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Writing The First Cut

I have been writing and telling stories all my life. When I was a child, I used to make up stories for my little sister after our Mum put the light out and told us to go to sleep. Later, I wrote documents, contracts, and courses as part of my job, but my time was well accounted for and so I did not create any fiction.


However, I took early retirement when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were times when I suffered severe side effects from my treatment. I could not go out, spend time with friends or indulge in many of my favourite hobbies, but watching daytime television gets very old very fast, so I turned to reading. It was the only thing I had the energy to do and could do safely.

I read voraciously, as I always have. I particularly enjoy reading crime fiction and thrillers. I indulged this interest with many novels including those by Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Linwood Barclay and Kathy Reichs.


After a while, I began to feel a little better and decided to start reviewing the books I read and I enjoyed doing that. Then, as I began to feel better still, I got restless, but was still did not well enough to do very much and I complained to my long-suffering husband about getting bored. It was then he challenged me: ‘If you know so much about what makes a good book, why don’t you write one?’ I did laugh. However, the challenge set, I have been writing police procedural crime thrillers set in Scotland ever since.


In fact, my publishers, SpellBound Books have just published the first book in a new series The Jane Renwick Thrillers where the main character is Detective Sergeant Jane Renwick, The First Cut.

Jane Renwick appears in my original series of crime novels, The DI Hunter Wilson Crime Thrillers but the main character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. However, there was no competition about who my new main character should be. I had created an interesting back story for Jane Renwick. She grew up in care and struggled against the odds to achieve her ambition of joining the police force, but she did manage to do this and is a respected police detective in the Major Incident Team (MIT).


However, Jane has not been able to marry. She lives with her civil partner, Rachael Anderson, who is also a detective on the force. The First Cut is set in early 2014 and marriage for the LGBTQ community did not become legal in Scotland until December of that year. Maybe Jane and Rachael will formally marry in the future.

The Jane Renwick Thrillers will reflect the work of MIT; therefore Jane’s stories will take her all over Scotland, not just Edinburgh where she and Rachael live. I look forward to sharing the beautiful and varied parts of Scotland with my readers as they follow Jane’s adventures.




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