Giveaway Sundays (Jessica Daniel, Andrew Hunter)

January 16, 2016

It’s 2016! Can you believe that? I’ve been doing this for five years.

Back in November 2013, my publisher emailed me to ask if I had any extra content they might be able to use at the back of a special edition paperback for Morrisons supermarket. I came up with a short Jessica Daniel story named APRIL. It was released along with Behind Closed Doors in January 2014 but, until now, has never been released as an ebook.

After that, I wrote a few other short stories based, sometimes loosely, around the months of the year. Right now, I have written: January, February, March, April, May, July and August.

AUGUST was written in the shop window of the Waterstones in Manchester’s Arndale Centre while I was busy promoting Scarred For Life in February 2015 – and uses a selection of names, places and words suggested by shoppers.

On some level, they are all interconnected – sometimes obviously, other times a little more subtly.

At various points, my publisher talked about ways to release these shorts but, after 26 months, only January is available. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

These have been sitting on my hard drive for WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long, so I’m releasing at least some of them now.

Amazon’s minimum UK price is 99p but I can set them as ‘free’ for 20 days a year.

That means I will be giving away at least one short story for *FREE* every Sunday for the foreseeable future. If you want to pay for any or all of them, then brilliant. If not, then APRIL will be free every Sunday in January. You can find it here.

In February, my short story, er, FEBRUARY will be free every Sunday. In March, it’ll be, you guessed it, MARCH – which stars Andrew Hunter and Jenny – plus has an appearance from a character familiar to anyone who’s read January.

After that, I’ll see how it’s all going.

For now, I hope you enjoy April. Jessica’s in it – and it’s free for the next three Sundays. My gift to you. Happy New Year.

Kerry Wilkinson books in order (Jessica Daniel, Andrew Hunter)

July 21, 2015

Lots of people ask me about the order and chronology of the Jessica Daniel books, so here you go. All of these books are in the same universe. There are characters that appear in each other’s stories. I’ll try to remember to update this page with each new release.

Locked In (UK) | The Killer Inside (US) (Jessica Daniel 1)
Vigilante (JD2)
As If By Magic (JD2.5)
The Woman in Black (JD3)
Think of the Children (JD4)
Playing With Fire (JD5)
February (short)
April (JD short)
Thicker Than Water (UK) | The Missing Dead (US) (JD6)
Down Among The Dead Men (Standalone)
Something Wicked (Andrew Hunter 1)
Something Hidden (AH2)
Something Buried (AH3, March 2018)
Behind Closed Doors (JD7)
January (Kitkat, short)
No Place Like Home (Standalone)
– March (AH, short)
Crossing The Line (JD8)
Scarred For Life (JD9)
For Richer, For Poorer (JD10)
Nothing But Trouble (JD11)
Eye For An Eye (JD12)
Silent Suspect (JD13)

There are a few unpublished short stories – May (KK), July (JD) and August (JD) – that fit in and around the above but, for now, they’re just sitting on my hard drive…

Jessica Daniel release dates and world building

Monday, February 16, 2015

Between February 2013 and January 2015, six Jessica Daniel novels were released. That’s a book every four months!

I’ve long thought crime books in particular could be easy to churn out for a lazy writer. The structure could be retained, change a few names and settings, chuck in a couple of new jokes and, hallelujah, a new book has been created.

Whenever I start plotting a new Jessica book, I go out of my way to try to come up with something new. For instance, some readers tell me Behind Closed Doors is their favourite Jessica story because of the emotional element and the structural change; others don’t like it because Jessica is moved away from the support cast of Izzy/Dave, etc, and readers miss that. Both viewpoints are, of course, fine – but I’d rather try something a little different and give readers something new as opposed to stealing your money – and a living – by rehashing the same old stuff.

With a Jessica book every four months for the past two years, something has to give – and, in this instance, it is the release schedule. What has gone before is not sustainable for many reasons. I want Jessica to have a long literary life, to be writing about her years into the future, but that won’t happen with a new story every 120 days. She’ll burn herself out and I’ll run out of stories I can tell about a person while retaining the merest degree of realism.

Writing police procedurals is limiting in the sense that, broadly speaking, Jessica has to operate within the confines of being a police officer. Of course I take certain artistic licences but there are many stories I can’t tell from her perspective.

With that, I started the Andrew Hunter series with Something Wicked. He’s a private investigator and doesn’t have to work within the same limitations. In addition, he doesn’t have the power to arrest or interview witnesses, so has to find other ways to do things.

Andrew and Jessica exist in the same world – and I want to tell other stories around them that don’t necessarily include them.

This autumn, DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, a standalone crime book, will be released as a hardback and ebook.

The events that occur in that novel not only happen directly because of the outcome of THICKER THAN WATER but then influence future Jessica books.

There’s more, too. For those who have read my short story, JANUARY, you’ll know it contains a character named Chris Green. Chris’s brother, Jason, is the main protagonist (or antagonist!) in DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN.

You don’t have to read everything as each story stands by itself but, if you do read the lot, you’ll hopefully find a richer tapestry around Jessica’s world that doesn’t necessarily include her directly.

Unaffected by all of this crime talk is my young adult/fantasy Silver Blackthorn trilogy – which has a regular one-a-year release schedule.

This all means that the way Jessica books are released with such regularity will change. The below is provisional but this is broadly what to expect from me through the UK and Commonwealth in the coming months:

7 May 2015: Renegade | paperback & ebook (Silver Blackthorn 2) link
16 July 2015: Something Wicked | paperback (Andrew Hunter 1) link
Sept/Oct 2015: Down Among The Dead Men | hardback & ebook (standalone)
Jan/Feb 2016: For Richer, For Poorer | paperback & ebook (Jessica Daniel 2:3 / 10)
May 2016: Resurgence | paperback & ebook (Silver Blackthorn 3)
2016: Down Among The Dead Men | paperback re-release
2016: Something Hidden | paperback & ebook (Andrew Hunter 2)
2016: No Place Like Home | paperback & ebook (standalone)
Future: Jessica Daniel 11, 12, 13
Future: Something Borrowed | (Andrew Hunter 3)

So, there’s no storytelling let-up … it’s just that not everything I release is going to be a Jessica book. That doesn’t mean she won’t show up in the odd unexpected place…

September 2015 (hardback & ebook):

‘I’m going to do you a favour: I’m going to tell you my name and then I’m going to give you thirty seconds to turn and run. If any of you are still here after those thirty seconds, then we’re going to have a problem.’

Jason Green’s life is changed for good after he is saved from a mugging by crime boss Harry Irwell. From there, he is drawn into Manchester’s underworld, where stomping into a newsagents and smashing the place up is as normal as making a cup of tea.

But Jason isn’t a casual thug: he has a plan that doesn’t involve blowing his money on the usual trappings. That is until a woman walks into his life offering one thing that money can’t buy – salvation.

Kindle Touch 3G competition

KindleSunday, November 16, 2014

With Christmas coming up, I figured I’d give something away to one of my lovely, loyal readers. I have a Kindle Touch 3G up for grabs – plus I’ll sign a book of your choice. Both prizes are yours to keep, yours to give away as a Christmas gift, or yours to flog on eBay for a quick profit. You choose!

To enter, you have to find the sentence hidden in the books below. I’ve given you the first word.

So, in Crossing The Line, word 10 of chapter 27 is ‘Manchester’. Find the other 11 words and fill in the form at the bottom with the complete sentence. That’s it.

The closing date is 21:00 GMT on Sunday, November 30, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries after that date and I will email him or her to ask for their address.

One entry per household and please don’t share the correct answer with anyone else (though you’d only be diminishing your own chances anyway…). Good luck!

Crossing The Line. Ch27, word 10: Manchester
Crossing The Line. Ch32, word 8:
Playing With Fire. Ch5, word 12:
Behind Closed Doors. Ch3, word 3:
Playing With Fire. Ch17, word 8:
Thicker Than Water. Ch25, word 14:
Behind Closed Doors. Ch1, word 9:
Thicker Than Water. Ch4, word 10:
Think of the Children. Ch34, word 16:
Playing With Fire. Ch2, word 10:
Thicker Than Water. Ch1, word 6:
Behind Closed Doors. Ch2, word 8:

Top-five tips: How to finish a novel

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My publisher asked me to write something for their September newsletter, so I did them a top-five things needed to complete a novel. I thought I’d share:

1. Hot water
– No book in the history of time has ever been written without a plentiful supply of hot water. First, there’s a morning coffee or five. At some point overnight human beings forget how to string a sentence together, resulting in the type of warblings more usually associated with someone attempting to learn a new language. Coffee is the only known cure.

After about ten in the morning, the need for tea kicks in. Twinings is a personal favourite but any tea will do. Proper tea, though. There’s a box of something called “Redbush and Vanilla tea” in our house thanks to Mrs W, which is an utter abomination. A crime against humanity.

I’ll give an honourable mention to hot chocolate, too. It’s the lesser-known of the three – flashy and a bit smug. It knows it’s got ‘chocolate’ in the title so thinks it doesn’t have to work as hard for your attention. That said, it’s a good early evening kick up the arse when you’ve wasted the day looking at YouTube videos of tortoises chasing cats.

2. BiscuitsIMG_2650
– Of these two scenarios, which is the best:
a) Sitting on your own, cradling a laptop on your knee WITH a Fox’s chocolate viennese on the side;
b) Sitting on your own cradling a laptop on your knee WITHOUT a Fox’s chocolate viennese on the side.

Unless you’re diabetic or a bit, well, weird, there’s only one answer to that question. In addition, although they’re technically not a biscuit (don’t get me started on that), Jaffa Cakes are an absolute must if you’re even going to think about writing a novel. And don’t go giving me any of this own-brand/Cadbury’s jaffa cake nonsense. McVities are the jaffa cake kings, and long may that be the case.

3. Rain
– Want to know why so much great music has come out of Manchester and Liverpool? Some might argue that it’s the strong working-class roots that creates an environment in which creative talent is nurtured. Those people are wrong. It’s the rain. When it pees down as often as it does in the north west of England, you’ve got to do something to amuse yourself.

As for me, if it didn’t rain, I’d get nothing done. As soon as the sun comes out, I’m lured out of the house like a dog to a lamppost. Luckily (or unluckily), living in the north of England means there are plenty of wet days where I can grumble about the weather while actually getting some work done.

4. A tolerance for technology companies
– Everybody had one of those kids in school. The physics teacher would ask something like, ‘Where are chromosomes found in a cell?’ You’d be looking blank and thinking, ‘I dunno…the middle bit?’

He’d be there, hand up, desperate for attention, straining over the top of everyone and you’d be rolling your eyes, thinking, ‘Look, mate. Just because we’re busy rolling up bits of paper and trying to throw them into some girl’s hair, it doesn’t mean you have to show us up.’ Anyway, he’d always get the right answer to the point that even the teachers were sick of him.

Where was I? Yes, Microsoft. Every time you turn on one of their machines there are pop-ups all over the shop wanting you to update Windows for no reason other than it’s got a ‘wah, wah, wah, look at me’-complex. Toddlers who drop their favourite teddies are less needy.

5. A broken Internet connection
– I’ve never had a day of work quite like the one when Virgin Media conked out. No Internet, no TV. At first I was horrified at the thought of not being able to constantly refresh the BBC Sport website but then I discovered that, miraculously, the world does continue to turn when the Internet’s broken. I wrote an absolute shed-load that day. Then the Internet started to work again and I was back to Buzzfeed looking at a list of Jason Statham’s top-10 movie moments. Lock Stock is number one if you’re wondering – as it should be.

Jessica Daniel: Crossing The Line competition winners

Sunday, August 24, 2014

With just 18 days until the release of Crossing The Line, I’ve been running a competition to give away some proof paperbacks. There are a whopping 25 winners, each of whom win two books – one for the entrant, one for a pal.

I had an enormous amount of entries – more than for any other contest I’ve run.

Here are the winners:
– Anthony Darbyshire from Beverley, East Yorkshire
– Catherine Ainscough from Bamber Bridge, Lancashire
– Claire Bridgen from Failsworth, Manchester
– David Anderson from Southsea, Hampshire
– Grant Donald from Westhill, Inverness
– Jackie Coulter from Bangor, N Ireland
– Jennifer Berry from Selby, Yorkshire
– Julie Rugg from Huntingdon, Cambs
– Kat Duncan from Govan, Glasgow
– Lauren Pike from Sidcup, Kent
– Lorna Cowle from Hook, Hampshire
– Megan Pugh from Rugeley, Staffordshire
– Mike Broughton from Wells, Somerset
– Milly Gibbs from Dorking, Surrey
– Pamela Fudge from Poole, Dorset
– Peter Royle from Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
– Peter Trebilcock from Salisbury, Wiltshire
– Rhiannon Wates from Knutsford, Cheshire
– Robert Phipps from Gillingham, Kent
– Rob Scott from Pontefract
– Rosemary Knight from Swinton, Manchester
– Saira Kazmi from Cricklewood, London
– Tony Selwyn from Enfield
– Vanessa Rivington from Dollingstown, Co Armagh
– Wendy Salter from Pontypridd

If you didn’t win, you don’t have too long to wait until the book is out:

CROSSING THE LINE (Jessica Daniel Season 2, Book 1)
September 11, 2014:

Long before Jessica Daniel became a police officer, Manchester was once a ghost city after dark. Fear ruled as people were afraid to be out by themselves, the notorious Stretford Slasher terrorising its inhabitants.

Twenty-five years on and the media are feeling nostalgic over the milestone but Jessica has a new panic to worry about. Apparent strangers are being targeted in daylight, the attacker unworried about being caught. If only she and her team could find him…

It’s the coldest spring in memory and Jessica has old friends to look out for, plus secrets – so many secrets – that should have long been buried.

Following the events of Behind Closed Doors, Crossing The Line marks a new beginning with Season Two of the Jessica Daniel series.