New release alert! And what a good one it looks to be! A Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue is the first in what looks to be an awesome mystery series and it’s right up my ally, so I’ll be reading it for sure.
A village, isolated by a severe storm, and a young officer, alone and out of her depth. A troubled priest is brutally murdered, leaving behind a journal of the resident’s confessional secrets; secrets certain people would prefer he took to the grave. As word spreads, the pressure rises as the eyes of the town watch her every move. With no forensic team, no support and a savage killer hiding in a turbulent town, is PC Sarah Gladstone up to the task?
I grew up in Wimbledon, London. Tennis country. I didn’t have the enthusiasm, or the lung capacity, for sports, preferring more introverted pursuits such as reading, writing and Super Nintendo. Had the ‘ball boy’ tryouts referred to the shape of my silhouette, I’d have been on centre court, but all the running involved only encouraged me to sit at home and watch with a bowl of seasonal strawberry ice cream.
My early reviews weren’t positive. Miss Molyneaux, my middle school English teacher, regularly awarded E’s and F’s for my creative pieces. In high school, Mr Potter continued the trend, but one day added the most encouraging thing a young writer could ever read:
“I know you copied it. I’m just not sure where from.”
This misplaced accusation of plagiarism was the greatest compliment I’d had. Someone thought my work was so good, it couldn’t possibly have come from the grey matter between my ears.
At 17, I was diagnosed with cancer. It’s something I’m happy to talk about more if you’d like, just drop me an email, but for the purpose of this section, suffice it to say, it changed my life and with the help of very supportive parents, I decided to go to university.
I left Wimbledon to study Criminology and Psychological Studies at Southampton, graduating in 2003. On the discovery of beer, women and freedom (and how the first two really eat into the third), the writing went by the wayside.
In 2005, I became a Police Officer and in 2008, a Detective. In later years, I led my own team and became a Detective Tutor.
As I’m sure you appreciate, writing with any full-time hectic job is a very difficult task and, although I wasn’t able to produce a novel, I had three short stories published during this time.
Heartbreaking as it was, in 2014, I quit policing and am now teaching in Seoul, South Korea. I was working far too many hours to be able to write productively, so had to decide between two loves. I’ve got more time to write now and am working on my first crime fiction novel, trying to understand the crazy world of social media and having a good time doing it all.
My writing philosophy is to humbly admire and learn other people’s work and the stories they tell by living the lives they do, aspire to produce the best stories and the best characters I can and understand that I have to work harder than ever before to get to where I want to be.