Yes. More grit. More emotion. Why reading helps writing (#writingtips)

The breath of a thousand histories whisper on the surface, while sleek silver bodies sing their moment in time against the flow.

A rippling mirror gifts me the sky, roots reach down the banks into liquid life and I dream of you…


Oh God 🀑 and good morning to you too! … Man of The Woods’ attempt to scare me on waking in a beautiful Shropshire setting, almost on the border to Wales.

I adore apple maps… I adore apples too and don’t eat enough of them.

This one MoW picked for me last night as we dutifully took a drive around the farm to check on all the baby crops’ progress. He likes (and needs) to check whether the early shoots of rapeseed oil plants have been ravaged by slugs or flea beetle.

Messing about in the stream at the camp site was fun and I took my present read, Katerina Diamond’s The Secret. This is one gritty read, plenty of blood and guts with occasional graphic descriptions of abuse by the bad guys.

You know how I love a dark read and this delivers!

If you’re more of a Rosemary & Thyme viewer, you may enjoy it less than if you prefer an episode of Luther. However the writing is worthy of mention because the plot unfolding keeps you on the edge of your seat, a who-can-you-trust type of thread.

Katerina weaves two stories into the pages, two years apart, and naturally towards the end, she brings them together with plenty of OMG, really? moments.

Detective Imogen Grey is the main character in all three of Katerina’s books in this series and the third, The Angel, I have ready to go. The first, The Teacher, I have yet to read but they do stand alone so it’s not the end of the world to read them out of order.

I took this from the passenger seat and being away with both your adult children and their respective other halves is a real treat. The fact they are happy to spend precious time off work with us means the world.

Shropshire is not an area I’ve been to much and we shall definitely be going back, when the farming calendar allows MoW another break.

While this is all very nice, I’ve work to do.

En route to the camp site, I made lots of notes about moving chapters about within my WIP, in response to the brilliant feedback I received a week ago. I’m going to start with one of my favourite chapters, which I hope includes a great hook, lots of questions for the reader but contains the emotion needed to captivate their attention. We meet Antonio in this chapter, rather than Martha. Her first chapter was sweet, with a little mystery.

It was Rosemary & Thyme.

I want Luther 🎯