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...

Martha Steinway

I got an email from a reader a couple of days ago asking who Martha Steinway was, so I thought I better explain… When Eva and I started writing the Hollywood Detective series, we knew we weren’t going to publish them under her name. The Hudson brand was too gritty and contemporary for a cozy mystery series, and although I think we probably did discuss writing them under my name, as a  ghostwriter, using my real name seemed a breach of my professional anonymity. So… we needed a pen name. We knew we wanted something that sounded American, and also something that had the right vintage feel. I remember fooling around with Vanderbilt, Carnegie and Rothschild but we settled on Steinway fairly early on. Eva had used the character name Carmen Steinway in The Senior Moment, and she had this nice catchphrase – ‘As in pianos’ – whenever she introduced herself. It stuck in both our heads, it looked good written down, it was memorable-but-spellable (a crucial factor in name recognition) and we liked it. Now all we needed was a first name to go with it. The convention is that women will read books by men and women, but men prefer books written by men, so to appeal to the widest audience, we decided we’d choose a male name. Somehow – as evidenced by these early cover designs – we came up with Robert. However, shortly before publishing the first book, we had a change of heart: we’re both women, we wanted to improve female visibility in publishing and if we lost a few sales, then so be...

Finally…. another book!

I’m thrilled – and more than a tad relieved – to tell you that I am finally bringing out a new book! However, it’s not a new Skyberg – you’ve got a few more months to wait for that. Some of you will remember that Eva and I collaborated on a little side project, the Hollywood Detective series, and we’d published two books before she died. My priority had been to publish the Skyberg series, so the side project had to take a back seat. But now, over three years since the last book came out, Dangerous By Design is hitting the shelves. I finished the first draft in 2014, and Eva gave me her notes on it in December that year. It was hard going through the manuscript and seeing her handwriting, but much harder realising I couldn’t have a debate with her about which of us was right. But as she wasn’t around to argue, or consult, with I made the decision to accept every suggestion she made. We loved writing this series. The novels are bright, breezy and a heck of a lot of fun as our characters –  a wisecracking P.I. and his whipsmart assistant – blaze their way through 1930s Hollywood, helping movie stars crack cases and solve mysteries. In the new book, our hero – the charming Spencer McCoy – is called to a break-in Hedy Lamarr’s mansion. When he discovers that the thieves have taken something far more valuable than jewels, the hunt is on to stop a deadly document falling in Hitler’s hands. If that sounds like your sort of read,...