Dedicated to football

I dedicated Final Offer, the latest Skyberg investigation, to the brilliant women I play football with, and tomorrow night on BBC1, you can watch some of my team mates play when Inside Out reports on the Old Girls’ World Cup which took place in France this summer. Ingrid joins an over-35s football (soccer to some of you) in Final Offer because I needed to give her some friends outside of the embassy. I also wanted to show how much fun playing sport in your thirties, forties and fifties is. For me, and for many of the women I play with, it’s not just about fun and fitness, it’s about friendship. A few months after Eva died, one of my neighbours – who is now one of my best friends – got me out of the house by saying I should play football with some of her mates on a local school’s playing field. I didn’t know anyone else there, and didn’t know if I could play (I can’t really), but week by week I got a bit better, gained in confidence, left the house more and met a bunch of the most fantastic women. I really, truly believe playing football was the best form of grief counselling and I’m so grateful I was allowed to join the gang. Four years on, we now play under floodlights, have regular coaching sessions and take part in the growing number of Women’s Recreational Football tournaments around the country. You can see how much it means to everyone who takes part in this clip from tomorrow night’s broadcast. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-kent-49681983/the-missed-generation-of-women-s-football Inside Out, BBC1, 7:30pm,...

A deadly coincidence

Isn’t it nice when the headlines help you out with a bit of publicity! This morning, the day after the launch for Final Offer, I saw a report about the brown recluse spider which makes a (significant) guest appearance in the new Skyberg adventure. Check out this link for the gruesome story. When I started researching this book back in 2016 I was working with the completely brilliant adventurer and survival expert Megan Hine on her book Mind Of A Survivor (which was – by far – the most interesting book I worked on as a ghostwriter on and I totally recommend it if you’re interested in why some people make it out of survival situations alive, and some don’t). Meg was an amazing person for me to work with as I took over the Skyberg series, as she’s got all kinds of knowledge in her head that is probably in Ingrid’s (but not mine). The hypothermia plot in Below Zero, by the way, was a direct consequence of a story Meg told me. When I was writing Final Offer I said to Meg… I need a small poisonous spider, one that doesn’t kill straight away, one where you can function for a bit and where it wouldn’t be immediately obvious how someone had died. And Meg suggested the brown recluse. If you want to see Meg in action, she’s currently part of the team hunting for a lost city in the Amazon in the Curse of Akakor. Watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/CurseOfAkakor/ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RETURN TO THE BLOG...

An unusual birthday present

Today would have been Eva’s 54th birthday and, coincidentally, it also marks a big, bold new chapter in the Ingrid Skyberg story, so I’ve got two very important things to celebrate. The Skyberg series is being relaunched today by my new publisher. Over the next few months, the entire series will be reissued starting with Fresh Doubt and culminating – finally – with the publication of the new Skyberg adventure, Final Offer. I’m really excited about the new deal: it will hopefully mean the Skyberg series finds many more new readers and give Eva the legacy she deserves. And the good news for existing readers is the deal frees up my time to write more books. I’m currently plotting the next book and it feels like it might be the most thrilling instalment yet. So please join me today in toasting the remarkable, and much missed, Eva Hudson. Happy birthday xx +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RETURN TO THE BLOG...

Not so happy Valentine’s Day

So it’s Valentine’s Day. For anyone out there feeling alone, broken-hearted or romantically bereft, I hope you can take some consolation in the fact that A) Valentine’s Day is totally made up and just a marketing ploy to make suckers spend money, and B) You’re not Ingrid Skyberg. In the new book, she’s on Tinder. And let’s just say her dating career has taken a nose dive. And that’s saying something. Shall we take a moment to list the men she’s dated? OK then. So, there was her high school sweetheart, Clark Swanson, he of the lovely smile who turns out to be a cheater and a swine (this only comes out in the short story Dirty Secret, which is available – for the first time – to readers not on the mailing list as part of the re-packaged box set). Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Then there was Marshall Goddamned Claybourne. What the hell was she ever doing with such a pompous ass, and why the hell did she accept his marriage proposal? No wonder she took a job on the other side of the Atlantic. Nick Angelis? Far too arrogant to love, but you can imagine they had a good time in the sack. Ralph Mills. Or should that be Poor Old Ralph Mills, Ingrid’s attempt to break her bad boy addiction. But he was never going to be enough for her, was he? There was also a brief liaison with the detective inspector in Kill Plan, Patrick Mbeke, that didn’t go anywhere for a very good reason. Have I forgotten any? You’ve probably read...

How to help your favourite author

  Last week, I asked everyone on the mailing list to help me relaunch the Skyberg series by leaving new reviews of the books. I’ve been touched by the response and I want to say a very big, and genuinely heartfelt, thank you to everyone who took the time to do it. I got one very kind email from a reader saying, ‘What else can I do to help?’ and I gave it some thought. There’s actually quite a lot you can do to help your favourite authors find more readers, and it doesn’t require you to spend a cent, nor should it take up too much of your time. Obviously I hope you’ll follow these tips to help Eva’s books gain more visibility, but you can also do this for every author you think deserves a wider readership. 1. Follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/evahudsoncrimewriter), Twitter (twitter.com/eva_hudson) and other social media platforms. 2. Join their mailing list (you may also get the occasional freebie, so everybody wins). 3. Always review their books and then share your reviews on social media. If you read paperbacks, photograph yourself with a copy and blog/post about it on social media. 4. Tell your friends about your favourite new author and encourage them to download any free books they offer. So, in Eva’s case, that would be Run Girl, which is free on the following retailers: Amazon iBooks Google Barnes & Noble Kobo The extra downloads will help boost Run Girl’s ranking, which in turn helps other readers discover the Skyberg books. 5. Follow your favourite author on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5279850.Eva_Hudson), BookBub (https://www.bookbub.com/authors/eva-hudson) and Amazon...

Ingrid’s had a makeover!

  I’ve been thinking about getting the Skyberg covers redesigned for a long time. It’s been so long since I published Below Zero I wanted to inject a bit of excitement back into the series, and giving Ingrid a whole new look seemed like a great way to make readers (and me) excited about Skyberg again. When the early books in the series were first published in 2014, Eva was going through treatment and although she was immensely proud of them at the time, the covers probably didn’t get the attention they deserved. Enough time has now passed since Eva died for me to look at the Skyberg series more objectively, and I decided it was time for an overhaul. But there was a problem. Whenever I looked at photos for the covers, I found the models used by all the major stock photography libraries (Getty, Adobe, Bigstockphoto etc) either had long hair or their lingerie showing! The books make it clear that Ingrid has short blonde hair and spends most of her time in biker gear. That meant I was going to have to commission the portrait photography, and here I got really, really lucky. Over breakfast, I mentioned all of this to my girlfriend she said ‘I know just the person’. So I went to meet the model who’s tall, slender, blond and – like Ingrid – Scandinavian. She also, weirdly, looks a lot like Eva, so much so that when I showed Eva’s best friend the early mock-ups she cried. Now I’ve got used to the similarities, I think it’s really cool Ingrid has ended up...