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Behind the Scenes

Murder at Raven’s Edge

Writing a book is like baking a cake. There is not just the one idea (ingredient) but several coming together to create the story. I had the original idea many years ago, when the image of a beautiful girl popped into my head. She was dressed in a ballgown and lying on a four poster bed in a derelict mansion, and I had no idea why! I've always loved fairy stories, particularly those with a darker edge, although I prefer them to have a traditional happy ending! I blame my grandparents, who bought me two huge books of fairy stories when I was about six years old. I also owned the Ladybird versions, particularly Cinderella, which I loved because she got to go to the ball three times in a succession of spectacular dresses. Yes, I know, I'm shallow: what can I say?

The next ingredient (the location) popped into my head during one of my walks through the Welsh countryside near my home, where I stumbled upon a ruined mansion called Baron Hill, which did look as though it had come straight out of Sleeping Beauty. Although built in 1618 by Sir Richard Bulkeley, it was rebuilt in the late 1700s in a Neo-Palladian style. It was damaged by fire around the time of WW2 and has been left to become derelict. It is a very sad-looking place and, although there has been talk of restoring it, I feel it is far too gone to save it. Although I've borrowed part of the history of Baron Hill  (built in the 1600s and destroyed by fire) Baron Hill has been abandoned far longer than the house in my novel.

When I started writing Murder at Raven’s Edge I decided I was going to call it Something Wicked, but the more I wrote, the more I realised the title didn't fit. I'd also had the idea for a historical backstory, similar to my novel Breathless, but I soon realised that didn't work either. So I split the story into two books: the first one became my novella Something Wicked, the second became Murder at Raven’s Edge.

And the last ingredient? I moved to a village just outside Llandudno, where I came across these curious statues dotted around the town. Known as the Alice in Wonderland Trail, they reference the fact that Lewis Carroll's inspiration for Alice (Alice Liddell) once lived in the town.

Mixed together, these elements became Murder at Raven’s Edge. I had such fun writing it. I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!

**Murder at Raven’s Edge was previously published as Trust Me I Lie**

Random Facts

The scene where my heroine, Milla, finds two strange men trashing her sitting room is based on a nightmare I once had! And anyone who's read Nemesis might recognise Milla's apartment - it's the same one Alicia lived in before her marriage. Finally, if you want to see more photos of Baron Hill and the things which inspired me, be sure to check out my Pinterest board!

Murder at Raven’s Edge on Pinterest

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