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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.

It's been quite a week ...

My week began with a fun Getting to Know You Q & A with Victoria Watson and wonderful personal reviews of The Murder Wall by Sarah Chapman (aka Bibliomouse) and We Love This Book. Today, Miles Rambles posted my contribution to 'Off the Record' a section of his website where authors can write on any topic, a first for me. This week, like last, has been filled with good wishes.

The book has been very well received and signings have been a real eye-opener. This is now about the reader and not me. In truth, it has always been so. But lately, I've felt like I've been the focus of attention rather than the the book, and that's not something you get used to overnight. To cap it all, I woke on Saturday morning to a wonderful surprise, a much welcomed Guardian 'Crime Fiction' Review by Laura Wilson. It doesn't get any better than that!


Publication Day passed me by ...

I never dreamt that I'd miss a post on Publication Day but I was so busy on Thursday 12th replying to good luck tweets, answering emails and taking calls, I just never got round to it. Thanks to each and every one of you. You know who you are.

There are too many people to thank individually but a special mention must go to Peter James for his endorsement of The Murder Wall. Pam McIlroy for hosting a competition to win a copy of the book on my big day - and for her fabulous review. Likewise to Keith Walters and Miles Rambles for their wonderful reviews. Keith claims my book spoiled his manicure. My lawyers will refute that. Matt Ogborn also gets a mention for a special interview posted on Publication Day. Rebecca Leith for her fun Q and A on Friday. The Harrogate gang of 2011 for year round support: As mentioned above, Pam, Keith, Miles. Also, Mel Sherratt (thanks so much for the wonderful bouquet, Mel! Sniff.) Also Rebecca Bradley who snuck a mention of me on her blog when she thought I wasn't watching, Nic Ford who always makes me laugh and fellow Pan Mac author, Dave Jackson. Thanks also to Rhian Davies who nominated me for #fridayreads and has fun stuff planned. Watch this space ...   

I've spoken before about my journey. Blake Friedmann and Pan Macmillan are a dream team to work with. I've listed agents and editors, sales and marketing teams, art departments and publicists, typesetters, office bods and book bloggers. Well, the last two days have introduced another dimension altogether: the buyers, booksellers and counter assistants, most important of all - the readers. It really is a team effort.

My first signing was at Waterstones in Newcastle on Friday. I lost count of how many copies I signed (hooray!) but I had some surprise visitors along the way: my partner - well, maybe that wasn't such a surprise now I come to think of it! - my son and his partner, someone I knew from my screenwriting days called Keith who'll appear in book three as himself, and another Northern Writers' Award winner, soon to be published author, Niel Bushnell - as well as people who just knew people who knew me.

One lady came in because her daughter works with my son. She bought two books, had them signed, then disappeared. Half an hour later, she arrived back in store with these lovely flowers. I'd never met her before and I was so touched by her generosity.

I signed books for birthdays, for people visiting the sick, for girlfriends who couldn't make it because they were working, for loved ones who live faraway. One book enthusiast bought five copies. Good man! He asked me to write the first line of The Murder Wall, sign and date them with the publication date. He was meticulous about examining the books first, making sure they weren't damaged in any way. 

One customer asked me if I knew where the maps were! I didn't. A man in his eighties made the same mistake of thinking I was a member of staff. Realising I was an author signing, he apologised profusely. I told him not to worry, it was a genuine mistake. When I asked him if he liked crime fiction, he replied, 'Yes, but only the historical kind.' He came back some time later with a basket full of books - his summer reads -and asked me to sign a copy of the Murder Wall. I said, 'but you only like historical!' He told me I'd been so nice about his faux pas he'd decided to give it a go. We chatted for ages about his late wife and his amazing children.

A young guy came in. He pointed at the pile and said, I'll have one of those. Gary didn't like crime but he was an author himself. Smiling, he told me he knew what it was like sitting in a bookstore waiting for someone to buy your book. It was a lull. I wasn't sulking. Honestly.

Just as I was about to leave, a man passed me by and did a double-take. I know the author of that book, he said. And he did. I've only spoken publicly once and that was to the Cramlington Writers' Group of which Ian is a member. A published author himself, he went back to the counter and bought another book. Mine.

These were just some of the people I met at my first signing. They were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and they all loved crime fiction as much as I do. I was feeling the love and they made my day really special. Before I left, my son came back into Waterstones. I've not come to buy your book, he said. I came to buy SJToyne. Nuff said. After an amazing afternoon, it was back to earth with a bump.



Times' Marcel Berlins' crime review - 7th April 2012

Marcel Berlins lists DCI Kate Daniels as one of two Northerners to join the roster of top literary detectives.

A welcome to two excellent police thriller debuts, both set in the North East and both introducing coppers whom I hope will be around for some time . . .

The feisty, stubborn, occasionally subordinate heroine of Mari Hannah's The Murder Wall, DCI Kate Daniels of the Newcastle police, too ambitious for her own good, having to mask her sexuality, sees a murder in a posh flat as a chance to redeem her failure to solve a similar killing a year before. But the new inquiry turns out to involve someone she's very close to; there's an ethical issue. Hannah is especially good at portraying the emotional interactions and office politics of a fraught police force.


The Murder Wall - Waterstones Book of the Month!

Oh Wow! I'm so excited.

My lovely daughter-in-law just spotted this wonderful display in Waterstones (Newcastle) where I'll be signing at 1.30pm on Friday 13th April - and no, I'm not superstitious!

My local independent bookshop, Forum Books (Corbridge) have also been in touch to say they have their copies.

I'm about to open the bubbly!


The book has arrived!

A very special parcel arrived today from Pan Macmillan, a big brown box containing pristine copies of The Murder Wall. It's taken years to get to this point and it was a great feeling to see the finished book and actually hold it in my hand. My timeline on Twitter went mad as people shared in my joy. Thanks everyone - you know who you are. Deep breath now . . . only sixteen more sleeps until Publication Day!     


Book Launch! 

Hello! I mentioned book launch news in my last post but now it's official. The Murder Wall launch will take place at the Hexham Book Festival 2012 on April 26th at 8pm in the Queens Hall Library. I'll be signing books afterwards and I look forward to meeting you over a glass of wine.

The festival is always well attended so if you'd like to come along and celebrate my big day, it may be best to book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets to my event are free but must be reserved by phone or email here and may be left at the box office for collection if required. Please note: it is not possible to book free events online.


My Harrogate 2012

Shall I stop jumping up and down now and tell you my great news?  

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and visit this site regularly will already know how I feel about Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and how inextricably linked it is to my journey to publication. This is last year's post

Well, today I'm delighted to announce that I've been asked to take part in the Creative Thursday programme this year (yes, me!) along with Programme Chair, Mark Billingham, fellow writers Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, their editor at Harper Collins, Kate Bradley, and my own fabulous publisher, Wayne Brookes of Pan Macmillan.

The 'Success Stories' seminar will highlight and explore different routes to publication. Details are only just emerging at this point but I'll report back as soon as I know more. I'd just like to say that it is both an honour and a celebration for me to be able to give something back to Harrogate where my story began - I can't wait for July!  



Booksellers' Choice - more great news for The Murder Wall 

Wow! The Murder Wall has been listed as the Booksellers' Choice of titles due for publication in April 2012 with the following comments . . . 

Set in Newcastle, The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah is a fast-paced thriller featuring DCI Kate Daniels, a mixed-up detective who finds that her latest case is personal - the murder of her colleague's husband. This is police procedural at its best - short, snappy chapters, inventive characters, lots of twists and interwoven stories of the police's private lives.

I'm so excited!


Quote for The Murder Wall

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

Wow! I was knocked out when I received this and I'm delighted to share it with you. It's my first author quote and it's come from one of crime fiction's finest. I'd like to thank Peter for his generosity and support, for taking the time to read and comment on my work when he's so very busy. His endorsement means so much. 


Bookseller Paperback Preview of The Murder Wall

I'm really excited by this preview in December's issue of The Bookseller magazine . . .

The Murder Wall: A début Pan is particularly keen on for it starts a Newcastle based series that will build quickly with two a year. My reader found it finished a little sharply but thoroughly enjoyed getting there. 


Happy New Year!

As 2011 draws to a close, I'd like to say a few things before signing off. At the start of the year, my agent suggested that I join Twitter. I was shaking my head before he'd even finished speaking ...

'It isn't my style ...' I told him. 'I don't think I'll be any good at it. They talk a different language. I'll never fit in. Besides, I haven't got the time.'

'You should consider it ...' Oli said. 'It's a lot of fun!'

I think I changed the subject and poured more wine.

On the journey back from London, I had second thoughts. Agents advise, don't they? It would be rude to ignore mine. If you know Oli - that's @oliagent by the way - it will not have escaped your attention that he knows how to party ... him and the rest of Blake Friedmann team! If he said it was fun, it would be. It was a chance to engage with others and get my name out there, an opportunity to lessen the isolation of living inside my own head making up stories. What harm could it do?

On 13th February 2011, I took the plunge. I had no idea what I was doing. Oh, you noticed?:-) Well, that much was obvious to the pros. But then people began to help me out, my followers grew, and I met so many wonderful and generous people along the way. Oli was right, it was/is good fun.

It didn't take me long to realise that joining the Twitterverse was about so much more than building a following on route to publication. In the last ten months, I've laughed and cried at your humour, I've learned the lessons you have taught, I've made a complete fool of myself on occasions and, sadly, perhaps inevitably, I've felt your disappointment and your pain. I've also seen the way you rally round each other when times are tough and I've always felt included in your thoughts. That means so much to me.  

In July, I met some of my Twitter friends at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. I wasn't disappointed. They were just as much fun in real life as they had previously been in the virtual one. A small group of us have since met up and have plans to do it again in a few weeks time. Wine will no doubt figure as we raise a glass to 2012.

By a country mile, the very best experience for me came in August this year: Publication Day in Germany. My Twitter feed went ballistic as good wishes poured in from all over the world. I was a published author at last! Sharing it with you guys made it all the more special. I can't wait to do it all over again when The Murder Wall is published in the UK in April 2012.

In the meantime, thanks for all the support you've shown me over the year. Wherever you are tonight, I wish you all a very Happy New Year! 


The Murder Wall cover blurb

Who knows when a killer will call?

Eleven months after discovering a brutal double murder in a sleepy Northumbrian village, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the case. Then a brutal killing of a man on Newcastle's Quayside gives Daniels her first case as Senior Investigating Officer and another chance to get it right.

When Daniels recognizes the corpse but fails to disclose the fact, her personal life suddenly swerves into her professional life. But, much worse, she is now being watched.

As Daniels steps closer to finding a killer, a killer is only a breath away from claiming his next victim...

The Murder Wall was published by Goldmann in Germany in August 2011 under the title: Sein Zorn komme über uns. It will be launched in the UK, Commonwealth & Canada in April 2012.


Introducing . . .The Murder Wall 

It seems like ages since I first mentioned having seen The Murder Wall jacket proof. Well, today I've been given permission to share the updated version with everyone for the very first time. I think it's absolutely stunning. Thank you, Pan Macmillan. You've done an amazing job!


Publication Day in Germany!

Well, it's here. I've been working towards this day for a very long time. You heard the one about the ten year overnight success? That's me. I woke up this morning, same old me. Nothing has changed, right? Wrong. I can finally call myself a published author! Yes, me!

And just as I am writing this, six copies of Sein Zorn komme über uns have arrived.

I am delighted with the way the book looks. I had no input in the jacket design but I think my German publisher, Goldmann, have done a great job. 

All of a sudden, publication is not something happening in the future. It's right here, right now. I can hardly contain myself . . . 

There are no trumpets sounding, no launch parties planned in far flung places, just a small but very special family party at home later on today.

I just couldn't let the day pass without acknowledging two very special people who have helped me on my way. My partner, who has always believed in me. Thanks, Mo. And my agent, a really cool guy for those of you who don't know him. Thanks, Oli.

The rest of my day will be spent doing absolutely nothing except holding this very special book in my hand whilst I raise a toast to Goldmann and also Sigrun Zühlke, my German translator, who I've yet to meet.

That's all. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.   


The Murder Wall Cover

Yesterday, I saw the proposed cover for The Murder Wall for the first time and I was blown away. I won't describe it because, as soon as I can, I intend to post it here on my website. What I can tell you is that it is bold, fresh and distinctly original, so right for the debut and the series as a whole. I've seen nothing like it before. Pan Macmillan art department have done a fantastic job! Watch this space for more details . . .