A reporter turned crime writer has won a new publishing deal for her second novel.
Barbara Henderson, of Berwick in Northumberland, will see her book This Little Piggy on shelves in October this year following the success of her debut novel In Too Deep.
The mother-of-three said she was delighted with the news that Legend Press had acquired the rights to her novel and was looking forward to also having her first children’s book published this year as well.
“It’s really exciting, last year was great because I got my first novel published and now I have a second one coming out and a children’s book,” said Barbara, who has worked as a journalist in print, TV and radio.
“It’s going to be a really busy year. The crime novel is called ‘This Little Piggy’ and it is set in the summer of 1984 so the miners’ strike is going on in the background as a sub-plot but the main plot revolves around the death of a baby. It is set in a fictional run-down housing estate in the North East and the central character is a journalist following the story and following the way the police are bungling everything.”
Barbara admitted her writing was partly inspired by her time working as a reporter.
“I definitely think journalism is a brilliant job for that because every day you go out and meet people who have done really interesting or extreme things, it’s a great job for picking up story ideas,” she said.
Writing under her pen name Bea Davenport, Barbara’s first novel In too Deep, also published by Legend Press in June last year, raced to number three in the bestseller charts during the summer, going head-to-head with J.K.Rowling’s crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, which was just ahead at number two.
“Like many writers, from being a child I wanted to write stories but I was under the impression you had to be a very special person to do that,” said Barbara. “I always thought that would never get me anywhere.”
So Barbara kept her writing to herself until a few years ago when she decided to do a PhD in creative writing at Newcastle University. This gave her the confidence to show her work to others and her success story began.
“I am still trying to believe it because it is a tough world out there and it is tough to get publishers to look at your work,” she said. “Self-publishing is very easy but finding a publisher who will take you on and publish for you is hard these days so I really have been quite lucky.”
Crime is not the only genre Barbara is trying her hand at, she will also see her first children’s novel, The Serpent House, published by Curious Fox in June. Lauren Parsons, commissioning editor of Legend Press, said: “We are thrilled to acquire Bea’s second novel and look forward to building her reputation within the crime fiction community.
“This Little Piggy is a gripping look at a community in turmoil and is full of secrets, tension and emotion. This book is simply unputdownable.”