COVER REVEAL: Mystery in the Palace of Westminster
Updated: Nov 26, 2022
I’m so excited to finally be able to share my cover for the first book in the Westminster Mysteries series. It's been a long journey to get here and I thought this month I would share some of that journey with you.
The inspiration for the book
I had the idea for the series while I was talking one day with my sister and her husband. We were talking about politics and about the parliamentary mace being lifted by an MP during the Brexit debates. Before then, I didn't know that Parliament can't sit without the mace being present. It struck me how fragile the whole system is, because it's reliant on that one antique for everything to function.
Later, we reminisced about the politicians' children we had crossed paths with during our time growing up in London.
Suddenly the two ideas converged in my mind. Both my main character and the premise for my story became really clear to me. What if the mace was stolen and Parliament ground to a halt? And what if the person who tried to solve the mystery was the Prime Minister's son?
I knew I was going to have to write this story.
Researching the background
Before I could begin, I had lots of questions about the political world. I had always been interested in politics. But what was it really like, behind the cameras? I read up as much as I could, but I also knew that I needed to go to Parliament to get a feel for the setting.
By this time, it was March 2020. Some of you might remember that month for more significant reasons. Little did I know then that it was also the start of a global pandemic that would change the world for the next three years (and counting).
In a bubble of what now seems absurd naivety, I toddled down to Westminster – the then hub of the virus – to visit the Houses of Parliament. In retrospect, the idea was total madness. But I was lucky enough not to catch COVID.
Only a few weeks later the UK entered lockdown. And it wasn't possible to visit Parliament at all for a long time afterwards. The notes, photos and memories from my meagre visits got me through the isolated months of writing that followed.
Developing the book
After many months of writing and editing – the latter coming somewhat more easily to me, since it’s been my day job for more than ten years – in December 2021, I decided to take the plunge and publish my book.
I was really excited about the cover design process. Every author dreams of seeing their cover design. Something about having a book cover makes your book feel much more like a real book, instead of a random collection of words in a document. But it was also really daunting. I really wanted to love the cover and I was afraid it might not live up to my lofty expectations.
I’m glad to say my worry was all for nothing. My cover designer, Jacqui Crawford, helped to create the perfect cover design and I love it!
The book comes with a handy glossary at the back to help readers with some of the political terms. There is also an extended glossary and who's who in politics on my website for readers who want to go beyond the book.
Click here to find out more about the story. Don't forget to sign up to my Readers Club (at the bottom of this page) to get exclusive, free access to the first three chapters of the book.