I recently connected with British BestSelling crime-writer, Mel Sherratt, after reading some of her superbly crafted work. Mel generously shares on DyingWords how her about-to-be released new book, Follow The Leader, came to be.
When I wrote Taunting The Dead back in 2010, I had no idea that I was going to write a police procedural. My character, Allie Shenton, started off as a police family liaison officer, but as the plot evolved and she needed to be out of the suspect’s house more than I had originally planned, it made sense to make her a detective sergeant – plus the book benefited from being in multiple viewpoints.
When I published Taunting The Dead, it was my debut novel, although it was the fifth book I had actually written. I had no idea of its reach. I mean, how does anyone know when they publish a book? The most you hope for when you start out is that someone might like it enough to recommend it to someone else… and then some.
Step back a little to the four books I had already written. Three of these are the books that currently make up The Estate Series. Feeling passionate about these books after two of them had been rejected by several mainstream publishers, I decided to re-edit them and publish them off the back of Taunting The Dead and when they did well, I thought perhaps Taunting The Dead had been a fluke.
At that time, I had written 10,000 words of a follow-on from Taunting The Dead, but then decided to write a psychological thriller and take the fast pacing and twisting of Taunting The Dead and the emotion and fear of The Estate Series and combine the two. That ended up as Watching Over You.
When I got a two book deal with Thomas & Mercer, I chatted to my editor about the 10,000 words I’d written and so I concentrated on writing Follow The Leader. I’m now putting the finishing touches to the third in the series, Only The Brave. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed writing about Allie Shenton again.
What I learned from all this – despite thinking that I didn’t enjoy writing police procedurals, and instead concentrating on one or two main characters in Watching Over You, I actually like writing books with multiple viewpoints and sub-plots. Follow The Leader was a challenge because I had to get rid of the baggage but once I’d done this, the words began to add up.
I learned such a lot from my editor at Thomas & Mercer. She made me into a better writer, I’m sure. And now I’m happy with the direction my writing is heading. I am a gritty writer, not afraid to write about touchy subjects, no matter how harsh the reviews are sometimes. But I enjoy what I do – and hopefully a lot of readers do too. I have over 1700 reviews across my books on Amazon – with 85% of those 4 and 5 stars – that ain’t too bad. So, for anyone who has read one of my books and left a review to say so, or contacted me to say so, THANK YOU so much.
The book that was never meant to be, Follow The Leader, will be published 10 February 2015, followed by Only The Brave, penned in for 26 May 2015.
The three books tie up a sub-plot that runs through them all. In Only The Brave, you’ll get re-acquainted with the Ryder family… oh, how I’ve enjoyed that! I’ve mirrored a lot of things from Taunting The Dead and in Only The Brave, but all three books can be read as stand-alones – there is a crime to be solved in each book.
I’m writing more books in The Estate Series at the moment too. But, funnily enough, now that I’ve written three books with Allie Shenton as my main character, I’ve found myself planning two more…
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Mel Sherratt has been a self-described ‘meddler of words’ ever since she can remember. Since successfully self-publishing Taunting The Dead and seeing it soar to the rank of number one best-selling police procedurals in the Amazon Kindle store in 2012, Mel has gone on to publish three more books in the critically acclaimed The Estate Series.
Her new book, Watching Over You, came out on 14 January 2014 and went to #1 in psychological thrillers in the UK, US, German and Australian Kindle charts.
Since its re-release in December 2013, Taunting The Dead has also gone to #1 in police procedurals in the UK, US and Australian Kindle charts.
The three books in The Estate Series also hit spots #1, #2 and #3 in the overall top 100 Australian charts and recently all three entered the top 100 in the UK. They have all been #1 in the UK psychological thrillers category.
Watch for Mel’s next book Follow The Leader which is set for release on February 10th, 2015, and shortly followed by Only The Brave on May 26, 2015. Mel has also generously agreed to a Q&A interview here on DyingWords and we’ll post that in time for the launch of Follow The Leader.
Here’s Mel Sherratt’s website http://melsherratt.co.uk/
Follow Mel on Twitter @writermels
Her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mel-Sherratt/218120504951096
Thanks so much for doing this, Mel!