The Eric Hoffer Award – Finalist 2016

Sweet News! Just thrilled that the second Posie Parker mystery, THE TOMB OF THE HONEY BEE has become an Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Finalist for 2016, receiving an Honorable Mention in Commercial Fiction!

Tomb of the Honey Bee Cover MEDAL

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Travel Notes (and Reading!) from Two Not So Small Islands….

Recent adventures have found me (as luck would have it) on two very different islands, soaking up the climate, culture, food and…literature.

Sicily and Iceland, in the same month.

Sicily - City of Ragusa

Iceland - Reykjanesfólkvangur

I’m sure that, like me, you love reading books by authors from the country you’re visiting, and this time for me was no exception, and a chance to discover some writers I haven’t tried before.


What can I say? My brief visit took in the south–east of the island and despite the winter month (February) the sky was a beautiful blue and the spring wind was blowing warm; scented with almond blossom and heavy with the salty sea.

I adore Sicily, and Posie Parker visits Ortigia (in Sicily) in The Tomb of the Honey Bee, but this was a chance for me to explore some new places as well as rediscovering old stomping grounds.

Siciliy - OrtigiaSicily - Opera dei Pupi

Sicily - Ragusa in the evening

As you can see, I’m left with a vivid impression, even now. What stays with me?

A whirlwind of Baroque churches and little streets (everywhere!); hundreds of steep steps (Ragusa); the icy sea on all sides; amazing food (everywhere!); history and Roman archaeology (everywhere, but this time especially at Taormina and Ortigia).

I’m loving the music of local musician Olivia Sellerio, and to stay in the Montalbano vibe I was reading The Voice of the Violin for the first time by Andrea Camilleri. A fab read for me: this had a twisty, turny plot; underpinned by some gentle humour and beautiful descriptions of the Sicilian scenery itself.

A gorgeous holiday whodunit.


This was my first time to Iceland, and it certainly won’t be my last. Based in Reykjavik (like every good tourist!) the hauntingly desolate, but stunning landscape and scenery was easily accessible by car.

Iceland - ReykjavikIcelandIceland - typical end of winter landscape

The impressions I’m left with are of the black volcanic earth; the immense light which arcs across the sky even (when its raining); the geysers and the snowy mountains which frame fjords and immense glaciers, frozen turquoise lakes and wild green plains.

No wonder J RR Tolkien used it as a model for middle earth! The landscape belongs in a fairytale, and (when inaccessible) by turns, a child’s nightmare.

But I wasn’t reading The Lord of The Rings, rather the wonderful Arnaldur Indridason’s crime novels, set in Reykjavik.

These were a real treat as the author was unknown to me, and his lead detective, Erlender, is a real (Jack Frost like) character in the old-fashioned grumpy-with-a-heart-of-gold detective mould. I read Jar City and Silence of the Grave and enjoyed both a good deal. These are not really really gritty crime novels, but they are not cozy by any stretch of the imagination: so expect a good deal of swearing and a good helping of Icelandic blood and guts.

And now, enough travelling and back to writing the next Posie


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Interview with Jessica Thompson (Author) – new book- PAPER SWANS!!!

Hi Jessica!

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Q. Your new book Paper Swans is going to be published this coming Thursday (31.07.14) by Coronet, Hodder and Stoughton (UK). For your existing fans and for new readers can you tell us a tiny bit of what we can expect?

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but Paper Swans is essentially about a life-changing love story… You can have different relationships over the years, but very few of them really alter you, or change the course of your life for the better. I wrote Paper Swans about this kind of experience. Ben Lawrence comes across as so carefree. He seems to have it all, but no one knows what’s really going on beneath the surface. He is haunted by a tragedy in his past, and is slowly being destroyed by the memories. It isn’t until he meets the kind of woman he’d never normally approach, that he falls hard and fast in love and is finally ready to fight his demons…

Q. Is Paper Swans set in London? I loved how in your book This is a Love Story, London is almost a character itself! How important is London and living in London to you?

Thank you, it’s so nice to hear the city described as another character in my work! Writing scenes set in London is one of my favourite things, there’s so much to draw upon and be inspired by. Paper Swans is mostly based in London. There are some scenes set in Ben’s hometown, which isn’t a ‘real place’ but it’s very much inspired by the Sevenoaks area in Kent, where I grew up as a teenager.

Q. For non-London-based readers could you share a couple of your favourite places to see/experience in town (perhaps which could be fitted into a weekend)?

Ohhh there’s so much to choose from! I would say head to The Haberdashery in Crouch End with either your laptop (to write), or a book, and order one of their amazing coffees and slices of cake. Spending afternoons there is one of my favourite things to do in London, although I don’t do it nearly enough nowadays. I wrote quite a lot of Paper Swans there too! I also hugely recommend going to top of The Shard and drinking champagne. So. Much. Fun.

Q. (For German readers) Which of your books are already in translation and are there plans for Paper Swans to be translated?

I’m delighted to be able to announce that I just signed a deal with my German publisher Bastei Lubbe for Paper Swans, so yes, my third book will be coming out in Germany! I don’t know the publication date yet, or what the title will definitely be, but I will make announcements over at my blog ( as soon as I can. Exciting stuff!

Q. What or Who is your most important influence when writing?

Other writers inspire me, although I do often find it easier to avoid the work of other authors when I’m drafting a manuscript because it can be a little distracting! I find music really inspiring and that actually has quite a big influence on particular scenes in my work. When I’m on my way to my day job I might be listening to a song I adore, and find myself imagining it as a ‘soundtrack’ to part of a book I’m working on. That always gets lots of visual imagery swirling about in my head and helps me build emotion. I would say music is a pretty important influence on my writing.

Q. Do you have a writing ‘routine’?!

Not so much now. I used to write on Mondays and Tuesdays all day, but now I tend to steal a few hours in the evening and spend blocks of time on Saturdays or (sometimes and) Sundays. I set myself a target word count every week and always try my very best to stick to that. I only like writing in longer blocks of time because I get so into it that I don’t want to be plucked out of the zone! I can’t just write for 20 minutes or so, because I get grumpy when I have to stop. The most important fuel for my writing ‘routine’ is coffee…

Q. What has been your most rewarding/strangest experience so far in your career as a novelist?

I think there are two things. Hearing from readers on Twitter or Facebook is utterly surreal, but incredibly rewarding. When someone tells me they could really relate to something I wrote, the feeling is incredible. It makes me so, so happy. Comments from readers keep me going, I couldn’t do it without their support and encouragement. One of the most surprising achievements for me I think was getting published, not only by Hodder in the UK, but also by several publishers abroad. I was (and still am) over the moon about it. I don’t think I will ever not feel totally overwhelmed and utterly thankful that it all happened.

Q. I have to ask- (!) do you have an all-time favourite book, and if so, what is it and why?

My favourite book is Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor. I have written all about it over on my blog –

Jessica Thompson Intro






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Just in time for summer…

Just in time for summer, I’m delighted to share with you news of the first 2 releases of the Posie Parker mystery series!

Like your mysteries cosy and set during the Golden Age of Crime? Try MURDER OFFSTAGE #1, the first book in the Posie Parker mysteries. Out 30 June 2014.

Like your mysteries sweet-as-honey but with a sting in the tail? Set during the Golden Age of Crime, THE TOMB OF THE HONEY BEE #2 (Three Posie Parker Short Stories) is perfect holiday reading! Out 1 August 2014.

 (Both available in paperback and ebook formats on and Kobo).

More Posie Parker books will follow in late 2014 and 2015.


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Tudor fans

 Other News!!

For Tudor fans you can catch my article on Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, over at Royal Central ( in early July.

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Latest Book in the Series


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