…to my newly revamped website. This is my first blog, somewhere for me to talk to you in more than 140 characters but less than 90,000 words.

I’m writing this in my London study, but this week exciting things are happening for me on the other side of the Atlantic. Today my first novel, The Poison Tree, is published in paperback in the US. It has a gorgeous new cover emblazoned with a great blurb from Stephen King, and what’s almost more exciting for a lifelong book fetishist like me, it has the iconic orange Penguin spine. I don’t usually keep my own books on the shelf in my sitting room but the temptation to slide a copy in my beloved ‘orange shelf’ was too much to resist. The Poison Tree currently resides between A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh and A Sense of Guilt by Andrea Newman. What a sandwich that is.

At the end of this week, The Dark Rose (published as The Sick Rose in the UK) makes its hardback debut. Early reviews have been good, and I’m hoping that the novel does well – I’m especially proud of this book. It would be all too easy to spend this week obsessively refreshing my Amazon page, but I have plenty to keep me away from the internet. I delivered my third novel – title to be revealed soon – to my editor on Christmas Eve. After a blissful January spent sitting on my arse eating cheese contemplating character and plot, I’m ready to return to my manuscript.

I’ll be updating this page soon with more news and reviews, giveaways. In the meantime, I hope this blog will become a two-way forum. If you have any questions about my novels, I would love to hear from you.

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8 Responses to Welcome…

  1. Karen says:

    Please write a new book! I loved both of your novels & can’t wait for the next….anything in the works?

    • Thanks so much, Karen! I’ve just finished my third novel. It’s another standalone psychological thriller, about a family weekend away that turns sinister when the son brings his new girlfriend along to stay. I’m editing it now. I think it should be on sale in the UK this time next year.

  2. Chris says:

    Love the new look and the blog. Look forward to reading it often. And I cannot wait to read “#3”. Can we call it “untitled”, at least for the time being, like a Led Zeppelin album…?

    Just a general question about novelists that you or any of your peers can answer if anyone wants: In general, if there are mistakes in fiction – and I mean obvious editing or writing mistakes, like statements that contradict earlier events, mutating physical descriptions of characters, etc., do novelists like to have those pointed out, or is there nothing that can be done once the editing process is complete, and thus readers should keep quiet? Or does it depend on the author?

    • Imagine that you were giving an important speech, and that your flies were undone. Of course you would rather someone pointed this out to you, but you would want them to do so discreetly and in private. This is what publishers, editors and copy editors are for. But they, like novelists, are only human, and sometimes errors turn up very late in the editing process – the paperback of The Sick Rose in the UK, for example, will contain a minor tweak that didn’t make it into the hardback – and although it’s quite rare, changes can be made to the paperback edition if the book goes into reprints. Of course the process is much easier for ebooks.
      Naturally I am now wondering which of my books features a character with mutating eye colour. You’ll soon be able to discuss it with other readers. I’m developing a ‘book club’ page for this site, a kind of speakeasy where people who have finished the novels can discuss them, flaws, spoilers and all.

  3. Chris Bennett says:

    Off the subject, if I may.
    Remember several weeks ago, you asked on Twitter about novels with multiple narrators. I went back through your Twitter timeline and could not find the exact reference. I cannot remember the context of why you asked so I am sure my reply here will be a little digressvie. But one of my other favorite novels (besides yours), “Election” by Tom Perrotta, has multiple narrators. I thought of it yesterday when riding my bicycle. I had to time to reflect that both Election and Poison Tree have badly-damaged young women who drag down others as central characters, those less direly-so in “Election”. Maybe there is something about having damaged characters as central figures that makes them unreliable sole narrators.

    • I think the conversation was triggered by someone talking about The Collector by John Fowles (one of my favourite novels). I think it’s a masterpiece of dual narrative. It’s a masterpiece full stop, although in this case it’s the male protagonist who is the most obviously disturbed. (Although the girl’s pretty far gone too by the time he’s finished with her.)
      I had (shamefully) only heard of Election in its filmed incarnation, but on your recommendation I’ve just ordered a copy. It sounds like my kind of thing and I’m confident I’ll enjoy it: I know you to be a reader of flawless taste. I’ll let you know what I think.

  4. mary wilson says:

    Erin, just discovered you in Coatbridge Library a few weeks ago! I have now read The Burning Air and The Poison Tree and enjoyed both novels immensely. Congratulations! I have recommended both titles to friends and have suggested they look out for your other novels. I look forward with great excitement to reading all of your work. You’ve got a new fan!

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