A Spittal author is celebrating the publication of her first novel, inspired by her stint covering Northumberland as a journalist.
Bea Davenport’s ‘In Too Deep’, a thriller set in and around Alnwick, will be out at the beginning of June.
Bea, who also lectures on journalism after 17 years working with the BBC, came to the attention of Legend Press when a childrens’ book of hers was shortlisted for the prestigious Times/Chicken House Award in 2010.
But when it came to the longer form, she said: “I had to be quite disciplined in order to get things down. I try to get 1,000 words down every day.
“I’m always telling my students to write all the time, to set up a blog and keep their hand in, so I felt I had to take some of my own medicine! I’ve been blogging about writing and journalism for a few months now.
“Having said all that, ‘In Too Deep’ was my first novel and I am getting along much quicker with the one I’m working on now. I think that’s because I was fiddling with it for such a long time, it being the first one, and there were many drafts, with much rewriting.”
With her follow-up, Bea’s previous life as a journalist is again providing the spark for her fiction.
“It’s set in the 1980’s,” she said, “and it’s a very heavily fictionalised version of stories that I was working on at the time of the Miners’ Strike while I was writing for the Shields Gazette. Again, it’s a very dark story, though I don’t want to give too much away.
“It was a time of great upheaval in north Northumberland,” added Bea, originally from Tyneside.
“And recently, with Margaret Thatcher’s death, all those feelings were being replayed. I found that very helpful in recalling the atmosphere.”
Bea is eagerly awaiting the publication of ‘In Too Deep’ on June 1, although the e-book version has been available for download since May 1.
“It was very exciting,” she said. “That’s when you know that it’s real. An e-book, well, it’s still getting it out there, but I think for someone of my generation, it’s always going to be about the paperback. I think it’s about the feel of the object itself in some way.
“Then again, I do have a Kindle, and I like it. I think I’d always want to take it on a journey, as opposed to a whole suitcase full of books.
•‘In Too Deep’ is available to pre-order on Amazon now.