Today I am part of the blog tour for Chloe: Lost Girl by Dan Laughey. He will be sharing how the past affects the present and also the future and how it affected his writing in Chloe: Lost Girl.
A missing student. A gunned-down detective. A woman in fear for her life. All three are connected somehow.
Detective Inspector Carl Sant and his fellow officers get on the case. But what links the disappearance of a university student, the death of an off-duty police sergeant, and a professor reluctant to help them solve the case?
Their only clue is a sequence of numbers, etched by the police sergeant Dryden on a misty window moments before he breathed his last. Soon it becomes clear that Dryden’s clue has brought the past and present into a head-on collision with the very heart of Sant’s profession.
Racing against time, D.I. Sant must find out what’s behind the mysterious events – before the bodies start piling up.
T. S. Eliot once wrote that the best poetry requires a sense ‘not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.’ I would argue that the best crime fiction requires that same sense. A sense that history is not merely how things once were, but on the contrary, history is here and now, living in all of us from this day forward.
A living, breathing history pokes its head through all the best stories of our times. There is no better crime writer out there than the late, great Ross Macdonald. Inspired by Raymond Chandler, Macdonald carried the genre to new heights by blending history into murder mysteries and murder mysteries into history. He did what very few writers can do: become very popular and at the same time write very important novels. Novels which made very deep impressions on readers and other writers who followed him.
My own use of history as an inspiration for what happens in CHLOE: LOST GIRL is something I’m deeply aware of. A real crime – the murder of a police officer in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, back in 1984, when I was still a child – was the launch-pad for my first stab at crime writing thirty years later. I should emphasise that the relationship between my characters and the real people caught up in that past tragedy is purely arbitrary, but certainly the 1984 crime and its subsequent investigation inspired the cold-case enquiry that forms the subplot to my main storyline about a present-day murder of a detective and disappearance of a university student.
Bringing a cold-case investigation to bear on a contemporary murder mystery was a concept I found intriguing. This phenomenon of the historical crime that can be revisited, reassessed, and throw up revelations that effectively rewrite the past, and the present with it, is a fairly recent one in the evolution of our justice system. The idea of what’s gone before informing the here and now is integral to the way I see things in my imaginary looking glass. Cold-case enquiries are cropping up all the time, but not a lot of crime fiction has tapped into this.
No doubt Eliot would have been just as good at crime writing as he was at poetry. That historical sense never left him. It should never leave any writer who wants to connect with the world around them; the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow; and more importantly, the world inhibited by readers.
About the Author:
Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
Today I am part of the blog tour for The Story a Day May Collection which is a collection of short stories by Morgen Bailey. I will be sharing my review.
This collection was written from a variety of prompts supplied by storyaday.org and originally published on Morgen’s blog (morgenbailey.wordpress.com – where you can still read the list of prompts), during May 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In this book there are stories of revenge, overcoming obstacles, newfound and lost love, shopping, chocolate, legends of history, and the occasional alien or two.
We have crimes afoot, writer’s block, characters with and without friends, homages, humans and non-humans, scratches, squeaks and barks.
From Chelsea buns to casseroles, we share the highs and lows, but the stories all go to show what can be done with a prompt, a few hours, and a colourful imagination.
The Story a Day May Collection
Author: Morgen Bailey
Published: July 5, 2016
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 2- 6, 2019
The Story a Day May Collection was written by Morgen Bailey. It was a challenge that Bailey took to write one short story a day for the whole month of May not just for one year, but three years! Each day was given a ‘prompt’ to write for the short story of the day. These are a variety of stories and some are standalone while others are continuations of each other. The stories can be very brief to several pages.
The prompts for the story to be written were given each morning with no warning ahead of time as to what the story should be about. The story was left to the interpretation of the author and their imagination with what to write.
What results is a wide variety of short stories and you will be sure to find some you enjoy and be touched by. I give Bailey kudos for doing this challenge for three years in a row and challenging herself and her abilities!
About the Author:
Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address email@example.com.
Today I am helping spread the word out about the novel Dying to Meet You by Rich Amooi. He writes ‘Quirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective’. I have been meaning to read his books and I liked the sound of Dying to Meet You that I pre-ordered it! Dying to Meet You was released May 10, 2019.
Liz Parker doesn’t like surprises, but winning the lottery isn’t something she would complain about. Before she has time to think about how to spend her new fortune, she’s hit with an even bigger shock than unexpected wealth. She has three months to live unless she finds a one-in-a-million bone marrow donor.
While her medical team scrambles to locate her miracle, Liz throws together a bucket list, charters a private jet, and takes off to see the world. The journey of a lifetime holds even more surprises, including the hunky pilot she’s falling for at the most inconvenient time.
Will Liz die before she can realize her happily-ever-after, or will the universe come through for her one more time? Find out in this humorous tale of true love and adventure!
About the Author:
Fun, Quirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective. Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.