Stevenage mum and author T. M. E. Walsh secures HarperCollins contract for three more DCI Claire Winters books

T. M. E. Walsh, the Stevenage-based author of the DCI Claire Winters series.

T. M. E. Walsh, the Stevenage-based author of the DCI Claire Winters series. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage mother who bounced back from being made redundant to become a full-time author has a sequel to her successful first book released tomorrow – and she’s been contracted by a major publisher to write three more instalments in the detective series.

The Principle of Evil, the second book in Tania Walsh’s DCI Claire Winters series after For All Our Sins, follows the authorities’ pursuit of a deranged serial killer after a body is found in a frozen lake.

For All Our Sins has been in the Amazon UK Kindle top 100 best-seller chart for the past three weeks, peaking at number 59, and The Principle of Evil is performing similarly well in the site’s pre-order charts.

The 32-year-old’s new contract is with HarperCollins, one of the so-called ‘Big Five’ English-language publishing houses, but her books will still be published under the Carina UK imprint.

“To think that For All Our Sins is charting in the top 100 out of hundreds of thousands of eBooks is amazing,” said Tania, who writes as T. M. E. Walsh.

“I’ve been told by my editor that all eyes in the wider departments of HarperCollins are on DCI Winters.

“While that is fantastic to hear, there’s a certain amount of nerves and pressure that comes along with that!

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“Amazon sales positions update hourly and I have no idea how long the book will stay in its current position, but not many people can say they’ve hit that best-seller chart.”

Tania, who has lived in Stevenage all her life, self-published her first two books on Amazon in 2013 – five years after she lost her admin job in the recession. After they both sold successfully and received strong reviews, she won a book deal and had For All Our Sins published in eBook format by Carina UK in September.

Book three, loosely titled Skin Deep, is due for release this autumn – with instalments four and five to follow next year and in 2018, perhaps in print as well as in eBook format.

The married mum-of-one told the Comet that the biggest change to her writing has been that she now faces deadlines for each manuscript.

“Essentially there’s no time for writer’s block,” she said.

“I have to make sure I write something, no matter how little, every day. It can be quite daunting and it takes some stamina to get everything set up right in terms of story, characters and pace.

“People are usually surprised that I didn’t go to university or attend any novel-writing courses, yet I’ve managed to secure publishing deals. But it just goes to show that you can achieve your dreams if you’re prepared to work extremely hard and never give up.”

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