What a busy bookish week it has been! Tonight’s event was the launch for Jackie McLean’s “Shadows”, the second in the DI Donna Davenport series and the crowds were out in force to support her! Jackie’s host for the evening was the brilliant Mark Leggatt and I caught up with him for a wee chat and a cuppa before the event! Thank you for the fab advice Mark!
Jackie gave us some snippets from “Shadows” and well all I can say is that I’m now feeling quite excited as I have both “Toxic” and “Shadows” to read. Jackie spoke about the importance of setting is to her as a writer. The series is set in the North East of Scotland; “Shadows” had also originally included Cuba as a setting, however, despite much research Jackie told the audience she really struggled to write this part of the novel as she just didn’t have the sense of the setting having never been there before. She then made the decision to change Cuba to Turkey and the words just flowed!
Mark asked Jackie about the scene that was the hardest one for her to write and she told us that it was the scene about the dog; this caused her great anguish and despite that gasps of shock from the audience she refused to say whether or not the dog made it to the end of the book!
When she starts writing a book her main aim is to write a novel that readers will enjoy but she also wants to use her writing to highlight issues that need to be disclosed (In Toxic the storyline was based on the Bhopal Disaster) and she described Donna as her “protest” character as she wanted to use her to highlight the very real struggles that someone living with mental illness faces just to get through each day.
If you ever meet Jackie then you really must ask her about her internet research and the story of smoke bombs! Let’s just say that if her search history was ever investigated she may have a lot of explaining to do!
Jackie talked about her writing process and, much to Mark’s delighted admitted she is very much a plotter and definitely does not like to be flying by the seat of her pants! She writes longhand and favours the fine tip Bic pens and although she would love to have a writing routine she struggles to stick to the routine!
She is currently working on the 3rd in the series, “Run” which will tie up a few loose ends and she predicts a bit of a career change for Donna Davenport in the future! Watch this space, folks!
As is the case with these events the evening was over way too soon! Time for the book signing and heading home and I’m certainly looking forward to getting my head stuck into the pages of these two books!
“When DI Donna Davenport is called out to investigate a body washed up on Arbroath beach, it looks like a routine murder inquiry. Then the enquiry takes on a more sinister form.
There are similarities with a previous murder, and now a woman connected to them both has gone missing too. For Donna, this is becoming personal, and with the added pressure of feeling watched at every turn, she is convinced that Jonas Evanton has returned to seek his revenge on her for his downfall.
Fearing they may be looking for a serial killer, Donna and her new team are taken in a horrifying and unexpected direction. Because it’s not a serial killer – it’s worse.
Moving from Dundee to the south coast of Turkey and the Syrian border, this is a fast-paced novel about those who live their lives in the shadows and those who exploit them.”
“Shadows” is available to purchase from