*Please be advised that affiliate links may be used within this post. If you click on any of the links, there will not be a cost to you, however, I may receive some commission.*
Title: Lady In Red
Author: Tessa Buckley
Genre: YA, Thriller
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Tessa Buckley for the opportunity to take part of Lady In Red Blog Tour!
About The Book
Pursuing the truth can be a dangerous game…
School’s out for the summer, and Eye Spy Investigations have a new case – looking for Lady in Red, a lost masterpiece by Victorian painter, Gabriel Pascoe.
The clock is ticking for Alex and Donna, because the artist’s house, Acacia Villa, where their friend Jake lives, is due to be demolished, and vital clues may be destroyed. And Alex has an additional problem: he is terrified of snakes, and Jake has a pet snake called Queenie…
As the twins pursue their enquiries, they come up against the man who wants to demolish Acacia Villa. But Mr Mortimer is the godfather of their baby half-sister, Sophie, and criticising him could open up family rifts, which have only just healed.
Then Queenie goes missing, setting in motion a disastrous train of events that will turn the search for Lady in Red into the twins’ most dangerous case yet.
- What is your background?
When I left school, I went to work as a secretary in an architect’s office. I realised immediately that was what I wanted to do as it combined my twin loves of drawing, and old buildings, so I went to art school and trained as an interior designer. This led to fifteen years of working for various architects and designers in London, Many of the buildings I worked on, and the people I met in those years have provided inspiration for characters and places in my novels.
- What made you take up writing?
Shortly after my daughter Louise was born, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and it soon became obvious I wouldn’t be able to continue commuting, or working on building sites. Instead, I started an OU arts degree, so I was writing a lot of essays. Then when Louise was about ten, she complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read, I remembered all the stories I’d written and illustrated as a child, and thought: “I’ll write a children’s novel!” Of course, I first had to learn my craft, and I’m still learning today.
- What sort of books do you like to read?
Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances were early favourites, as were Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, and I still read a lot of historical novels, particularly historical detective stories by authors such as C.J. Sansom and Susan Gossey. Currently I’m enjoying time-slip novels by Diana Gabaldon and Pamela Hartshorne, but I also like psychological thrillers and biographies.
- Who are your favourite children’s authors?
As a child I read all the classic children’s stories, but my two favourites were The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown, and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. The modern children’s writer I admire the most is Jacqueline Wilson – she has been a big influence on my writing – but I also enjoy JK Rowling, Michael Morpurgo and Malorie Blackman.
- What made you decide to self-publish?
My daughter has worked as both an editor and a literary agent, so I knew just how hard it is for a debut novelist to find a publisher. Once I felt Eye Spy was as good as it could be, I didn’t want to waste years trying to find that elusive deal. And because it’s easier to sell a series than a single book, I wrote two more Eye Spy books to form a trilogy. I’m so glad I decided to self-publish, because it has helped me to discover and become part of the large local writing community, and I’ve made a lot of new friends in the process.
- So what are your plans for the future?
I am now working on a YA thriller, which is a reworking of a Dickens novel set in contemporary London. This is a much more ambitious project than any I have worked on before, but now that I have a substantial writing CV behind me, I might have another try at going down the traditional publishing route when it is finished. It is hard work trying to do promotion and marketing as well as writing, and it would be good to be able to just concentrate on writing. I’d also like to write a family history book about my husband’s grandfather, a Welshman who seems to have known some of the main movers and shakers of the early twentieth century
About The Author
Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series for 9-12 year olds about two teen detectives. There are now two more books in the series: Haunted, which was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards2017,, and Lady in Red. She lives by the sea in Essex and recently completed an Open University arts degree.
Happy Reading, x