Monday, 7 November 2011

Guest blog: Lesley Cookman

The Novel Points of View bloggers are delighted to welcome our first guest blogger. She is Lesley Cookman, whose latest novel in the Libby Serjeant series is published today.

I’m Lesley Cookman, and I write the Libby Sarjeant mystery series, of which the ninth, Murder At The Manor, is just out. I’m delighted to be the first Guest Blogger on Novel Points of View, and very honoured.

I’ve read all the previous blog posts and found some really interesting points. Do I read more or less as a writer? About the same as I always have, I think. And yes, from Enid Blyton onwards. Books mean everything to me and always have. My author pic (see above) was taken in front of the piano in my sitting room, and like Gill, I like it because it shows a fraction of the bookshelves which wrap round three walls.

Kindle or not? Oh, yes. I truly cannot understand the doom-mongers who constantly complain that the ebook is the death of print. Codswallop. Television wasn’t the death of radio, film wasn’t the death of theatre, audio books weren’t the death of the print book. Let’s embrace all ways of reading, and bless the technology that allows it. The only thing I complain about with the Kindle is the ease of downloading books. Finished a cracking read? Want the next by the same author? Click, click – there it is, ready to read immediately. The bank balance is far less healthy.

And what happens to your work when you’re a novelist. Yes, that’s a bit of a blow. You wonder why on earth the publisher took you on if they want that many changes. I’ve frequently told the tale of being asked by my editor to change the murderer, as there was too much sympathy for him by the end of the book. OK – you try it. Almost a complete rewrite, which I managed in a couple of weeks.

And coming right up to date, here’s the problem of the series writer. I write in the genre the Americans call 'Cosy'. I have an amateur sleuth who somehow has to keep getting involved in murder, and that’s a trifle difficult in itself. I feel Steeple Martin, my heroine’s home village, is becoming a property black spot like Cabot Cove and Midsomer county. And methods. Yes, I’ve just come completely unstuck over a murder method, which is necessitating a complete rewrite of the first chapters. If I manage it, this will become Murder by Magic, due out next June, with a cover already up on Amazon. No pressure, then.

But would I do anything else? If I came into a fortune, would I stop? My four grown up children look at me pityingly when I say I would. They’re probably right.


  1. Lovely post, and glam (as always) pic. And I agree with your kids, you'll never give up, even if you won the lottery. xxx

  2. Woohoo for Libby novel number nine!!! Long may she continue!

  3. No you know you would never give up the writing! Interesting blog post and as usual glam pic, Lesley!!

  4. Congratulations on the publication, Lesley.....and btw, you're looking as good as ever - remember you well from the Sexy Shorts anthology days.
    Your post gave me heart.....the bit about the edits.....I am just doing my first and I nearly passed out when I first received them ....what tosh had I written? I wondered. But I calmed down and carried on......and, well, I've got some catching up with you to do!

  5. Thanks, Girls! And really looking forward to your book, Linda.

  6. Interesting post, Jenny/Lesley. I can't agree more about kindle - long live whispernet!

  7. Love your book shelves Lesley. And Libby no. 9 is winging its way towards me as I type (unless Amazon mess up!). Congrats on publication.