The Sleeping Season – Book News!

She is the character I know the best out of all my imaginary friends. I’ve known Harry for years now. Almost 6, in fact! 

Where do you get your ideas?

This is the question writers get asked the most. At least, I do.

Everywhere, is my answer. Anywhere.

My new book The Sleeping Season (coming spring 2020) developed from a story, into a book, into a detective series.

My protagonist is DI Harriet Sloane.

Harry, to her friends, works in East Belfast.


She is the character I know the best out of all my imaginary friends. I’ve known Harry for years now. Almost 6, in fact!

Where did I get the idea to tell her story?

It was a mixture of a few things, it usually is: going to crime fiction panels at Trinity College and Aspects, attending a creative writing class with Caroline Healy in Arts Arts (which feels like a lifetime ago).

Caroline set us an exercise about ethics in writing, being accountable for what you write. She may have been talking about non-fiction, but I started to envisage this fictional family of five grownup children all with their own individual set of ethics: one is a carer, one a minister, one battling drug addiction, one a social worker, and the other (who developed into Harriet) is a detective with a lot going on.


In November 2013 during Nanowrimo (yes, I’m talking about that again) I wrote the first draft of The Bones of It in three weeks. With a week left, a friend joked: Start something else. So I wrote a short story about the Sloanes, or the Knights, as they were then called. But some stories refuse to let go and Harriet got her own spin-off.

The first book will be released in 6 months. I imagine it will be nice to be able to give a bit of notice with this one. I’ve been told it’s strong and poetic. You can make up your own mind.

Book 3 in the Harriet Sloane series is underway, along with a few other projects (more crime, lit fic, stories, poems…ideas are stirring for book 4).

Hopefully the following instalments will be released one a year – that’s the plan at the mo.

I might write fast (and edit ridiculously slow) but the business of publishing is far from fast-paced.


Writers, tell me, where do you get your ideas?


(All lovely images are royalty-free from Unsplash btw – thank you!)