Dead in Venice by Fiona Leitch
Audiobook narrated by Deryn Edwards
Listening Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Audible Studios
Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Sept. 2018
Language: English, English
BLURB: Bella Tyson is a famous 40-something crime writer suffering from writer’s block ever since a bitter divorce two years before. When a fan offers her the use of an apartment in Venice, Bella jumps at it, hoping a change of scene will have her writing again. Once there, she soon meets Will, a charming Englishman, who shows her around the city.
Enchanted by both Will and her new surroundings, Bella decides to write a supernatural murder mystery and begins researching local legends and the city’s more sinister side, including an illicit visit to the island of Poveglia, spooky former home of Venice’s asylum. Soon Bella uncovers more than she has bargained for and finds herself enmeshed in a series of gruesome real-life murders that uncannily mirror the legends she is researching.
As she and Will join forces to investigate, real life and local lore merge disconcertingly – for nothing in Venice turns out to be what seems, including Will….
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’d at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London, Cornwall and New Zealand she’s finally (for the moment) settled on the sunny South Coast of England, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.
Her Westminster-set romantic comedy ‘Parliamentary Affairs’ was recently optioned by an up and coming LA producer, and her action comedy ‘Lost In Berlin’ was a finalist in New York’s Athena IRIS Screenwriting Lab 2017. She’s also been shortlisted for the BBC Writers Room. Her debut novel ‘Dead In Venice’ has just been shortlisted for the Audible New Writing Grant, while her short horror story ‘Tinder’ was selected for the Twisted 50, volume two anthology, published Spring 2018
Website : http://www.fionaleitch.com/
Twitter : @fkleitch
16th October – Sean’s Book Blog
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me
1. I’ve had loads of random jobs. I mean, LOADS.
I worked on the deli counter at Tesco’s and made up for the low pay by stealing cheese. I worked for a wedding dress designer in New Zealand, wrangling Bridezillas and airbrushing their wedding photos so their bums didn’t look big on our website. I worked in a factory, making contact lenses. I was a trainee accountant for British Gas for a year (what was I thinking?). I was an editorial assistant for a major defence publishing company and had to proofread (in great detail) a book on the effects of nuclear war, possibly the most depressing thing I’ve ever read (apart from 50 Shades). I made Health and Safety videos, filming and editing and occasionally appearing in them as ‘woman falling off a chair while attempting to reach something on a high shelf’. Random jobs. There are more…
2. I have acting pretentions.
My stage debut was as a French Hen in the 12 Days of Christmas, but my first major role was as Macbeth in a primary school production (I was 9, it was school assembly and I was wearing a cardboard helmet). Clearly, I’d peaked too early. It was some time later that my acting career really took off again. In New Zealand, I was the face of an outdoor furniture and patio-cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Yep, really. As the TV ads hit the nation’s screens, I was also appearing in the lead role of a production of ‘Silly Cow’ by Ben Elton in Auckland, during which I managed to fake an orgasm not once but twice, and all with my mother sitting in the front row. Hey, I’m a professional. I didn’t expect fame and fortune from it but a few people did tell me to ‘sod off, silly cow’, so they’d obviously recognised me.
3. I used to organise illegal raves.
I don’t look the type, do I? I wasn’t always middle aged, you know. We used to hire an old railway arch in the Elephant and Castle, just round the corner from a certain super-club. I even occasionally DJ’d. We stopped after we heard gunshots when we left one of our parties at 6am. I don’t THINK they were shooting at us, but apparently the super-club (and their drug dealers) weren’t very happy about us being there…
4. I was in a band.
I know, I don’t look the type for that either. I played the guitar and the keyboard, despite having no musical training whatsoever – the singer was a genius who wrote all the music and would show me what to play. I was basically a trained chimp with a good sense of rhythm. We split after I shagged the bass player (who didn’t have a good sense of rhythm), which wouldn’t have been a problem but for the fact that I was living with the singer at the time. Ho hum.
5. When it comes to romance, I don’t hang about.
I met my husband at a party on a rooftop in Rotherhithe. It was a Saturday night. We spent the next day together, where we somehow managed to bump into my entire family. They didn’t put him off. We texted and emailed for the next few days, then I went to his flat for dinner on the Thursday and never went home again, except to get clean pants and my toothbrush. When you know, you know.
6. I’ve moved house so many times I’ve lost count.
Seriously. I’ve lived in Mitcham, Horley (x2), Crawley, Streatham, Smallfield, Oxted, back to Horley, Streatham again, St Ives (Cornwall), Epsom, Wimbledon, Worcester Park, then New Zealand – Blenheim, Auckland (x3) – then back to the UK – Hastings, St Leonards-On-Sea… I’m sure I’ve missed a few out and I still haven’t settled down yet. I’ve either got a touch of the Romany in me or a thing about removal men.
7. I’ve written about stuff I have absolutely no knowledge of.
I’ve written about football, despite the fact my knowledge of the beautiful game begins and ends with the treble-winning 1998-99 Man U team. I also used to write new car reviews, even though the only thing I look for in a car is a decent stereo system and a nice colour.
8. I once got told off by kids’ TV news legend John Craven.
The mature amongst you may remember the kids’ TV show, ‘Grange Hill’. They did an anti-drugs campaign called ‘Just Say No’ (I think it was something along the lines of, if a copper stops you and asks if you’ve got any drugs, just say ‘no, officer’). I was in a drama club and we got asked along to appear in a studio discussion hosted by John Craven (now of ‘Countryfile’ fame). It’d been a long day and the stage school brat behind me was being obnoxious, causing the floor manager to keep looking over. Finally I turned round and said ‘why don’t you just shut the f*ck up?’ And John Craven told me he’d had enough of my nonsense (it wasn’t me!) and if I made any more noise he’d have me thrown out of the studio. The injustice of it! And he was wearing a horrible sweater.
9. I did stand-up comedy once. ONCE.
I’ve had root canal surgery, a caesarean and done stand-up in front of a pissed-up Friday night crowd at the Pleasance for the BBC New Comedy Awards, and I can honestly say that I’d rather have another c-section performed by the dentist who did the root canal than stand up and tell jokes again.
The blokes in the audience sat back with their arms folded as if to say, ‘You think you’re funny, love? Make me laugh then’, and the women thought ‘Oooh, jokes about men and periods!’ And I bamboozled them all by talking about my women’s early menopause sufferers’ football team (Old Fallopians). There aren’t many tumbleweeds or crickets in North London, but they were all at the Pleasance that night. I did however get to meet the lovely Al Murray (the Pub Landlord), who was very complimentary about my material and made me realise that maybe I should just be writing, rather than performing…
10. I wrote my first novel at the age of 8.
I was a horribly precocious child. I used my mum’s typewriter and wrote a very long story (with chapters) at primary school. The teacher made me read it out to my classmates. Oh how they must’ve hated me… It was about ponies, as I recall. Which is exactly what you’d expect an 8-year-old girl to write about. I might dig it out and see if I can recycle it for my next novel…