A month of Murder on the Rocks

Book News, J.S. Strange

It’s been one month of Murder on the Rocks, which published March 1st 2019 with Panther Publishing.

It’s been a whirlwind month of talking about my book, thinking about my book, and hoping people buy my book. My first foray into mystery writing has been rather scary. What if people hate it? (They did). What if people love it? (They do!) What if people want a second? (They do!).

Any author writing something new and putting it out to the world is a bundle of nerves. This could be the book where everything goes wrong. Where, actually, you can’t write, and all those readers before no longer care or were just pitying you. It’s especially scary when you’re writing a genre you’re a big fan of, and never thought you could even attempt to write.

The month has been full of promotion. In this months edition of Writing Magazine, there’s a little write up and ‘spotlight’ on Murder on the Rocks. And when better for it to appear than with their bumper edition of plotting the perfect crime novel?

Credit to the photo above to Luke, at Luke at What I’m Reading on Instagram. A few copies of Murder on the Rocks were shipped to Instagrammers, who have been great in photographing the books best angle, showing off its glorious cover, and helping to generate that little bit of buzz that means everything to an author. Yet there are Instagrammers still yet to read Murder on the Rocks, so the fear is still there.

I will also be at Abergavenny Writing Festival this month, on a panel with great authors, talking about my writing process, as well as discussing whether everyone has a novel in them.

I’m also excited that the book has been selling consistently since release date, and so far Panther have said they will publish another in the Jordan Jenner series. I have finished the second novel, and I hope to have it published later this year.

I want to thank everyone who has bought a copy of Murder on the Rocks, and I want to thank everyone that left a review, good or bad!

Here’s to the future in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series!

The Arrival of the Paperbacks

Book News, J.S. Strange

It’s always exciting as an author to hold an actual, physical copy of the book you’ve been pouring your heart in to for the past year or so.

It’s an incredible feeling. It’s one that can’t really be explained or described, other than an overwhelming sense of pride, a massive smile you can’t control – your words as you intended them to appear.

My publisher, Panther Publishing, received their paperback copies today of Murder on the Rocks and they look so pretty!

The plan is to eventually have paperback copies available to buy directly from Panther. If you want to support independent publishers and small time authors, that’s the best way to do it – buying directly from the person who took a chance on you.

I also know some paperbacks are being sent to some stores, and a few Instagrammers! How exciting!

My new novel, Murder on the Rocks, is out now!

Abergavenny Writing Festival

Book News, J.S. Strange

I’m really happy to say that I’ll be a panellist at this years Writing Festival in Abergavenny.

I’ll be on a panel titled ‘Do we all have a novel in us‘? You can get your tickets by clicking the link.

I’ll be appearing with some great authors, and it will be fun, yet nerve wracking, to talk about this in front of people. I may also be taking some copies of Murder on the Rocks, too!

I attended the festival last year and really enjoyed it. I attended a talk on journalism, and learned some really interesting insights. It’s a great festival in an area you might not expect, but where support is.

And have you ever visited Abergavenny?! You should! It’s a beautiful place. I’ll write a post on it soon!

Did you know my new novel, Murder on the Rocks, is out now?

One Week of Murder on the Rocks

Book News, J.S. Strange

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It’s been one week since Murder on the Rocks, my new murder mystery novel, has been out there for the world to read. 

Since that release date, things have been a busy whirlwind. I’ve been trying my best, with the help of Panther, my publishers, to promote the novel as best as I possibly can. My blog tour is currently on going, and so far there have been great reviews for Murder on the Rocks, and I’m so pleased. I spent so long writing, nurturing and trying to find a home for Murder on the Rocks and Jordan Jenner, so seeing people in his world, and enjoying it, is a wonderful feeling.

I’m also really pleased to say that one week later, and Murder on the Rocks is still in the top 100 bestselling LGBT Mysteries! I’ve checked, and it’s also in the top 100 for cosy crime novels. That’s both on Amazon UK and USA. I expected it drop out of those charts almost immediately, but a week later and Jordan is still clinging on.

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Amazon even gave it one of their coveted orange banners, celebrating that it got to number 1! Since it’s release Murder on the Rocks hit the number 1 bestselling spot in LGBT Mystery fiction, and is still a Number 1 Hot New Release.

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Can I officially call myself and the novel a bestseller? I mean, I am, regardless of it being in a sub genre!

Since publishing Murder on the Rocks, I’ve also finished writing the second. I have to go back to it, redraft, edit, and all that, but I’m hoping to get the second Jordan Jenner Mystery novel out to the world this year. I’m aiming for an October release.

I want to thank everyone for your support, your kind words, your congratulations, and for buying the novel. It really means a lot to me.

If you’re looking for a great murder mystery novel, which some reviewers have likened to Agatha Christie, then get yourself a copy! Click here to buy!

Murder on the Rocks Cover J.S. Strange

What My Next Novel Means to Me

Book News, J.S. Strange

Tomorrow, my new novel, Murder on the Rocks is published with Panther Publishing. It’s a murder mystery novel, featuring a gay male private investigator, as he solves the murder of a writer. Based in Cardiff, it has Welsh roots and LGBT themes.

It’s my first novel since I last released Winter Smith: The Secrets of France, a sequel to my zombie apocalypse novel. Murder on the Rocks is a lot different. I hit a wall with the Winter Smith series, and truthfully I don’t know if I’ll ever complete it. A combination of one bad review and poor sales didn’t help my motivation for a third instalment, even though it’s needed to complete the story.

With this wall, I needed to find something else. I wanted to push myself and try something new, and to do that I completely changed my genre. Writing in horror YA was great, but this time I wanted to write a crime novel.

Here enters Murder on the Rocks. A murder mystery novel, with Jordan Jenner the private investigator as the lead protagonist.

I set out to write a gripping crime thriller, with a female lead detective. Half way through, I decided to change from a female lead to a gay male lead. Jordan Jenner had been there all along, but this was his story and his time.

My decision for this was representation. I’ve read plenty of crime genre novels, and I’ve loved a lot of them. But a lot of them are exceptionally male and exceptionally straight. We’re used to the macho man detective, solving crimes and romancing women. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted it to be the case that I was writing a novel where the character was gay, solving a crime, and romancing men along the way.

It was extremely important to me to write representation into a genre I love. I 100% know there are gay leads out there, but there needs to be more, and Jordan Jenner has been added to the mix – I just hope he stands out. To stand out, people have to know about him and read his story.

Murder on the Rocks is the first in a planned series, known as the ‘Jordan Jenner Mysteries’. This is my first book with a publisher, and I’ve noticed the differences. Panther are independent, new, learning and Welsh. I’m their first author, and I’m Welsh, with a book set in Wales, with Welsh characters. It was a perfect fit. Since being with Panther, I’ve had more pre-orders, more media opportunities, and Murder on the Rocks has been in the top 15 list of Amazon’s Hot New Releases in gay fiction. Let’s hope it stays there after release date!

Murder on the Rocks means a lot to me for many reasons. It brings an original setting of Cardiff into literature. I’m proud to be writing about Welsh characters, and I’m proud to have a Welsh setting. I hope people pick it up and experience Wales in the novels. It’s not just Cardiff that appears – we see surrounding towns and counties, too.

It means a lot to me because of the representation. Jordan is gay, but so are the people he knows. There is no tragic coming out story, and no internal sexuality struggle. His sexuality is not a plot device – it is his character. It is him.

As it is with Vanessa, and Mark.

Murder on the Rocks means a lot to me because I feel as though it’s a novel with true potential. Seven publishers requested it in total, and it shortlisted me for Penguin Random House’s Write Now Live Scheme in 2018. It’s a novel that I know has good story potential, good character potential, and Murder on the Rocks is just the beginning.

Murder on the Rocks publishes March 1st 2019 in ebook and paperback format. I will also be selling signed copies, through Panther’s website.

Murder on the Rocks is the first novel to get me a book signing in a high street store – WHSmith. I’ll be signing in Cardiff and Cwmbran.

But for now, join me tomorrow for the publication of Murder on the Rocks, and we can celebrate together. Celebrate inclusivity, diversity, Welsh roots and murder in literature.

Get your copy here: mybook.to/MOTR