Deborah Valentine

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Welcome to the New Website

At long last, the website is rejigged, updated and all that jazz! Whoo-hoo! I’m sure there will be some blips, burps and profanity as I come to terms with how to run this thing, but I still feel the special sense of accomplishment that comes when you’ve done something you’ve been procrastinating about for ages, the thing akin to a wee dog constantly nipping at your heels. You may be ignoring it, but you surely know it’s there going ‘grrr’. Many thanks to designer Peter Keighron (www.peterk2web.com) for his kind services (very kind considering how thick I can be about these things) in getting us up and running.

I’ve kept this site mainly about the books, rather than the screenplays, although I’ll surely be posting the news on that front (of course, I may change my mind and add a film page but given how long it’s taken me to do this much, don’t hold your breath). And, of course, there will be a regular blog.

Speaking of blog, I’ve had a run of discovering some really terrific authors lately. By that, I don’t mean debut authors, I mean authors who have somehow escaped my radar. I am relieved to find they all have a substantial body of work to keep me entertained for a good while.

First of all, the delightful Hilary Norman (www.hilarynorman.co.uk). Hilary and I were introduced for an ‘in conversation’ style interview soon to appear on Orion’s The Murder Room blog. Research entailed reading her books (so we’d have something to talk about). This research also became the cause of some seriously catastrophic dinners because once you start one of her books, you don’t want to stop even as the stink of smoke and charred meat waft your way from the kitchen. Exercise caution, make salad. This is a writer who knows how to create characters to care about and then ratchet up the danger signals to hair-trigger levels. Unputdownable.

Another happy discovery is Graham Joyce (www.grahamjoyce.co.uk). So far, I’ve read The Silent Land, The Year of the Ladybird and Some Kind of Fairy Tale—and believe me, he is some kind of fine writer. One of the things I love about him is that he is difficult to categorise. Yes, he’s called fantasy/horror but there is a quality to his writing that’s quite spiritual. Not in a ‘glory hallelujah’ sense but in the ability, with a twist of the supernatural, to tap into the mythic aspects of ordinary human beings in everyday life. Extraordinary. Wonderful.

There’s something especially alluring about books set somewhere you know well and Ben Aaronovitch (www.the-folly.com) has done just that. His books are in ‘my patch’ of London and crikey he knows it well. The adventures of his PC Peter Grant in the London Met are a captivating blend of wit and wizardry, historical trivia and police procedure alongside the appropriate hair-raising situations. Aaronovitch seems to know so much about how the police department works it crosses your mind to wonder, does the Met really have such a department as The Folly? Where they take care of all the crimes committed by those not quite in the human league? I expect not (sigh). More’s the pity. But at least we have Inspector Nightingale and PC Grant on the page. Enormous fun.

If you don’t have these authors on your bookshelves or e-reader, I suggest you add them ASAP.

Enjoy the books—all of our books—and the new website! And would love for you to sign up for the blog.

Deborah

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