Bestselling Author Leigh Russell on Writing
These days writing is such a necessary part of my life, it’s hard to believe that five years ago I had no expectations of becoming an author at all. It started when my children grew up and left home. At the same time I stepped down from running a busy department at work. I was in my fifties, and many of the daily pressures of the past twenty years had gone. For the first time I began to write, inspired by an idea that occurred to me while walking in my local park. Having started, I couldn’t stop, and Cut Short was published in 2009 as the first in a series. It went on to become a bestseller, shortlisted for a CWA Dagger Award. Road Closed and Dead End followed. In Death Bed and Stop Dead, the scene shifts to London.
My detective, Geraldine Steel, is dedicated to her work. A single woman in her thirties, she would like a partner, and has a number of encounters during the course of the series. There is another important strand to her own story that concerns her family background and I receive many emails from fans wanting to know how her personal history will be resolved. I can only say: wait and see! I have been careful to avoid crossing into chick lit. My readers tend to be fans of crime fiction, both men and women, and they read my books for page-turning murder investigations. That is what I try to deliver.
I receive many invitations to give author talks, and gave my first library talk soon after Cut Short came out. My audience had read Cut Short in advance of my visit. When I told them my protagonist, Geraldine Steel, was losing her sergeant, they all protested that they really liked Ian Peterson. Ever keen to please, I reinstated him, little dreaming that he would one day feature in his own series. He works with Geraldine Steel in Road Closed and Dead End. When Geraldine relocates to London in Death Bed, she leaves her colleague behind. So when my publisher explored the idea of my writing two books a year, a spin off series for Ian Peterson was the obvious answer. Cold Sacrifice, first in the Ian Peterson series, launches this year.
I am fortunate to be able to earn a living writing fiction. To those of you who have ambitions, whether to write or to pursue another dream, I can only advise you to keep going. You never know where your talent might lead.
But however exciting it is to be a successful published author, the real thrill is writing.
For many years, Leigh Russell taught secondary school English. She now writes the bestselling Geraldine Steel series, and guest lectures in creative writing at universities as well as running occasional workshops for The Society of Authors and The Writers Lab in Greece. Her debut novel was shortlisted for a Crime Writers Association Dagger Award for Best First Crime Novel. Well reviewed in journals as diverse as The Times, The New York Journal of Books, and Star magazine, so far all her books have reached bestseller charts on amazon, kindle, iTunes, WH Smith’s and Waterstones. A Top Read on Eurocrime, Voted Best Crime Novel by readers of Crime Time, and a Best Fiction Book in the Miami Examiner, Geraldine Steel is one of Lovereading’s Great Crime Sleuths. Links to all of Leigh’s books can be found on her website, along with links to her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Barry Forshaw, the UK's leading crime expert, wrote that my ..
There's nothing we love more at Shelf Pleasure than a ..
Author and Shelf Pleasure contributor Karen A. Chase on how ..
One of author Mary Miley’s favorite things about being a ..
Author and police psychologist Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., weighs the pitfalls ..
Little known fact about Shelf Pleasure's Kristen: she's obsessed with ..