A Decade of Lies

So I was looking it up the other day and my first book, The Magpie Lord, was published on 3 September 2013. It’s free right now, should you not have read it: help yourself.

I have been (in Lawrence Block’s immortal phrase) telling lies for fun and profit for ten years. Gosh.

I’m mildly stunned. In that time I’ve written thirty novels, which have been translated into eight languages. I’ve worked with seven publishers with an eighth coming. (Check out this gallery of Magpie Lord’s many incarnations, it’s really quite something.) I’ve gone from publishing to self publishing and back again. (I’ve also gone from having two adorable small children to having look let’s just say two teenagers and leave it there, lived through a pandemic, and watched my cat become too old and lazy to murder. Time is weird.)

And, mostly, I’ve had the immense good fortune that people have bought the damn books, thus allowing me to keep doing it.

I quit my job three years after my first publication with the intention of writing backed up by freelance editing. My uberboss at that time, head of a large chunk of a major publisher, laughed when she heard I wanted to make a living by writing and sarcastically said “Good luck with that.” I bring this up a lot because authors really ought to know that publishing does not expect or even intend you to make a living by writing.

But, for now, I am making a living, which means I get to keep on writing. I am well aware this makes me one of the luckiest people on earth and I am doing my best to earn it.

Ten years. Crikey.

So, I should clearly do something to celebrate. I did think about elaborate plans but let’s be real, I have deadlines queued into 2026/infinity and am going quietly hatstand over here, so I think it’s going to be a giveaway.

So! I have a new book coming out 19 September. It’s the second in my Doomsday Books duo.

Book 1 is about Joss Doomsday, smuggler, and Sir Gareth Inglis, baronet, getting mixed up in all sorts of shenanigans on remote Romney Marsh. Book 2 returns to the Marsh thirteen years later, where Joss’s little cousin Luke is now secretary to the new and chaotic Earl of Oxney. Both of them offer family feuds, dark deeds, cross-class, and other alliterative joys. Published by Sourcebooks; the gorgeous cover art is by Jyotirmayee Patra.

I’m going to give away three sets of print copies (ie both books) to three winners. I will sign both copies as you wish: personalised dedication, rude comment on the last page to startle your friend, marriage proposal (that would have to be on your behalf, I’m already married). Postage to anywhere in the world.

EDIT: the giveaway is now closed, winners notified, and books sent!

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9 replies
  1. azteclady
    azteclady says:

    oh my goodness, to have them IN PRINT and SIGNED?

    Sorry for the caps, but gosh, yes, please. All digits crossed!

    And heartfelt thanks for not making us go to facebook or goodreads or instagram or or or to enter.

  2. Sarah Stapleton
    Sarah Stapleton says:

    So that must mean I’ve read/ heard 30 of your books?! *checks website* Well I’ll be.
    29 anyway. The Price of Meat is not for me.
    Keep ‘em coming! ❤️

  3. Cloudy Glow
    Cloudy Glow says:

    Happy 10 years! This is an amazing opportunity of a giveaway. Thanks for posting to anywhere in the world. I loved the first Doomsday book so much! I’m going to reread my copy before the second one comes out.

    I only started reading your books this year because I had been on a 4 year reading hiatus and before that was not reading romances. I started your books in mid March with Unfit to Print and flew through most all of them until I reached Masters in This Hall this July and realized I only had about two series left. So I’m holding those back for a metaphorical rainy day when I need a guaranteed good read. I’ve enjoyed all the 30+ books or novellas of yours I’ve read so far, so I’m betting I’ll enjoy the rest.

  4. Preeti Singh
    Preeti Singh says:

    I am so glad despite all odds YOU decided to keep writing because it may sound EXTRA but I live for every new book by you. Actually, I read the first book by you in August 2019 and finished the complete backlist by December 2019. So, Now whenever I am in a reading slump – I reread your book, If I am feeling not good-I reread them. I have lost count of how many times I have reread/relisten my old favourites like ‘The Magpie Series’, ‘A Seditious Affairs’ ‘Unfit to Print'(obviously). Every time I read a new book by you, I am sure I am going to reread it within a few months. This may feel like I have nothing else to read but actually, your books are THE comfort read for me. I really hope you keep writing and I keep reading them after 30-40 years when I turn 70 and still could not choose my favourite pair from your books.

  5. St John Starling
    St John Starling says:

    Congratulations! I remember when I first found The Magpie Lord back in 2016 how impressed with it I was, and it’s been so amazing to watch you only get bigger and bigger since then. You’re part of the reason I started publishing my own work – you’re the first indie author I saw who made me think there was a place out there for the kind of books I wanted to write (though it was a slow uptake on my part.) Here’s to ten more!


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