Friday, 18 May 2018

Guest Post about The Development by Jackie Kabler - Blog Tour

As a writer you’re often asked about where the inspiration for your books comes from. My answer is generally very simple – from driving! I live in Gloucestershire and work in London, which is a four- to five-hour round trip, and I do that four times a week. That’s a lot of driving, and a lot of thinking time. I love listening to true crime podcasts as I drive, and the inspiration for my last book, The Deadline, came from listening to a podcast about an alleged miscarriage of justice – a man locked up for a crime he always maintained he didn’t commit. It got me thinking – what if that happened to somebody I know? What if a close friend of mine was charged with murder, and she said she was innocent? Would I believe her, if all the evidence was against her? How far would I go to help her clear her name? That became the plot for a book, when TV reporter Cora Baxter has to try to prove that one of her best friends is innocent of murder.

I also get inspired by the scenery and buildings I see as I drive, and that was very much the case with my new book, The Development. I live north of Bristol, and so when friends and family come to visit, Bristol airport is the most convenient. I was driving there to pick someone up one day, and suddenly started forming the plot of a novel in my head as I drove under the beautiful Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s a stunning construction, but sadly is also a well-known suicide spot, so I started thinking “what if some poor person was up there right now, planning to jump? What if I saw it happen? What if they landed right in front of my car?”. (I’m not sure if everyone’s mind works like this – maybe it’s just the mind of a crime writer!)

And then, I pushed the idea a little further. What if the death turned out to be suspicious? What if somebody else was up there on the bridge too? What if there were odd circumstances leading up to all this? What if it wasn’t actually suicide at all, but murder, made to look like suicide? Those musings became the beginnings of The Development, which starts with Cora Baxter driving home from work and witnessing the horrible death of a young woman. I suppose a lot of writers work like this, irrespective of genre – what if this happened? What if that happened? What if somebody did this? What would the outcome be? “What ifs” definitely help pass the time on a long, tedious drive!
After three Cora Baxter books, I’ve now started work on something a little different, more of a psychological suspense novel, and that too was inspired by something I was listening to as I was driving to work. A two-hundred-and-twenty-mile commute may not be for everyone but for me it provides plot lines for my books, so long may it last! 

Thank you Jackie for this great post. I can't wait to read The Development and see what happens next with Cora Baxter. 

After a stressful week, TV reporter Cora Baxter is ready for a quiet weekend. But what she hadn’t counted on was witnessing the shocking death of a young woman on her way home. She discovers seventeen-year-old Leanne had been protesting against a new housing development, angering the powerful establishment. Leanne’s death is ruled a suicide, but when puzzling information comes to light, Cora decides to investigate further.

She doesn’t know what an unscrupulous businessman, a suspended police officer and hate-mail sending neighbours have to do with the case – but she knows there is a news story there.

With her eccentric camera crew on hand to help, can Cora tie the strands of Leanne’s case together – or will other forces interfere?

The Development is the third in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series.


Author bio: Jackie Kabler is a journalist, TV presenter and author. She spent twenty years as a TV news reporter for GMTV, ITV and BBC news, and now works as a presenter for shopping channel QVC and is author of the Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of  murder mysteries set in a television newsroom. The Development is her third novel. Jackie lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, who is a GP. 

Twitter @jackiekabler

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