Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Welcome to Historical Crime Writer - Helena Dixon

I’m delighted to welcome Helena Dixon to my blog.

Hello Helena
It was lovely to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
The RNA is a wonderful group of authors and affiliates, all of whom are supportive of fellow members and their need to share and spread the word about anything bookish and romantic.
But before we learn more about your latest release, Murder at the Dolphin Hotel, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: Authors can release books, making them available to readers in various ways…via an agent, or working directly with a traditional publisher, or they can even go the self-publishing route. Which method of publishing do you prefer, and why?
Nell: To me books are great in all mediums. I read on my kindle, paperbacks, hardbacks, magazines, anything so any medium that helps readers discover the sheer joy of a story is good. Bookouture, are an E book first publisher but Murder at the Dolphin Hotel is also going to be available as audio and I believe, paperback too.

Arabella: Currently, what is your most favourite T.V. programme, and why?
Helena: Oh, this is hard as I don’t watch much TV. I do love Taskmaster though. 

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, Murder at the Dolphin Hotel?
Helena: I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie. I love Golden Age detective fiction. I enjoy cosy crime with a good puzzle to keep me reading. I’ve wanted to write in this genre for years and I love Devon as we spend a lot of time there so setting the series in Dartmouth with its beautiful setting and history was a perfect fit.

Arabella: If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the night, where would they take you and what would you do?
Helena: Well, my husband and I have been married for almost 35 years, so we know each other very well. We love concerts and meals out with our family so I think we would go to a concert, we like all kinds of music, and then meet our lovely daughters and their partners for a meal at one of our favourite pubs.

Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
Helena: I don’t really like chocolate much and I’m very allergic to apples. Burger and fries don’t do it for me either so can I be awkward and choose something naughty like a fresh cream cake?

Arabella: When writing a book or chapter, which do you concentrate on first: plot, character, or setting?
Helena: All of my stories are character driven. Kitty is a very determined young lady and she sparks with Captain Matt Bryant very well when it comes to solving murders.

Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Helena: I spend a lot of time researching. I’ve been on a steam train that follows my heroine’s journey, walked from Dartmouth castle round Warfleet Bay to where my fictional hotel would have stood. I toured Churston Golf Club in a buggy to visit the site for the third book in the series, Murder on the eleventh tee and went to Newton St Cyres which features in book two, Murder at Brockencote Manor. I read a lot of historical research too and immerse myself in the period.

Arabella: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their writing journey?
Helena: My advice is to read. Read a lot, read everything you can. Get a feel for words and language, learn which writers capture you and then see how they’ve done it. Don’t be afraid to explore.

Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Helena. It was great to learn about your latest release, Murder at the Dolphin Hotel. I’m sure your readers will be keen to find the clues, solve the crime, and uncover the murderer for themselves.
All the best, and lots of happy-ever-after writing…
Arabella Sheen 

About Helena Dixon
I write contemporary women’s fiction as Nell Dixon and now historical cosy crime set in 1930’s Dartmouth as Helena Dixon. You can find me on facebook as Nell Dixon, on my website and also on Twitter as @NellDixon. An Instagram account is coming soon for Helena Dixon as I have some fab research pics to share. Murder at The Dolphin Hotel is available for preorder and will be released on December 11th, although Net Galley reviewers will be able to get it sooner I think.

Blurb – Murder at the Dolphin Hotel

A room with a view… to murder

June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desks and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season.

But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it.

Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson and T.E. Kinsey will love this unputdownable whodunnit.

Murder at The Dolphin Hotel is available for preorder and will be released on December 11th

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