A history of crime (England) part 3

In part 3 of this series I am going to take a look at a case that is famous in England, though is perhaps less well-known elsewhere in the world. Dr Crippen is a name that many people in the UK know, they will even know that he was a killer, but most will know little about his case; it comes as a surprise when they discover that for all his infamy he was hanged for the murder of only one person, his wife.

Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen

Dr_crippen.jpgHawley Harvey Crippen was an American Homeopathic doctor who came to England, with his second wife Corinne (Cora), in 1897 as part of his work with Dr Munyon’s Homeopathic Pharmaceutical company.

In 1899 he was sacked from Dr Munyon’s for spending too much time managing his wife’s career as a would-be music-hall singer. He then became manager of Drouet’s Institution for the Deaf, while there he met Ethel Le Neve in 1903.

In 1908 Crippen and Ethel became lovers, after Cora cuckolded him with one of the tenants they took in to supplement Crippen’s meagre income.

It was January 31st 1910, following a party, that Cora Crippen disappeared. Her husband claimed that she had returned to the US, and had then died and been cremated in California. Following this Ethel Le Neve moved into Hawley’s house on Hilltop Crescent and began to openly wear Cora’s clothes and jewellery.

It was Cora’s friend, Kate Williams, who worked as a strongwoman, that alerted the police to her disappearance, but it wasn’t until they were asked to investigate by John Nash and his entertainer wife, Lili Hawthorne, that the police took it seriously.

Crippen was interviewed by Chief Inspector Walter Dew, and the house searched, but nothing was found. During the interview, Crippen admitted that he had made up the story about his wife dying to avoid the embarrassment of having to tell people that she had left him and returned to America with one of her lovers, a music hall actor by the name of Bruce Miller.

Dew was satisfied, both with the interview and the search of the house, unfortunately, Crippen didn’t know that and he and Le Neve fled to Brussels. They stayed there for a night before boarding the SS Montrose in Antwerp and heading for Canada.

Had he just remained calm, there’s every chance Crippen would have got away with murdering his wife, his sudden flight convinced the police to search the house again, which they did several times. On their fourth search, the third following Crippen’s departure, the remains of a body was found under the brick floor of the basement.

Although only a small portion of the body was found, the head, limbs and skeleton were never located, it was enough for the pathologist to discover traces of scopalmine.

Had he travelled in 3rd class, it’s doubtful that the discovery would have resulted in Crippen’s arrest, but he chose to travel in 1st, with the result that he was seen by the captain, Henry George Kendall, who wasn’t fooled, either by the beard Crippen had grown, or by Le Neve’s disguise as a boy.

Before the ship sailed beyond range of his transmitter, Captain Kendall telegraphed Scotland Yard to report his suspicions that the London cellar murderer and his accomplice were on board and disguised.

Upon receiving this news, Chief Inspector Dew board the SS Laurentic, a faster ship than the SS Montrose, which enabled him to reach Canada ahead of his susect. He boarded the Montrose in the guise of a pilot, and Captain Kendall, who invited Crippen to meet the pilots, brought the two together.

Crippen seemed relieved to be arrested, saying, “Thank God it’s over. The suspense has been too great. I couldn’t stand it any longer.”

The_Trial_of_Dr-Crippen.jpgHe was returned to England for trial, and was hanged at Pentonville Prison on November 23rd 1910.

Le Neve, who was tried separately as an accomplice after the fact, was acquitted. She emigrated to America the morning of her lover’s execution.

Crippen was almost certainly relieved by this outcome since it is apparent that his chief concern throughout his own trial was the reputation of his lover. At his request, he was buried with a photograh of Le Neve.


Why such a relatively simple case has endured in the minds of the British public, I cannot say, but the fact that Dr Crippen was the first criminal to be caught with the aid of radio telegraphy certainly makes it worth remembering.

 

Promo material

The Navigating Indieworld group on Goodreads is coming up with some great collaborative marketing ideas, and Alexis is our queen of graphics, just look at the awesome banner she has done, and then pay attention to the opportunity it’s telling you about. 😀

Tips from Rohvannyn Shaw

Today on ARCBookblog we have Rohvannyn Shaw, who aside from having an awesome-sounding name is the author of 7 books, with more to come. She is here to tell us a little about herself and her latest release – Self-Publishing Made Easy
First, a little about Rohvannyn
911nArb1xwL._UX250_.jpgRohvannyn Shaw has been an avid reader for all but two years of her life.

Raised by two writers, a love of literacy permeated her childhood. With this background, it was inevitable that she would eventually turn her hand to the family trade.

Apart from paying the bills by working in a call center, she is also an artist and illustrator, and happily soaks up the Arizona heat with her partner.

She is currently owned by a fluffy calico.

Her art can be seen at http://www.rohvannynshaw.com.

Join her on her blog: http://mind-flight.org.

Released less than a fortnight ago is Self-Publishing Made Easy, the title seems self-explanatory by here is a bit about the book in case you need some help in deciding whether to buy it.

Self-Publishing Made Easy

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Tips for Self Publishing
Here are some hard-won lessons I’ve learned and want to share with you. They will make your life much easier! Some of these points are also mentioned elsewhere in this book, but are included here for emphasis and convenience.
Price your e-book fairly low. Remember that you don’t have to do any work at all when you sell one.
Be aware of current costs of books and don’t price too much below or above the going rate. Above the normal and people won’t pay, below and they’ll say “what’s wrong with it?”
Use a beta reader. The more eyes, the better. You will ALWAYS find something that needs fixing.
Listen to your editor. Whether you agree or disagree, think about it and really consider the advice. Feedback is a gift.
When formatting, use full justification when you write. If the print lines up nicely on both sides of the page, it will give a cleaner, neater look.
When submitting your work, pay attention to the final size of the page and pick a font size that will be readable. Also, pick a font that is easy on the eyes, such as Times New Roman.
A common size for books is six inches by nine, though smaller is fine too. When setting up your pages, pick the size in the beginning so you don’t have to make a lot of changes later.
Use good word processing software so you can make your work look its best, such as Libre Office. That’s free to anyone with an internet connection.
If you are designing your own cover, avoid clutter and make sure you use an image that is high enough resolution to look good in printing. The company you are working with will tell you the minimum resolution required for images, but it’s commonly 300 dots per inch. Lower resolution is fine for eBook covers, because they will only be seen on screens.
Don’t forget to leave room for the barcode and ISBN on the back of your book, if you design that space in, it will look much more finished.
Write what you love, write what you know, and never ever write something you don’t know about without expert help. That is, talk it over with someone who knows the subject and then listen to what they have to say!
If you write what you don’t know, research, research, research. Use a checklist to make sure you don’t forget any details.
In writing, as in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
And finally, don’t pay for any services unless you know exactly what you are getting!
You can purchase the book at Amazon, iBooks, and all other good ebook retailers.

A review of Red Rabbit

Red Rabbit

T0m Clancy

starstar

Red_Rabbit_cover.jpgJack Ryan. The early CIA days . . .

When young Jack Ryan joins the CIA as an analyst he is thrust into a world of political intrigue and conspiracy. Stationed in England, he quickly finds himself debriefing a Soviet defector with an extraordinary story to tell: senior Russian officials are plotting to assassinate Pope John Paul II. The CIA novice must forget his inexperience and rely on all his wits to firstly discover the details of the plot – and then prevent its execution. For it is not just the Pope’s life that is at stake, but also the stability of the Western World.

Red Rabbit is the thrilling eighth novel featuring Jack Ryan, following The Sum of All Fears and Debt of Honour. Published after Executive Orders, the novel charts Jack Ryan’s earliest mission for the CIA, and is the stunning prequel to The Hunt For Red October.


This was written many years after Patriot Games and The Hunt For Red October, though it fits between those two books in the timeline of Jack Ryan. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite match up to those earlier books.

The plot is reasonable, being based around a real event that took place in 1981, and the writing is accessible, if more simplistic than is the norm for an author who often writes in a very easy to access way. Somehow, though, there is something lacking from the book, it’s almost as if the book was written by someone other than Tom Clancy, someone who is familiar with the Jack Ryan universe, but whose writing style is more basic.

Having read a number of the reviews on Amazon for this book I think I have identified one of the things that is lacking from this book; the strongest aspect of Tom Clancy’s has always been his descriptions of combat and weapons, neither of which feature in this particular story.

I read this book because it’s part of the series, and I will re-read it the next time I go through the Jack Ryan series, simply because it is a part of the series, but if it was a standalone novel, I wouldn’t be bothering.

Basic Accomodations – I’m Not Disabled By My Autism, I’m Disabled By Unacomodating People

This is why I prefer to work at home as a writer, even though I don’t yet make a living from it, I can cater my working environment to my needs, even if it means turning off all sound or light so I don’t get a headache or anything.

Anonymously Autistic

In an earlier post titled Autism is Not My Disability I said

“Autism is not the disability, although symptoms of my sensory processing difficulties can leave me crippled and unable to function. The disability is society’s misunderstanding of Autistic people.”

Although I still agree with my previous statement, I’ve been rethinking this title laity and feel a strong urge to elaborate.

First I want to clarify that there are parts of Autism that are disabling.

We can have mental disabilities, epilepsy, IBS, Anxiety attacks, chronic insomnia, extreme sensory sensitivities, and more. In my mind these things are not Autism – because they differ so widely in all of us. I consider these commodities are unfortunate side effects that Autistic people encounter (too often).

These things ARE true disabilities and are often invisible – so when I say Autism is not a disability, I mean Autism as a way of thinking in…

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An interview with Jennifer Peacock-Smith

Today on ARCBookblog we Jennifer Peacock-Smith, the latest in the series of interviews I have been running. Before we get to the interview, here is Jennifer’s bio from Amazon.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 3.53.04 PM.pngJennifer Peacock-Smith is an emerging memoirist who writes on her experiences, struggles and triumphs through a difficult but colorful life so far. She shares her time between her homelands of South Africa and Australia when she is not traveling with her husband in all corners of the globe.

Despite a painful and crippling genetic condition she is very active in the writing community. She writes for a number of blogs as well as the world wide publication The Mighty, on Chronic Illness and other topics.

And now it’s time for a few questions so we can get to know Jennifer a little better

Me – Is writing a full-time occupation, or do you have a job that keeps you from it?

Jennifer – I am very spoiled to be able to write full time. I still have things to do, life is so bad at getting in the way, especially when I don’t want it to, but I do get to write on average 3-5 days a week.

Me – What aspect of publishing do you find the easiest?

Jennifer – Oh this is an interesting question. I don’t think that any of it is easy. The biggest thing to get in the way of my writing is publishing and promoting. If anything is easy then it is some of the relationships that I have built along the way. Being in a community of readers, writers (or both) make what could very well be a very lonely process, way more inspiring, encouraging, and enriching. I have to be careful that I don’t put my publishing community before real people sometimes!

Me – What do you find the most difficult?

Jennifer – Advertising myself and my book is awful. Thankfully the response has been wonderful and it is selling itself, but I am not used to self promotion and it feels somehow wrong.

Me – What is your perfect writing environment.

Jennifer – I have to spend much of my life in bed due to health limitations, but I have learnt to make myself quite comfortable despite the pain and I have a little four legged companion who wags her tail madly when it is a writing day. So my bed, my baby and complete silence are the perfect environment for me. I travel a lot with my husband’s work so often those beds are in hotel rooms around the world. Those always make great writing environments as well.

Me – Do you have a process you follow when writing a book?

Jennifer – I would have said no, but in fact it turns out that I think I do. I am a memoirist so I don’t have to think hard to come up with material. I just write and it flows (when it does. When it doesn’t then there is no point in me writing and I give it a break). But when I am on a roll I just write, write and write some more. I get the first draft done in a very short period of time. I like it to be raw and real and to let the words fly. Then I have the tedious task of thinking about it and unpacking it. I am dyslexic and autocorrect hates me, so editing is awful for me!

Me – Would you rather be critically successful or financially successful?

Jennifer – The former for sure. Not because I am generous or kind, but because I have had my voice squashed for so long that my primary reason for writing is to get my voice out there and help others who are struggling with similar issues. But of course the money doesn’t hurt either 🙂

Me – If you could pick 1 celebrity to read your book and give an opinion on it, who would it be?

Jennifer – Oh wow, I am not big on celebrities. But Mary Karr is a well known memoirist who is also a Poet. She is my memoir hero in many ways, although I am yet to read any of her book I’m ashamed to say. But I would love her to read (and love) my books!

Me – Do you find it easy to avoid being distracted when you sit down to write?

Jennifer – It depends on what I am doing. When I am on the first draft and I am on a roll, nothing can stop me. But when I am editing then anything can distract me and usually does.

Me – If you have published already, what has been the most successful technique/site/opportunity for you in terms of getting either exposure or sales?

Jennifer – I published my first book in January, and it has done well so far. Of course I still have a long way to go. The book is on my journey with Anxiety and how I beat it. It is a very practical book and is a so easy to read. So people from all kinds of places and backgrounds are reading it. Life Line have shown an interest and have asked me to share my techniques with some of the counsellors. So that is turning out to be one of my successful techniques. I also blog (a lot) so that is a great way to get word out there as well.

Me – Last but not least, and something a little fun, what is your favourite animal, and why?

Jennifer – I was born in South Africa and elephants have always been my favorite animal. I can never get enough of them and my absolutely favorite place to write, which I have the privilege of doing from time to time, is from a big white hotel bed, with wild elephants out the window. 
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JPeaSmith@kingsroadchronicles.com

Where I hang out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon
@JPeaSmith

An Interview with Kay MacLeod

Welcome to ARCBookblog Kay, it’s so nice to have you here, joining me for an interview, first of all, before we get to the questions, why don’t you tell me and my readers a little about yourself.

Bio pic.jpgKay – Confession time, I’m a fantasy addict! For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the concept of magical worlds. I was the kid with dragons doodled around the edge of her school work, the one with her head constantly buried in a book. As a teen, I shunned partying to play Magic the Gathering and DM Dungeons and Dragons games.

Through the years, I’ve always made up stories and took characters on amazing adventures, in the privacy of my own mind. Now I want to share them with other people.

I live with my husband and cat in Nottinghamshire in England. When I’m not writing (or planning something I’m writing) I’m usually working, reading, playing bass for my church’s worship team, playing computer games (World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Pokemon, Minecraft) or drinking tea.

Okay, now that we know you’re an Englander, just like me, let’s get to some questions.

Me – Is writing a full-time occupation, or do you have a job that keeps you from it?

Kay – I wish! I would absolutely love to be able to spend all day writing, and that is my ultimate goal. I’ve only released one book so far, and I know it will take time to get to the point where I can support myself with my writing. I can’t wait until I’m one of those irritating people that gets to do a job they enjoy.

Me – What aspect of publishing do you find the easiest?

Kay – Coming up with ideas. My mind is constantly churning with new characters, plot twists, worlds and settings. I’m on the second book of my first series, which I think will be four books long, and I already have plans for a prequel, about eight short stories, a different series of six books, a spin off from that series with the main character’s cousin and rough ideas for another four or five things I want to work on…

I even have big ideas for events or promotions (check out the Indie Advent Calendar I ran over Christmas  http://kaymacleodbooks.com/indie-advent-calendar/) I just love creating things, it’s only a problem because I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want to.

Me – What do you find the most difficult?

Kay – I think a lot of authors find promotion hard, I’m no exception, we tend to be introverts so talking about myself is always a challenge. I’ve found that I don’t mind discussing my characters or story though, it makes my day when someone talks to me about what they’ve read and start telling me their theories of what will happen later in the series. Then I find not giving away spoilers with my expressions really difficult!

Me – What is your perfect writing environment.

Kay – There has to be a cup of tea. Though that’s true for most things I do… I generally write from my office when I’m on my own, I prefer quiet and a good chunk of time so I can get into a flow. I especially like taking a week off work so I can just attach myself to the keyboard and let myself run away into the story, even with a full day to write I can sometimes still be there at 1am if I’m really feeling it.

Me – Do you have a process you follow when writing a book?

Kay – I plan well, and I really enjoy it. I use Evernote for keeping everything on track (including my life) I have character bios, maps, timelines, outlines and random ideas I may use at some point. I write out everything I want to happen during the whole book, shift it around if I need to, then bullet point each individual plot point. I like to leave my chapters with a hook into the next one so I decide where each chapter will end and have a loose idea of what will happen in it- even if it’s just a sentence or two.

I also have a list of things I want to develop in each character and ideas for dialogue or points that don’t need to happen at specific times so that I can fit them in wherever they feel right as I write. I never cling too tightly to anything I’ve plotted though, I end up revising my chapter placements a lot as I get into the story and have even changed huge chunks of original material when I’ve found something that will work better.

Me – Would you rather be critically successful or financially successful?

Kay – Financial success would be wasted on me, I’d still mooch around in a hoodie and jeans, still hate wearing jewellery and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between an expensive car or a rubbish one! If I had enough to live comfortably on and spoil my husband now and again it would be enough for me. I remember a while ago before I was anywhere close to finishing Heirs of Power I heard something being described as ‘critically acclaimed’ and thinking, ‘one day my work’s going to be critically acclaimed.’

Me – If you could pick 1 celebrity to read your book and give an opinion on it, who would it be?

Kay – I don’t really…celebrity. I’m terrible at knowing who people are or what they are famous for. There are a few bands and actors I like but I’ve never been into celebrity culture. I think I’d have to say Peter Jackson then, if he likes it he can promise me that he won’t let the film adaptation be disappointing!

Me – Do you find it easy to avoid being distracted when you sit down to write?

Kay – I have good days and bad days. There have been days that I started in the morning, forgot to eat lunch and realised I’m supposed to be going out that evening and have an hour to get ready. Then there are the times when I just wonder what my word count is and then what that makes my average chapter length, or what my sales look like today, or I get side-tracked into researching new ways to say things or describe a colour.

The main thing that never fails to take my attention is my cat, he’s too adorable to ignore and he usually ends up laid across my left arm or shoulder while I work. It slows down my typing but I always feel better with him helping out.

Me – If you have published already, what has been the most successful technique/site/opportunity for you in terms of getting either exposure or sales?

Kay – Goodreads, for sure. It has such a wealth of opportunities and information for writers of all kinds. I’ve made some great friends on there, gotten reviews, done giveaways, promoted my events, even gotten interviews 😉

The groups on the site have been so helpful to me, there are some really amazing people on there, with much more knowledge and experience than me. Even a lot of the things I’ve done outside of Goodreads is because I learnt how to do them on there. I highly recommend it, for readers and bloggers too, come and say hi to me when you get on!

Me – Last but not least, and something a little fun, what is your favourite animal, and why?

Kay – I adore most animals, so I’m going to cheat and say my favourite domesticated animal is my tuxedo cat, Kai. He’s the cutest little thing ever, he’s four but I think he’ll be like a kitten forever, he’s so small with huge eyes and a bigger personality.

My favourite wild animal is a cheetah. They are perfection. Such beautiful and immaculately designed creatures, I love their sleek look, their incredible sprint and their fluffy babies.

If you’d like to know more about Kay, just follow the links below.

http://kaymacleodbooks.com/

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Heirs of Power

51lDg+Kgm1L.jpgAfter stumbling upon an otherworldly ritual, Kitty Fairlow discovers that her own incredible hunting skills are not merely due to a lifetime of training. She has been gifted powers from an ancient spirit, passed down by her father. She is a Constellation.
And she’s not the only one.
A new generation of heroes have each inherited unique abilities in order to prevent the corruption of their world by the Tenebri, a race that thrives on life energy. Kitty, along with a high-born dancer and a snarky juggler, must find their allies before the Tenebri army picks them off.
With the powerful enemy emerging, can the Constellations gather in time to put an end to the threat for good, or will their foe succeed and wreak the same destruction they have unleashed on their own world?

If you like this you can buy the book at Amazon