponsor the festival, Sharon, Erica and all the staff who made it happen; also the wonderful staff of Waterstones who ran the bookshop all weekend - Thank you everyone - my book sold out!

I know many who attended 'Creative Thursday' went home buoyed by the experience and keen to come back, because they told me so, including those brave enough to put themselves forward for Dragon's Pen. I've already booked my accommodation for 2013 and hope to see even more of you there next year. But do spare a thought for the chap on the right, an unfortunate victim I came across outside the Old Swan.

I'm afraid he was, shall we say, beyond help by then. He looked a bit dodgy to me, so I stepped back and let the professionals take over. Didn't want to contaminate the scene now, did I? Between you an me, the pathologist said his liver was completely pickled! At Harrogate! Can you believe that?

If you were a witness to the crime, do the decent thing and call the law. If you know him, even better. The first person to tweet or email the answer will win a signed copy of The Murder Wall.

Friday
Jul132012

Thumbs up for book three

Hooray! Book three in the Kate Daniels series now has a new title: DEADLY DECEIT. The structural edit is done and soon it will be the turn of my wonderful copy-editor, Anne O'Brien, to work her magic. The cover is nearly there too. I haven't seen it yet but I'll share it with you as soon as I can. 

Wednesday
Jul112012

Harrogate is fast approaching...

Those who follow me on Twitter (@mariwriter) will already know how I feel about Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and what an important a part it has played in my journey to publication. Well, it’s nearly that time of the year again. The excitement is building and crime writers and readers from all over the world are about to descend on Harrogate for the tenth time. This year, I have more reason than ever to be excited ...  

Being invited to take part in the Creative Thursday programme is a dream come true. I’ll be joining fellow authors Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, their Harper Collins editor, Kate Bradley, and my own, Wayne Brookes of Pan Macmillan on a discussion panel entitled The Road to Publication: Success Stories. The idea is to highlight and explore different routes to publication. It is both an honour and a celebration for me to do this in Harrogate where my story began.

The one thing Mark, Louise and I have in common is that our journeys were long and difficult. But long and difficult does not equal impossible and that is the message I’ll be trying to get across. Creative Thursday is a great place to start. It’s a day of writer-led seminars and workshops, a chance to rub shoulders with those who have thrilled us with crime fiction for years. I’ve said before, the festival is what you make it. Either you engage with others or you stand on the sidelines and miss the opportunity.

I attended my first festival on the advice of NJ Cooper – Hooray! She’s just been longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Vengeance in Mind . We’d met at the Hexham Book Festival. The following year, I arrived in Harrogate a bit nervous, alone, and knowing very little about the industry I wanted to be part of. Big mistake when you're suddenly in a room full of book enthusiasts, authors, agents, publishers and bloggers.

The important thing is that Creative Thursday gave me the impetus to finish my debut, The Murder Wall. In 2010, I won a Northern Writers’ Award for Settled Blood, the second in the Kate Daniels series. This was after translation rights had been sold to Goldmann in Germany for the debut, but before my agent had found a UK publisher. Then came my big break – a three book deal with Pan Macmillan.

There have been many proud moments this year: a quote for The Murder Wall by Peter James, a glowing review from Marcel Berlins (Times) and another from Laura Wilson (Guardian) both had me shrieking with delight! I thought I might die of excitement.

I’m only now getting used to the public side of being a professional crime writer. Oh yes, there is a whole other aspect to the job! Since The Murder Wall was published on 12th April 2012, I’ve been fully engaged with the reading public: signing books, giving interviews, facing a barrage of question about why I write, what kind of stories interest me, how many hours a day I devote to the craft of writing, how I plan and structure my novels.

In May, I had my first taste of speaking at Crimefest – another great festival held in Bristol. And last month, I took part in Crime on Tour when Theakstons Crime Writing Festival took to the road bringing 'New Blood' to crime fiction fans ahead of the festival itself to mark their tenth anniversary. Just about every week from now until Christmas (don’t ask me when I will ever find the time to write) I’m appearing somewhere or other – and that’s not including the launch of Settled Blood in November.

There are few who relish taking the stage or being held up as an expert and I’m no different in this respect. I’m not a shy person but neither do public appearances come naturally to me. However, as my confidence has grown, I’ve come to realise how important it is to take part in such events. It’s an opportunity to thank the reading public for their support, to pass on what I’ve learned along the way, and to contribute something new to the genre of crime fiction. I'm no longer the person standing on the outside looking in. I’m a fully paid up member of the crime writing community and it’s a great place to be. Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has played a huge role in getting me there. I hope some of you will join me at Creative Thursday when I have the chance to give something back.