One thing about this job, it's never boring. I've been meaning to update this news page for ages but I seem to have been constantly on the move since July, working, travelling and travelling for work. I'm certainly not complaining. After nine months in my study alone, writing Book Four (as yet untitled), I was ready for a break-out and a few adventures. I didn't quite count on a dog bite in Kentucky, tornado warnings and being driven fast along a motorway in Amsterdam by a taxi driver watching the World Cup on A CAR TV?? - but it has left me with a notebook of ideas for characters and plots, new contacts in the crime (writing!) world and a healthy new respect for poodles.

So before I return to Book Four, which I have missed dreadfully - I have a mental image of us running towards each other across a field, arms out - here are the highlights.

First, my summer started with a murder - not a real one, but the brilliant creation of crime writer Ann Cleeves, who rolled out her new mystery-story library initiative, Murder In The Ravenswick Hotel, at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. I was one of 20 crime authors who hosted a table of crime readers, each of us with the task of working out WHO DID IT. Actors from Ann's Shetland TV series added suspense to the night, and it was jolly good fun – even if our table came nowhere close to the answer. I realised as a crime author I'm probably expected to have more insight into solving a crime, but nope - not a clue. 

I'd already fitted in some early summer research trips for Book Four to  Edinburgh and Amsterdam (which I survived despite the football-mad taxi driver) - then it was off to Canada and America with my family for a 3000-mile roadtrip. As a writer, I think it's too easy to become permanently attached to your laptop, so I made a big effort to leave mine at home and just enjoy the summer. (That's me canoeing down the Green River with my good pal, American writer Wes Berry.) Having said that my other big love apart from fiction is travel writing and photography, so I wrote a family holiday piece for The Times (out next year) and took a few hours to have lunch with my lovely US editor Emily Bestler in New York. I say that casually, but in my head I was, of course, shouting 'I'M HAVING LUNCH WITH MY AMERICAN EDITOR IN NEW YORK!!!' because even now, it still doesn't feel real. 

Then it was home to start promotional events for the paperback launch of The Hidden Girl. My new publicist Sam has set up some great events for me, and sent me off on my first ever Blog Tour (which I'll post here soon). I also had the thrill of seeing my first poster at Euston Station. It was a special moment, which I shared with the platform staff who took lots of photos for me. The guard then wound me up rather brilliantly that I'd have to buy a ticket to back off the platform - took me about five minutes.

So now I'm back at my desk, ready to get going. I'm especially excited this autumn to have made contact with experts in the field of crime detection and forensics, who are helping me with the forensic and procedural aspects of crimes in Book Four. Although one unscheduled phonecall did lead to strange looks in the doctor's waiting room this week. 'So, if we do do that to him, how long do you think it would be before the police find his body...'

Later in the week I'll post some photos of my launch party for The Hidden Girl. For now, back to work...

 

 

So pleased to announce that the hardback of The Hidden Girl is out! It's been a very busy week, but I'm delighted to say that it's now in the shops and on e-book, and so far, feedback from reviewers and readers has been very encouraging. 

The Sun's Fabulous magazine has called it 'brilliantly creepy' and included it in its Bookclub. John Gordon Sinclair, author of Blood Whispers, called it 'deliciously unnerving', Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls, said it was 'seriously creepy' and CL Taylor, author of The Accident said after reading it, she 'never wanted to be home alone again!'

Book bloggers have also sent in some fantastic reviews.

beadyjansbooks.blogspot.co.uk said 'This is a sinister and creepy psychological tour de force with so many little twists it really keeps you turning the pages until late in the night and makes you want to check the doors are firmly locked before you do lay your head down to sleep - don't you just love a book which does that?'

Cayocosta72.wordress.com said 'Millar is a masterful suspense writer. This is the third book of hers that I have read and she just keeps getting better. This is a psychological thriller best read with the lights on.'

Thanks to everyone so far who's bought and read The Hidden Girl. I'd love to hear what you think, too - please drop me a line.

 

 

(L to R) My panel at Bristol Crimefest May 2014, with John Gordon Sinclair, Rob Gittins, Laura Wilson and DE Meredith - debating whether it's easier to write unsympathetic heroes or sympathetic villains.

Meet the Millars

I’m obsessed with this photo of my Glaswegian grandparents, Willie and Kathleen.

To me they were the lovely old couple who brought up my dad in a Glasgow tenement, then kept me and my brother well supplied in the 70s with Highland toffees and made-up fairy stories. Yet, that didn’t explain the furs and moth-eaten evening dresses and rows of crocodile shoes I found in my Nana's wardrobe. Then recently, I inherited a box of their photographs, including this one, and many of them dressed at elegant parties and driving to Switzerland in fancy cars.

Now as I dig around the family, stories are starting to surface: of a runaway Irish great-grandfather, lost family millions, weekends at parties in Scottish castles, a modeling career, and an abandoned priesthood. And that’s just the start.

Now, I’m a writer, so what else could I do? In my new thriller The Hidden Girl, Hannah finds a stack of old photo albums, too – in her case, in an abandoned Suffolk house with a disturbing mystery at its heart. She has one chance to unlock the secret before it’s too late – but only one photo holds the clue.