#GuestPost by Emma Salisbury #author of Sticks and Stones #DSCoupland @EmmaSAuthor

I’m very excited to read the latest in Emma Salisbury’s DS Coupland series as I have so enjoyed all the previous books. I can’t quite fit it in at the moment but watch out for my review in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here is a guest post from Emma. It’s available now as an ebook and you can order your copy here: Sticks and Stones.

Why I won’t be pole-dancing when my book is launched.

Writing is an odd profession. I spend  months of my life closed off in my study, exploring my  life and the lives of those around  me whilst trying to make sense of what’s going on in the world,  shaping all these  experiences into something I hope closely resembles entertainment. I laugh nervously as I write this, because when a book is due for release there are many moments right up until publication that I am riddled with self-doubt. Thankfully I know this is a common affliction within the writing community, and I believe the point where we aren’t overcome with angst in the lead up to each book release is the point when we should call it a day.

I’ve been asked many times why I choose to write crime fiction. To me, it’s a natural fit, it gives me the chance to tackle tough subjects as well as look at the actions of others from a different perspective. We make our judgements from the viewpoint of our own window on the world. But what if the glass in that window was cracked? I suppose that sums up pretty well how I spend my time: looking at the world through splintered glass. But crime fiction isn’t morbid. Hope and a desire for resolution run through all my plots. Although  my DS Coupland series tackles big themes – Human trafficking, Football Hooliganism, Drive-by shootings, Murder-suicide and Care Home abuse, the stories are underpinned  with Coupland’s gallows humour and goings-on in his personal life that occasionally threaten to take over the plot!

STICKS AND STONES is Coupland’s sixth outing. It starts where FLESH AND BLOOD ends, and although  there is a theme in it that affects many people, I can’t mention it without spoiling the ending so I’m afraid I’ll have to stay silent for the time being! I can say that it explores trauma, and how actions that have happened in our past may never leave us. Having said that, for all the big plots explored in the series, readers tell me it’s Coupland’s grumpy personality that draws them in, that and his fierce devotion to his family which he puts above everything else.

It’s impossible for me to write this post without referring to what is going on right now in the world. Although what I can say that is different to what anyone else is saying I’m not sure. To be honest, if I think about it too much it scares the hell out of me. Dwelling on things is my default setting, but now I must find distractions, develop the attention span of a gnat to manage the information being thrown at us on a daily basis. According to social media now is the time to take up pole dancing or learn a foreign language. Well, that’s great advice for those who can, but stress saps us of our energy and what is really so wrong with sitting down and enjoying a good book?

How will writers record this period in their work – if they choose to do so – who knows? I’m just trying to take each day at it comes. I’m reading, I’m skyping. One day at a time.

Stay safe everyone.

From the back of the book

A consultant is accused of killing his patients…

A local MP has murdered a call girl…

A teacher ploughs a minibus into a group of pupils…

It’s as though Salford is under a permanent full moon, not helped by the fact DS Kevin Coupland is fighting to hold onto his career.

Following an allegation that he was behind a prisoner’s murder in HMP Manchester, Coupland enlists the help of the one man everyone is certain has set him up – Kieran Tunney, a notorious crime boss already under investigation by the murder squad.

When Coupland reviews several cases his team have handled in his absence he suspects they are linked, in a way he cannot believe is possible. If his suspicions are correct then he must act fast to stop the unthinkable from happening – even if that means putting himself in the firing line.

Sticks and Stones is the sixth book in the popular DS Coupland series.

About the author

I write gritty, crime fiction that focuses on the ‘why’ dunnit as well as the ‘who’. I worked for a housing association supporting ex-offenders into work which provided me with a lot of inspiration. Featured in the Sunday Mail and on BBC Radio Scotland, Talk Radio Europe and a number of other news and media outlets, my novels have regularly been in the top ten Hardboiled chart and I am a recipient of the Amazon All-Star bonus for being one of their most read authors in the UK.

Fans of Mark Billingham and Angela Marsons should try my Manchester police procedural series. If you like hard-boiled crime writers Stuart MacBride, Denise Mina AND Ed James then my Scottish crime series is for you. Like living on the edge? Why not try both…

Most evenings I can be found walking the family dog on the beach near our home in East Lothian, Scotland. You can find out more on my website http://www.emmasalisbury.com and I can be found on twitter @emmasauthor and emmasauthor on Facebook.

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