Louise, who writes under the penance LJ, has contributed an exclusive DCI Ryan short story to the Dark Minds anthology, alongside a number of other bestselling writers, with proceeds going to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal.
Sophie’s Appeal was set up following the death of six-year-old Sophie Barringer, from Hampshire, who lost her fight against Wilm’s Disease, a form of kidney cancer.
The little girl underwent chemotherapy and a major operation during which her heart was stopped so surgeons could remove tumours which had spread to her heart, liver and left kidney. Tragically, the cancer could not be beaten and Sophie died at home in 2004. Since then, her parents Lin and Mike Barringer have been tirelessly fundraising to provide support, treatment and research funding for childhood cancer.
LJ said: “I”m absolutely humbled by the work of Hospice UK and Sophie’s parents who are working so hard to create such an incredible legacy for their little girl. I’m thrilled to be able to help in a small way by writing a short story especially for this anthology. I hope as many people as possible get a copy because not only is it for the most amazing causes, but there are some great reads in there.”
The author is originally from Northumberland, worked as a city regulatory lawyer in London, and is now living in Bath with her husband James and their three-year-old son Ethan.
She gave up a legal career to become a writer. Even though she was offered a traditional publishing deal, she turned it down to self publish independently through Amazon KDP.and has now released four DCI Ryan thrillers, selling over half a million copies in less than two years, each of which have shot to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list.
DCI Ryan first appeared in Holy Island, which knocked Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train off the top spot in the charts. That was followed up with Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield and Angel. LJ is now busy writing her fifth DCI Ryan thriller, High Force, which is due for release in the New Year.
But, for readers who can’t wait for their next DCI Ryan fix, her short story The Shepherd’s Bothy tells the eerie tale of how Ryan and his sergeant end up marooned in a remote bunkhouse somewhere in the Coquet Valley after a severe snow storm, walking in on a murder in progress. Featuring her trademark atmospheric writing, the vignette is included in Dark Minds. The anthology also includes the work of fellow crime writers, including bestsellers Lisa Hall and Louise Jensen.
LJ said: “Self publishing and social media have changed the book world. Now, as soon as readers have finished one book, they’re desperate for the next one. It’s fantastic to be able to connect to readers, but I can only write so quickly and this is a nice way for readers to enjoy more of DCI Ryan while I finish High Force.”
Betsy Reavley from Bloodhound Books said: “Bloodhound Books is delighted to be supporting Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal, both very worthy causes. We decided we would use our contacts and influence to produce a book that would raise money for charity. It’s nice to be able to give something back.”
Dark Minds is available in paperback (£8.99), ebook (£2.99) and audio book (£11.99) formats and can be purchased through Amazon, Waterstones online, Kobo and Nook.