HE’S WATCHING HER. SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT…YET
When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer. But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.
And the killer has a very special part for George to play…
A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester, aptly within sight of the dreaming spires of Strangeways prison. Able to speak five different languages, she gained a Master’s degree in Modern & Medieval Dutch and German from Cambridge University. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. In her spare time, she likes to run, mainly to offset the wine and fine food she consumes with great enthusiasm. Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series, she now writes crime thrillers for adults and contemporary women’s fiction. The first book in her gripping George McKenzie Series, “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die” releases in digital format on 2 April 2015.
Genre switching by Marnie Riches
Always a fan of fart jokes and high adventure, when I decided I was finally going to make writing my One True Career, it seemed sensible for me to dip my puerile pen into the washable ink of children’s fiction. After all, I owned two children and wanted to entertain them with something Mummy had written.
Over years, I honed my craft – children’s writing is a highly skilled pursuit, where a writer must follow strict rules like showing and not telling, ensuring the dialogue is snappy and keeping the pace fast. Children know padding when they see it. Training myself to write incisively stood me in excellent stead for writing for adults. Because with a foul mouth and a dirty mind like mine, it was never going to be long before the lure of writing for adults came knocking...
I’ve written adult fiction and children’s fiction pretty much concurrently since the beginning – short adult stories at first, which I entered into competitions. Then, while a middle grade detective novel was on submission via my first agent, I started to write a contemporary women’s novel, based on my experiences as a professional fundraiser in London. It was funny, sexy and full of swearing. I needed to let off adult literary steam and found, with focus, I could simply switch voice. Unexpectedly though, I did bring my children’s writing techniques to bear on even the most lurid stories. I kept chapters episodic and punchy. I used minimum exposition. I worked hard on characters and dialogue. It worked.
By the time I gained the commission to author the first six books in HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series for the 7+ age group, I had already started The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die. Initially, I had planned it as a New Adult thriller, set at university and based on some of my own youthful experiences. Two years, three agents and many drafts later, it has become the first instalment in a very adult crime series...
HarperCollins showed immediate interest in the manuscript, but there was a long wait while the details of the deal were agreed. During that time, I began a YA high concept thriller, but suffered from writer’s block 30,000 words in! I hadn’t believed writer’s block existed before then. Changing tack and starting a new women’s novel helped. I had the women’s novel completed in four months. I loved every minute of writing it, and only a week after I started work on book 2 of the George McKenzie series – The Girl Who Broke the Rules – I penned the women’s contemporary love story, The Love Potion, which was published in Avon’s e-anthology Love...Maybe.
My point is that chopping and changing around is healthy. All practice is good practice and whether you’re writing a middle grade adventure story or a crime thriller or humorous fiction, telling a story is telling story. Providing you tell it well, someone will always want to read it!
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